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Wissenschaft Weltoffen 2016 – Internationalisation a two-way street

Germany’s most comprehensive account of internationalization in higher education, detailing
developments in student and researchers’ mobility, is comprised in this year’s release of Wissenschaft Weltoffen 2016 -  a joint cooperation between the DAAD and the Institute for Research on Higher Education, funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and the German Federal Foreign Office.

Germany’s higher education sector embraced over 85,000 researchers from across the globe in 2014, while simultaneously around 43,000 German academics took advantage of opportunities to pursue scientific endeavours abroad. This annual edition of the report puts the spotlight on international mobility of researchers.   The number of foreign researchers in Germany's universities has steadily increased and comparing to 2006 by now reputes a 84% rise, totaling 40 000 in foreign research personnel.

Also the mobility of German students going abroad, as well as that of incoming students to Germany for studies, has steadily increased. Not only does Germany’s academic and student body venture aboard, but also its higher education institutions are increasingly becoming active abroad- representing  an important link to strategic internationalisation via transnational education projects,  providing innovation impulses and advancing global networks though cooperation between German and local institutions.  

Wissenschaft Weltoffen 2016 points out that Germany hosted in 2015 over 321. 000 foreign students, showing a consistent growth rate over the past years of about 6.7 %. Key sending nations are India and China, but also European countries as France, Austria and Italy. Masters level studies saw the highest growth of international students (25%) and around 65. 0000 students (23%) came to study in engineering disciplines.

With the prognosis of about 339.000 foreign students to join the international student body in 2016, Germany is well on its way to excel its key goal of attracting 350 000 foreign students by 2020.  

Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)- Press release (only in German) Wissenschaft Weltoffen 2016 – full report (available in both English and German)