HRK recommends internationalisation of curricula: courses of study in Germany should develop global perspectives

10. May 2017

The integration of an international dimension into all curricula has been advocated in a recommendation adopted by the General Assembly of the German Rectors' Conference (HRK) in Bielefeld yesterday. Intercultural understanding and global perspectives should be delivered through the curriculum for all students in Germany.

German students are more mobile than the international average. However, even looking to the future not all of the 2.8 million students currently enrolled will spend time studying in another country. These graduates miss out on the experiences provided by a period of study, in particular for an extended period, in another country.

“The present generation of students is directly confronted by the impacts of globalisation,” says HRK President Prof. Dr. Horst Hippler. “The HRK recommendation signifies a commitment to the task of preparing them for this development, with its opportunities, risks and uncertainties.” The HRK President adds that it is not simply a question of supplementing existing syllabuses with international components, but of embedding international and intercultural elements into core curricula.

The HRK General Assembly advocates enabling students of all disciplines to “engage continuously with international and intercultural learning content” in the course of their programme of study in Germany. The goal is to equip students with the skills to communicate competently and empathetically in an intercultural context. “This also strengthens their ability to work in an interdisciplinary and contrastive fashion,” says Hippler: “Many university graduates choose international career paths. Internationalised curricula prepare them a great deal better for this step, both academically and personally.”

The HRK General Assembly limits itself to cross-disciplinary recommendations. The specific context and goals of each individual discipline need to be taken into account in its implementation.

Text of the recommendation