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A report carried out by a German research institute (Sinus Sociovision) produced some important findings concerning the correlation between education and integration. The report, which analyses social and cultural ‘milieus’ of migrants in Germany, states that integration is a positive function of level of education and urbanisation. Gender equality as a social value, for example, is more deep-seated with migrants that have attained a high educational level.
The release of the study happens to coincide with an international symposium on education and integration at the Foreign Office in Berlin. The objective of this symposium, on the other hand, was to find successful examples of public and private cooperation in the field of integration through education that may serve as models for developments in Germany and in other OECD countries. The German Chancellor Angela Merkel made it a point that access to education still largely depends on social status.
The findings of the report and the intention of policy makers might not be earth-shattering. But it goes to show that integration and education are stormy affairs in Germany, home to some 15 million persons of migrational background: the OECD had released a report on education in September (ACA Newsletter - Education Europe September 2007), according to which Germany ranked below average on performance - especially with regard to access to education amongst migrants.