Audit and Re-Audit "Internationalization of Universities"

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

Prof. Dr. Florian J. Schweigert, Vice President for International Affairs, Alumni and Fundraising

„The positive feedback and the many constructive suggestions will help us to refine and firmly establish the international profile of our university, in research and teaching, but also in administration and in knowledge and technology transfer.“

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 university's internationality more visible internally and externally. 

The University of Potsdam was one of the first institutions of higher education to be audited by the HRK 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 Advisory Board for Internationalization is primarily responsible for implementing the recommendations and deriving the corresponding measures, although internationalization is a cross-sectional responsibility of the entire university and is implemented as such. 

Until the end of March 2020, the university participated in the re-audit “Internationalization of Universities”. As part of the re-audit, the University submitted an implementation plan in October 2017, which was implemented under the guidance of the auditor Prof. Dr. Ulrike Landfester, former Vice-President External Relations at the University of St. Gallen, and Prof. Dr. Georg Winckler, former Rector at the University of Vienna and former President of the European University Association (EUA). The implementation plan drawn up on a university-wide basis as part of the re-audit focused on the following fields of action: “studies and teaching”, “research, knowledge and technology transfer”, “steering and services” as well as “framework conditions and strategic positioning”. In addition, the University of Potsdam is responding to the dynamics of internationalization with three new strategic fields of action: “internationalization by digitalization,” “internationalization of teacher education” and “internationalization through global topics”. 

The University of Potsdam then submitted the final report on the implementation plan in October 2019, and after a final inspection in January 2020 the auditors commented on it. Internationalization was found to have significantly gained importance at the university. The two concluded that it is now considered a cross-sectional issue and that life was successfully being breathed into it. The university was said to have strategic partnerships worldwide and to promote exchange, not only among researchers, teaching staff and students, but also among technical and administrative staff. English-language degree programs, double degrees at universities in two countries, teacher training internships abroad, summer schools as well as digital and thus cross-border teaching formats were said to have been established and now offer a good foundation for the further development of the European Digital UniverCity: In cooperation with partner universities in France, Hungary, Italy and the Czech Republic, a common space is being created in which students, teaching staff and administrative staff can work together without administrative, cultural and social barriers.

Prof. Dr. Florian J. Schweigert, Vice President for International Affairs, Alumni and Fundraising

„The positive feedback and the many constructive suggestions will help us to refine and firmly establish the international profile of our university, in research and teaching, but also in administration and in knowledge and technology transfer.“