Successful internationalisation: 29 universities receive HRK certificates

1. December 2014

A total of 29 universities were presented with certificates for the Audit “Internationalisation of Universities” in Berlin today. The audit, which takes the form of a consulting service, was introduced by the German Rectors' Conference (HRK) in 2009 to support German universities in their internationalisation efforts. Existing structures, institutional strategies and measures are analysed by expert auditors, who then put forward recommendations for improvement.

24 universities were recognised for their participation in the audit, while another five have already completed the second consulting phase and were presented with certificates for the re-audit, in which external experts support the implementation of the audit recommendations.

The presentation took place as part of a two-day conference: after today's meeting of all the participating institutions, tomorrow there will be a conference on "Internationalisation at Home". Before the start of today's meeting, Professor Dr. Dieter Lenzen, HRK Vice-President for International Relations, underlined the importance of strategy-led internationalisation, stressing that there is no one-size-fits-all solution: "Every university has individual challenges as the result of its unique teaching and research profile, the makeup of the student body and its regional location."

As he points out, however, the audit has a positive impact not just on individual universities but on the higher education system as a whole because of the high number of participating institutions. Additionally, the HRK draws up anonymised audit results in order to identify key issues and action areas in the internationalisation of the universities and the German higher education system. As Dieter Lenzen explains, this provides a basis for recommendations and decisions.

Tomorrow's conference will focus on one of these meta-topics: What progress is being made on forms of internationalisation other than student and researcher mobility? How well are universities preparing for a global job market and how international are they at home? "The event provides universities with a platform to present and discuss these problems and also effective solutions," said Dr. Stephan Fuchs, project manager for the HRK audit.

Background: The HRK Audit "Internationalisation of Universities"

The Audit “Internationalisation of Universities” is a service offered by the HRK since 2009 and funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research. To date, 54 universities have completed the audit and another 12 are currently going through the consulting process. Five institutions have already completed the implementation process supervised by HRK experts in the re-audit; another four have already started this process in 2014, with five more to follow in 2015.

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