HSI-Monitor – internationalisation profiles of German universities

Since April 2020, the online data portal for assessing and monitoring the degree of internationalisation of German universities, known as the HSI-Monitor for short (in German: (H)och-(S)chul-(I)nternationalität), has provided users with digital access to public data relating to different aspects of internationalisation in German higher education. In this joint online portal of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation (AvH), the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) and the German Rectors’ Conference (HRK), various filters can be used to individually tailor search requests. This allows users to select predefined university groups or configure groups themselves – and thus gain access to data enabling them to compare different university types and sizes. A recently included option to analyse the data according to gender, subject area or country of origin offers additional interesting insights into the internationality of universities. Thus, the portal features various opportunities to define one’s own criteria and individually use data for planning and monitoring the internationalisation activities of the university in question.

The HSI-Monitor encompasses data in eleven thematic areas, three of which we would like to present briefly.

1. International publications

The subject area Internationale Publikationen (available only in German) encompasses details of publications that were produced at German universities within the framework of international cooperation (co-publications). This filter option displays the current “top ten” countries with which academics at German institutions are currently collaborating and which jointly publish research results.

Most international co-publications were the result of collaboration with authors in the USA, followed by the United Kingdom and Switzerland (in 2018: roughly 22,900, 16,100 and 12,400 publications respectively).

Internationale Ko-Publikationen
International co-publication partner country/region (from top to bottom: USA, UK, Switzerland, France, Italy, Netherlands, China, Austria, Spain and Australia)

2. DFG projects at German higher education institutions

The DFG data relating to projects at German higher education institutions can likewise be filtered according to cluster, year, department and country. The data showing the top ten partner universities abroad are particularly informative.

Result: The majority of DFG projects are carried out in cooperation with the USA, France and the United Kingdom. According to the figures, the number of projects with the USA has experienced a decline recently, falling from 665 in 2015 to 597 in 2019. By contrast, projects with China have seen a pronounced increase: their number rose from 142 to 309 between 2017 and 2019.

DFG Projekte mit Partnern
DFG projects with non-German countries (from top to bottom: USA, France, UK, Switzerland, China, Austria, Russian Federation, Netherlands, Italy, Israel)

3. International staff at German universities

The number of foreign citizens employed at German universities has been rising steadily in recent years. Employees from Italy (roughly 3,600) account for the largest proportion.

Wissenschaftliches und künstlerisches Personal
Scientific and artistic personnel with non-German citizenship (from top to bottom: Italy, China, India, Austria, USA, Russian Federation, Spain, France, Iran, UK)

The HSI-Monitor not only provides straightforward access to the data, but also invites users to browse within the various thematic areas. This makes it attractive for different groups of users, both at universities and beyond. Information about how to use the database is available for new users, as is a “kick start”. In case of questions, users are welcome to contact the joint office of the organisations involved in the project at kontakt@hsi-monitor.de.

Author: Diandra Dachtera