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From Azerbaijan and Yemen, (I)NGOs to government bodies: charting EMMIR alumni's global impact

The European Master in Migration and Intercultural Relations (EMMIR) programme stands out not only for its excellent academic outcomes but also for the remarkable employability of its graduates. The latest tracer study, conducted in January 2024, offers a comprehensive overview of the career trajectories of 207 out of 221 alumni, showcasing their significant impact across diverse sectors worldwide.



A significant 33% of EMMIR graduates have made their mark within the NGO sector, employed across a spectrum of organizations from local to global giants such as Amnesty International, Plan International, and World Vision. These graduates are spread across continents, serving in various roles from Austria to Uganda and Ukraine, highlighting the study programme's global reach and the versatile applicability of its teachings.


The academic realm is the next major destination for EMMIR alumni, with 29% of graduates pursuing careers in academia or research. The majority of these (35) became PhD candidates after graduation, most of them hold or held PhD positions or scholarships in the following countries and universities:

  • Germany (11): U Köln, U Bielefeld, U Bonn (2), Humboldt U, TU Berlin, U Erlangen-Nürnberg, Bamberg U, U Freiburg, U Hamburg, U Bayreuth;

  • Norway (8): Norwegian U of Science and Technology, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, VID U Norway (3), U Oslo, U Bergen (2);

  • Netherlands (4): U Rotterdam, U Amsterdam (2), U Maastricht;

  • US (3): U Madison Wisconsin, Columbia U, Syracuse University,

  • plus 9 in various European countries: two each in Italy (European University Institute, U Padova) and Spain (U Barcelona, U Autonoma Barcelona) and one alumnus each in Turkey (MiReKoc U), the UK (Oxford University), Switzerland (U Basel), Austria (U Graz) and Denmark (U Copenhagen).



The spread of these candidates across countries like Germany, Norway, the Netherlands, the United States, and beyond underlines the 2-year Master's programme's excellence in fostering international and multidisciplinary research capabilities.


Remarkably, 12 alumni have already completed their PhDs, securing esteemed positions in academia across several continents. Nine of them now hold faculty positions in universities: 

  • Three are in Germany: as Lecturers at U Bonn and U Tübingen, and as Postdoc U Bielefeld.

  • Further three are in three different European countries: in the Netherlands (U Utrecht), in Norway(VID U), and in Switzerland (U Zürich).

  • The remaining three are in Bangladesh (Sylhet U), in Uganda (Makerere U), and in Australia (U Melbourne).


The tracer study further illuminates the diverse career paths EMMIR graduates embark on, with 17% finding roles in intergovernmental and international organizations, including the European Union, United Nations bodies, and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). UN bodies currently employing EMMIR alumni include: IOM (10), UNHCR (7), ILO (2), WFP (2). One graduate is working for each of the following: UNICEF, UNFPA, UNDP, UNMGCY, and MONUSCO.


Their work spans critical areas from humanitarian aid to policy development, in locations as varied as Azerbaijan and Yemen, demonstrating the program's effectiveness in preparing graduates for impactful global careers.



Moreover, the study reveals that EMMIR alumni are also making significant contributions in the private sector, public or government institutions, and as freelancers. Around 10% of the graduates (21 persons) are working in private enterprises, including law firms, a nursing school, language schools or translation offices, a chamber of commerce, as well as corporate offices in Armenia, Switzerland, Spain, Italy, Hungary, Mexico, and Germany. Working in public or government institutions are 16 (8%) of EMMIR's graduates. This includes municipal offices, integration offices, youth offices or the German BAMF. Others work in similar institutions in Norway, Taiwan, Iceland, and in the US. Finally, 5 persons (2%) of the 207 included in this study work as freelancers as: a writer/curator, surveyor, consultant, and communication specialist.


This comprehensive engagement across sectors underscores the EMMIR programme's success in equipping its alumni for the international labor market. The outcomes of this tracer study serve as a testament to the course's ability to blend academic excellence with practical applicability, preparing graduates not just for employment but for meaningful global engagements.


In sum, the tracer study highlights EMMIR's impact on its graduates' professional journeys, affirming its role as a cornerstone for those aiming to excel in the intersecting fields of migration, intercultural relations, and beyond. The success stories of EMMIR alumni across NGOs, academia, international organizations, and various other sectors around the world reflect the program's unparalleled commitment to fostering leaders equipped to address some of today's most pressing global challenges.


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