Number of the Month: 31,000 international collaborations

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A 2014 study identified around 31,000 international collaborations agreed by nearly 300 German universities. Germany is a popular host country for international students. This is partly due to the fact that German universities attach great importance to their international orientation. In other words, they encourage applications from first-year students and researchers and support German university lecturers in their efforts to acquire experience abroad. To this end, they cooperate with numerous partners abroad.

A study conducted by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), the German Rectors’ Conference (HRK) and the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation (AvH) found that there were around 31,000 international collaborations in mid-2014. These were agreed by

  • nearly 300 German universities
  • with around 5,000 university partners
  • in 150 countries.

In which areas is there the most cooperation?

The Europe-wide Erasmus programme plays a key role. It promotes exchanges involving students and university staff. A good half of the 31,000 collaborations are attributable to the Erasmus programme. The study explored not only student and teacher mobility, but also the number of international degree courses, students from abroad and international staff.

Music and art academies are particularly international

The highest overall scores were achieved by

  • technical universities and
  • academies of art and music.

15.7 percent of the academic and artistic staff at art and music academies come from abroad, while the figure at technical universities is 13.8 percent. The proportion of first-year students from abroad is also high at 16.1 percent. Indeed nearly a quarter of all first-year students at technical universities come from abroad. At some academies of art and music, up to 70 percent of students come from countries other than Germany.

The annual study, which was first published in 2008 and is entitled “Profile data on the internationality of German universities”, is financed by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).