Saad Wakil had just completed his bachelor’s degree in engineering. War then broke out in Syria and he was forced to flee the country. The certificate assessment in Germany opened up new opportunities for him.
Saad Wakil had just completed his bachelor’s degree in engineering in the Syrian port city of Latakia. He was ready to get started on his career in Syria. But then war broke out. There was not a lot of time and he decided to flee his homeland. The Syrian then arrived in Germany at the start of 2014.
Saad Wakil was familiar with Germany as an industrial nation from his degree. So he had high expectations. “In my field, Germany is well known throughout the world. I was convinced that I would find work here and would be able to realise my professional ambitions.” But his confidence suffered a knock shortly after arriving in Germany. “Suddenly I was in a foreign country and did not understand the language. I was able to get by quite often with my English. However, everyday things were causing me problems.” But Saad Wakil did not give up. To start with he learned German on an intensive 11-month course and achieved the C1 certificate. His improved language skills were a real boost to his morale. The young Syrian then began applying for jobs. On receiving no responses, it became clear to Saad Wakil that a different approach was needed.
Back in Syria he had already found out about the possibility of having his university degree officially assessed. On the language course, he was put in contact with one of the advisory centres of the “Integration through Qualification (IQ)” network. Together with an adviser, he gathered together the documents. In May 2015 he applied for certificate assessment to the Central Office for Foreign Education (ZAB). Within just three months Saad Wakil received the result. His bachelor's degree from Syria was classified as comparable with the bachelor’s degree from a German university. Following this, he participated in bridge training for academics. This six-month course included training in the application process and prepared him for the German labour market. He also completed an eight-week placement at the Research Centre for Combustion Engines and Thermodynamics based in Rostock. This gave Saad Wakil a practical insight into the world of work. “I found this course very helpful. The placement made me realise that, alongside combustion engines, I also wanted to specialise in drive technology and construction technology. And I can do that by taking a master's degree.”
Saad Wakil was now clear about the way ahead. He started the master's degree at the University of Rostock. “The certificate assessment gave me confidence. And it motivates me to keep going.” Saad Wakil looks to the future with confidence. He wants to complete the master’s degree over the normal period of study. At the same time, he is also gaining more experience as a research assistant in the Faculty of Mechanical and Naval Engineering.
Saad Wakil had his Syrian degree assessed via the Central Office for Foreign Education (ZAB). However, this is just one option. In general, engineers can also complete the recognition procedure with the competent authority in the relevant federal state. Full recognition officially permits them to then use the job title of ‘Engineer’. An engineer is also permitted to work in their occupational field without this recognition, but there are many advantages to using the job title. For example, you are only permitted to perform certain activities with recognition from the competent authority.
Photo: © Portal “Recognition in Germany”/BIBB: Robert Funke
The interview with Saad Wakil took place in June 2018. He was advised and supported during the certificate assessment by Study in Germany Rostock e. V., migra e. V., AFZ Aus- und Fortbildungszentrum Rostock GmbH [AFZ Initial and Advanced Training Centre in Rostock] and the Central Office for Foreign Education (ZAB).
In Poland, Margareta Marek was a trained environmental protection engineer. In Germany, she was a single mother with no training and without a job. Today, the 34-year-old is once again working in her profession—all thanks to the Recognition Act.