Giving teaching an international dimension plays an important part in the overall strategy of internationalisation at the University of Göttingen, which offers a wide range of international degree programmes as well as joint and/or double degree-programmes.
This international outlook to the courses and degrees on offer is not solely intended to promote the recruitment of international students, but also to create sustainable internationalisation “at home”. Therefore, as part of its international profile, the University of Göttingen cultivates and promotes not only English language skills, the targeted recruitment of foreign students, support services designed to meet the special needs of international and German students on international degree programmes but also – alongside University-wide international alumni activities – degree-specific alumni activities on selected programmes.
The vast majority of international study programmes is held completely or largely in the English language, in order to simplify access for international students and introduce German students to the experience of working consistently in English, the international language of science. At the same time, Göttingen also offers international Master degree programmes in German, designed for international students with suitable language skills. Targeted recruitment – especially on heavily research-oriented degree programmes such as those of the Göttingen Graduate School for Neurosciences, Biophysics, and Molecular Biosciences (GGNB) – is ensured by an international application and selection procedure. Finally, international degree programmes usually have their own coordinators.
Further expansion of international degree programmes is also promoted by institutional measures. This is supported by the post of International Curriculum Development at Student and Academic Services, which assists and advises the faculties to plan and arrange contracts for international cooperation programmes of study, in particular for joint or double degrees, and the management of double doctorates with the inter- national Cotutelle-de-Thèse procedure.
The study content offered on international degree programmes is either developed jointly for the new degree programme or adapted to the needs of the students of the foreign partner universities in close professional consultation. These degree programmes have a global orientation and therefore a special demand for support, as well as to meet the technical needs of internationally mobile students. Therefore, employability and the needs of the international jobs market as well are issues of great relevance on international degree programmes, and are already considered at the planning stage. Preparation for working internationally and the demands of the global jobs market rely above all in the realisation stage on suitable work placements, training in key competencies and the provision of graduate associations through the Alumni Network or degree-specific networks.
In order to provide students who for various reasons cannot or do not want to undertake studies abroad with an international perspective, the University of Göttingen is strengthening its focus on internationalisation of the curricula at home. For students and graduates are expected to have wide international knowledge and transcultural skills, regardless whether they have studied abroad. The Internationalisation of the Curricula project supports the faculties in the development of study programmes
- where students can develop a critical awareness of local and global questions in relation to their subject and increase their knowledge of transnational issues,
- which take account of the increasingly diverse student cohorts, as well as the diverse national and cultural back- grounds of teaching staff,
- which enable students to communicate and act successfully and empathicallyin transcultural environments, and motivate them to make active and enriching contact with representatives of other cultures.
Appropriate measures to internationalise the curricula must be carefully attuned to the relevant academic tradition and the context of the discipline. “International” means something different to each faculty and it is expressed in very different ways in the curriculum. Therefore both the development of international study programmes and the internationalisation of curricula take place in close cooperation with the Deans of Studies, the Internationalisation representative, degree programme coordinators and above all the teaching staff and students of the degree programmes. Joint measures can arise from the specific features of a subject or research tradition, or result from a long-standing cooperation between faculties or create contacts with prospective employment prospects for the graduates. At present there is a special focus on combining internationalisation of the curricula, digitalization and a focus on diversity.