Leipzig University sees the potential of its international students and graduates as future experts for the regional labour market. This is in line with the national and Saxon efforts to recruit skilled workers from abroad.

Initiatives by the Federal Government and the Free State of Saxony

In autumn 2022, the German federal government presented a new strategy for securing the supply of skilled workers. The strategy assumes that demographic changes will lead to a lack of around 240,000 skilled workers in Germany alone by the year 2026. In the strategy, international students and graduates are mentioned explicitly: “International students are particularly attractive for the German labour market because they already have many skills that are important when they arrive in Germany and acquire even more while studying here.”
For a summary of the strategy, see the Federal Government's website. The entire strategy is available in German.

The Free State of Saxony has also published strategies and measures to encourage international experts to stay in Germany and/or the region. Many of these measures apply to international students and graduates.

Portraitaufnahme: Prof. Dr. Matthias Middell

We want to create the best possible conditions, to encourage international students and graduates to stay in the region in the long term, to be successful in their studies while enabling them to get off to a good start on the German labour market.

Professor Matthias Middell

International Skilled Workers Coordination Group

Leipzig University’s International Skilled Workers Coordination Group was initiated in October 2023 by Matthias Middell, Vice-Rector for Campus Development: Cooperation and Internationalisation. The group includes representatives from the rectorate, subjects, institutes and student body as well as from the International Centre, the SEPT Competence Centre, the Career Service, the Studienkolleg Sachsen and all relevant administrative units.

The Coordination Group aims to establish a common perspective on the topic that will lead to a strategy for recruiting international experts to Leipzig University. It works together to coordinate, bundle and manage the University’s efforts on the topic of international skilled workers.

Four pillars, four study phases

Leipzig University relies on four pillars:

  • Applied German language skills for all phases of studies and for the labour market
  • Integration into the University so students can study successfully
  • Development of skills relevant for the labour market
  • Networking within the university and with the labour market

Students have access to resources tailored to their needs in each of the four phases of their student career:

Preparing to study

  • Strengthening language skills with courses that prepare prospective students for the Deutsche Sprachprüfung für den Hochschulzugang (DSH)
  • Carrying out the assessment test (Feststellungsprüfung)
  • Foundation course in the subject at the Studienkolleg and preparatory courses in the subjects (tutorials)
  • Student advising online and in person: Information events and advisory services before starting studies on applying and on university qualification

Course start

  • Student advising and integration advising in particular on staying and arriving in Saxony, housing, German university system, intercultural aspects
  • Welcome week for all international students with the people who are important for getting started in the degree programs
  • Services that help especially international students get off to a good start in the subjects

During your studies

  • German courses during the semester / German during your studies / Specialised German for the subject areas
  • Integration services, intercultural resources
  • Advisory services on which path to take with your studies, advisory services on dropping out
  • Services from the subjects

Transition to the labour market

  • Expansion of skills relevant for the labour market
  • Advisory services on career entry in the (Saxon) labour market
  • Service learning
  • Internships at companies, mentoring programme
  • Direct contacts with companies
  • Activities offered by subject, Final thesis

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