Open to the World and Intercultural - DAAD Supports Internationalization of Teacher Training

Teacher training at the University of Potsdam will become more international. Thanks to funding from the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) in the “Lehramt.International” program, the university will be able to expand its worldwide network of partner schools and universities and elevate it to a new level of quality until 2024. Within the model project “UP Network for Sustainable Teacher Education”, students can now not only spend their internship semester abroad, but it will also become easier for them to go abroad for entire sections of their studies, thereby strengthening their specialized language and intercultural skills. Summer schools, master’s theses, and digital learning formats will promote the professional and educational exchange across national borders. The DAAD will provide funding amounting to roughly €600,000 for this purpose in the years to come.

The “UP Network for Sustainable Teacher Education” is one of a total of 19 pilot projects currently funded by the DAAD in the “Lehramt.International” program with resources from the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). Its aim is to increase international mobility of instructors and students in the long run in order to advance the international orientation of teacher training at German universities with lasting effect. In light of the increasingly diverse backgrounds of school students in Germany in terms of education and origin, international and intercultural knowledge and experience are of crucial importance for teachers.

“We provide our students with the competencies that prepare them for teaching in culturally and linguistically diverse classes,” explains Prof. Dr. Andreas Borowski, director of the university’s Center for Teacher Training and Education Research (ZeLB). “In the course of their studies and internships abroad, prospective teachers also gain pedagogical impressions that will help them organize international learning projects with partner schools during their professional lives.”

The University of Potsdam currently has a network of 13 schools abroad where students can complete their internship semester. The plan now is to intensify existing collaboration projects, establish new partnerships and create local networks worldwide, for example in the United States (New York), Costa Rica (San José), Colombia (Bogotá), South Africa (Potchefstroom, Johannesburg, Pretoria), India (Mumbai) and Australia (Melbourne). In Europe, long-standing Erasmus partnerships and the “European Digital UniverCity” consortium led by the University of Potsdam offer extensive opportunities for direct on-site exchange or Online International Learning. “The internationalization of teacher training is firmly anchored in the University of Potsdam’s internationalization strategy. We are very pleased to be able to take important new steps in this area and create robust structures with the DAAD’s funding for our model project,” says Prof. Dr. Florian Schweigert, Vice President for International Affairs at the university.

Contact: Dr. Manuela Hackel, Center for Teacher Training and Education Research
Phone: +49 331 977-25 60 10
E-mail: mhackeluni-potsdamde

Media information 02-10-2020 / No. 093