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In February 2017, Angela Merkel’s cabinet of ministers adopted a new strategy (Action Plan) for the internationalisation of German research and science: The document, which also touches on aspects of higher education, was developed by an inter-ministerial group headed by Germany`s Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). It succeeds an earlier internationalisation strategy adopted in 2008.
The strategy is intended to respond to new trends and challenges that have a bearing on international cooperation, such as ever-increasing globalisation and digitalisation, the further development of the European Research Area and the emergence of global innovation centres in formerly less-developed locations.
The Action Plan pursues five key aims and areas of focus, i.e.
While pursuing noble aims of a scientific and research-related nature, the strategy is also a contribution to the global competitiveness of Germany’s business and industry sector. Having at the same time a highly export-led economy and being a high-cost country, Germany needs to secure it position by constant innovation.
Meanwhile, the German Land of Baden-Württemberg has decided to introduce tuition fees for foreign students from outside the EU and EEA from autumn 2017 onwards. The amount per semester (half a year) is to be 1,500 Euro. Bildungsinländer (foreign nationals who earned their secondary school leaving qualification in Germany) as well as refugees and foreigners having embarked on their studies before the autumn of 2017 are exempt. Baden-Württemberg, next to Bavaria Germany’s richest state, claims it needs to generate fee income in order to fund the internationalisation of its universities and to be able to provide international students with better services.
New Internationalisation Strategy - Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), Press Release
Introduction of tuition fees - Baden-Württemberg Studyguide