Theoretical background and study framework

The theoretical model adhered to in the SUCCESS project is based on educational research on students with a migration background including the pioneering studies of educational integration of refugees and of their academic success. In this model, a number of indicators of academic success and failure are defined as explanatory variables. These include both objective data gathered by Kiron concerning curricula and instruction and results of the valid assessment of students’ development of knowledge and skills and subjective data provided by students registered at Kiron concerning, for example, their educational background.

The study framework involves conducting objective and valid entire and process diagnostics, appropriate feedback systems and study-related support measures in order to improve study opportunities, teaching-and-learning processes (particularly the curriculum and instruction), and the academic success of refugees studying through Kiron.

In the SUCCESS project a multi-perspective and method-integrative analysis is conducted over two study phases: the first through Kiron and the second at partner universities. The research design encompasses status analyses at the beginning of studies through Kiron, formative assessment analyses during the two study phases, and summative analyses at the end of studies. The combined longitudinal and cross-sectional design with three student cohorts involves test-based analyses of learning progress over the Kiron platform and surveys completed by students at three points during their studies (upon enrollment, one year after beginning studies, and upon transferring to a partner institution). Particular focus is on refugees who drop out of their study programs and the reasons for doing so. For this purpose, an additional questionnaire is administered and interviews conducted with a random sub-sample.

Our research focuses on two key questions:

What effects do the measures of skills diagnostics, the self-assessment, and student service have on the academic success of refugees in the context of Kiron (as prevention and intervention measures)?

To what extent can certain effects be explained by other potential influence factors (such as the institutional study context)?

Moreover, SUCCESS also examines which personal or context-related causes can lead to students dropping out of their study program at Kiron. In order to examine the research questions in a comprehensive and differentiated manner, our partners use instruments suitable for their respective sub-project