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New DAAD President presents the objectives of her tenure

On 1 January, Professor Margret Wintermantel started her tenure as President of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). Professor Joybrato Mukherjee, President of the Justus-Liebig University of Gießen, is the new Vice President of DAAD. Both had been elected by the DAAD General Assembly in June (see ACA Newsletter – Education in Europe, June 2011).

Wintermantel has now presented her vision of Germany’s academic mobility and related actions to be taken by DAAD in the near future. Key goals highlighted by the new president include new mobility targets. Specifically, Wintermantel foresees an increase in international students in Germany from the current figure of 245 000 to 300 000 by 2020 based on more flexible university admissions that more effectively accommodate the individual characteristics of the most talented students. In addition, it is envisaged that the outgoing mobility of German students will also grow by 2020, with every second German university graduate expected to have gained international experience during their studies. Finally, DAAD will remain highly committed to EU higher education programmes, and will place new emphasis in the upcoming years on targeted internationalisation strategies, finding solutions for global problems, and supporting democratisation processes.

Some of these issues have received a prominent place in a recent position paper of DAAD on academic mobility and the migration of qualified professionals. This paper contributes to the current debate on immigration of skilled workers from abroad, which is becoming a highly relevant topic for Germany, which faces an increasing lack of qualified professionals in specific areas. In a nutshell, the paper advocates for a cosmopolitan and hospitable Germany, which is equally open and welcoming to skilled immigrants and foreign students who wish to return to their home countries after completing their studies in Germany.  

DAAD - new president DAAD – position paper on academic mobility and migration of qualified specialists (in German)