Integration of immigrants

Project outline

The necessary conditions for successful integration still constitute a highly controversial issue for which there is little empirical evidence. Checking which on-sight conditions are available—specifically, on the local level—to support successful integration, is the primary responsibility of every municipality. Since the main duty of municipalities is to receive immigrants and provide them with shelter, our study will be focusing on the regional level. Thus, taking into account not only solutions for providing housing but also solutions for the accommodation of new immigrant children in the educational system. This process is being organized through the educational authorities and schools in every city in Germany. Together with the city of Essen, the WIB team will be exploring the local conditions available for integration in the coming five years in the city of Essen. The focus of the project are the recent immigrants who arrived in 2015 and 2016. Accordingly, key figures and indicators will be developed based on data available from the city of Essen. Hence, in the course of our project, a comprehensive and continually developing data set will be established for the school development planning process of the City of Essen that takes into account the current influx of immigrants. In addition, relevant questions of educational research will be addressed with the data on hand.

Although local conditions as well as measures implemented for the integration of new immigrants contribute significantly to the success of integration efforts, little is known about the regionally differing contextual conditions of integration. The goal of this project is to observe how immigrant children and adolescents live, as well as the social and ethnic compositions in schools and in residential areas. The process of integrating immigrants, especially refugees, can be analyzed by means of evaluating administrative data as well as surveys for different groups on the local level (e.g., pupils, schools, school boards, and honorary staff organizations). The study also allows diverse analysis to check the importance of various bundles of procedures taken, such as voluntary activities. Thus, all parties relevant for our study will be observed on a local level, especially the latest group of immigrants: namely, refugees from Syria. The available administrative data paves a way for measuring the educational biography of children and adolescents; in addition, it provides information about immigrant accommodation and the neighboring environment. Furthermore, the different measures will be applied to the various stages of the German educational system over the course of five years. As such, surveys will add to our analysis and help in developing a better understanding of the integration process. Consequently, this project will provide insights for local municipalities on improving their planning process and enhancing the integration of immigrants.

Additional information

2016 until 2021

Integration, school, education, migrants, refugees, municipal level

Hendrik Jürges (project lead)
Kerstin Schneider (project lead)
Franz Westermaier (contact person)
Mireille Kozhaya
Anna Makles
Birte Terlinden

City of Essen (School Department; Office for Statistics, Urban Research and Elections)


Funded by:


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