Thursday, October 31, 9:00-10:30

Global cooperation and networking: Internationalisation of German Higher Education and Research and the Role of the DAAD

Dr. Christian HÜLSHÖRSTER Director, Scholarship Programmes Southern Hemisphere, German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), Federal Republic of Germany

Internationalisation seen as the “process of integrating an international/ intercultural dimension into the teaching, research and service of the institution“ (Knight, 1997) has over the past decade become a key factor in higher education throughout the world. At the same time, the aims, outcomes and ambitions of internationalisation can be manifold and need to be clearly laid out and strategically defined in order for the process to be successful.

While the internationalisation of higher education is a global phenomenon, with countries depending on co-operation, exchange and networks across national borders, the case of higher education in Germany can be a particularly fruitful one to analyse. The unique funding and structure of most universities and research institutions in Germany combined with large investments into staff and student mobility as well as so-called “internationalisation at home” (including infrastructure and internationalisation strategies) have led to German universities rapidly expanding their global outreach. At the same time, student and research mobility in Germany has always been relatively high and can look back on a longstanding tradition, with the DAAD supporting international exchange and co-operation for more than 90 years.

By taking higher education in Germany as an example, this talk will look at the many factors of internationalisation, including the term’s various definitions, some motives behind internationalisation, and some challenges and opportunities for individual institutions as well as societies as a whole. We will conclude by looking at some concrete measures and instruments that the DAAD provides to foster global co-operation and networking between institutions in Germany and abroad.

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