In the early years of the twenty-first century, the European Union faced an influx of refugees from war-torn areas of the world. By the end of 2015, nearly a million new refugees had arrived in Germany alone, half of them from Syria. Understanding how the Syrian refugee population has interacted with the German system of higher education is crucial for serving those students. This systematic review of studies published on this topic between 2015 and 2020 discusses the challenges experienced by Syrian refugee students accessing German higher education, the support they have received from German higher education institutions (HEIs), and policy reforms recommended by the studies reviewed for managing the influx of refugees into German higher education. I offer a synthesis of the contributions and gaps in the literature and propose thoughts for future research in this area for advancing our knowledge on the experiences of refugee students in accessing HE and easing their integration into HEIs, to the benefit of the internationalization of Germany’s HEIs and the country’s labor market.

DOI: 10.1080/21568235.2020.1871392
ISSN: 2156-8235