Audit and Re-Audit "Internationalization of Universities"

Group Picture of the Audit Internationalization
Group Picture of the Audit Internationalization

The “Internationalization of Universities” audit was funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and conducted by the German Rector's Conference (HRK). It supported universities in defining or further developing a specific internationalization profile with the resources at their disposal, in establishing effective, permanent internationalization structures and processes, and in making the internationality of the university more visible internally and externally.

The University of Potsdam was audited in 2011/2012. On December 11, 2012, the University was awarded a certificate in Bonn for successfully participating in the “Internationalization of Universities” audit. (Photo above)

The Internationalization Advisory Board is entrusted with implementing the recommendations and formulating corresponding measures.

Until March 2020 the University is participating in the “Internationalization of Universities” re-audit. The university-wide implementation plan drawn up as part of the re-audit focuses on the following fields of action: “study and teaching,” “research,” “knowledge and technology transfer,” “steering and services” and “framework conditions and strategic direction.” In addition, the University of Potsdam is responding to the dynamics of internationalization with three new strategic fields of action: “internationalization by digitalization,” “the internationalization of teacher training” and “internationalization through global topics.”



Graphic on the “Internationalization of Universities” re-audit


The opportunities offered by digitalization are used both for international cooperation and the systematic interlinking of digitalization and internationalization. The University of Potsdam is one of the few universities whose strategy documents contain references to digitalization and internationalization. In Potsdam, an original systematic approach was developed for the strategic field of action “internationalisation by digitalization” and anchored in the central strategy documents (internationalization, e-learning and IT strategy) and documented in the form of good practices. In the Online International Learning (OIL.UP) project, teaching is internationalized through e-learning tools and collaborative scenarios across more than one university location. This offers students a wide range of possibilities for digital mobility, opens up a bridge to physical incoming or outgoing mobility, and promotes intercultural skills as well as language skills. With the ConnAct.UP web application, a completely new approach to professional and social networking has been chosen to make international (research) projects visible to the entire university. In connection with the ConnAct.UP application, the University of Potsdam is tackling the topic of modern research data management, knowledge generation and transfer as well as the development of intelligent interfaces that will affect the entire German and international research landscape.

The internationalization of prospective teachers is highly important, since teachers today must be able to successfully deal with learning groups characterized by cultural diversity on a daily basis. As the coordinating institution for teacher education, the Center for Teacher Training and Educational Research (ZeLB) has increasingly focused on internationalization. The core objectives for the internationalization of teacher training are to increase mobility of students and teaching staff (incoming and outgoing), to create intercultural learning opportunities, and to use “Online International Learning” (OIL.UP) to promote internationalization at home. In addition, expanding cooperation with foreign teacher training institutions and successfully cooperating with twelve German schools abroad for the completion of practical semesters/school internships play a major role.

Teaching and research make a significant contribution to a variety of local and global challenges in the broadest sense of value creation. From the perspective of a university's internationalization strategy, it is necessary to create an awareness of these important global issues through a strategic focus. In the broadest sense, these relate to the goals identified within the framework of the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The University of Potsdam has therefore declared internationalization through global issues to be another strategic field of action.

The University of Potsdam submitted an interim report in October 2019 and continued working on the implementation of the measures in 2019 before submitting a final report at the end of 2019, which will be commented on by the reviewers after a final inspection in January 2020.