The Hamburg University of Applied Sciences (Germany)

The Hamburg University of Applied Sciences (HAW HAMBUR), Germany, is one of Germany’s most distinguished and largest universities for research and education. Practice orientation is our trademark: theory from lectures is put into practice in the laboratories, study projects are completed in the form of case studies, close cooperation with industry, practice and policy-makers ensures a direct link to the future field of work. The Faculty of Business and Social Sciences conducts BA/MA courses that articulate economic dynamics, global competition, social justice and safety. Within the Faculty, the Department of Social Work focuses on the interdisciplinary analysis of social exclusion and on developing concepts to foster social participation in precarious and unstable life circumstances. At the Department of Social Work, HAW HAMBUR staff is involved in numerous local, national and European research programmes on education, intercultural dialogue, cultural literacy, youth migration, youth work and youth policy, and we also regularly carry out evaluation studies and give advice to policy makers. In recent years, EU funding programmes that supported our projects included the European Integration Fund, the 7th Framework Programme of the EU for Research, Technological Development and Demonstration activities, the Community Programme for Employment and Social Solidarity (PROGRESS), the European Social Fund, European Regional Development Fund and Erasmus. Of the numerous projects, particularly relevant is “Combating Inequalities through Innovative Social Practices of, and for, young people in European Cities (CITISPYCE)”. In this project, and in close cooperation with the local authority, we have carried out two in-depth studies of the living conditions of young migrants in two deprived neighbourhoods. Based on 45 interviews with young people, additional expert interviews and participatory participation, we are currently developing a manual of practices to cope with stress situations and problems in everyday life with a particular focus on job orientation. The collaboration with youth work and other social services and organisations is trustful and will be a valuable resource. A second relevant project worth mentioning is our graduate school with an explicit focus on quality features of social and educational interventions.