Fulda University development plan 2016–2020
Fulda University has set itself the priority objective of promoting student and lecturer exchanges and international research cooperation. Fulda University thus prepares its students for the requirements of growing European integration and labour market globalisation and helps them to develop their intercultural skills. By providing an appropriate range of study programmes, Fulda University is making itself more attractive to international students. It fosters their academic success and their participation in social life.
Internationalisation, intercultural integration and interculturality are key strategic areas at Fulda University. Economic, social and demographic developments have increased the importance of attracting international students. The university is thus facing the challenge of responding to the increasingly multicultural composition of the student body and of shaping interculturality. Student multiculturalism opens up new perspectives – for example, with regard to international and intercultural exchange. Fulda University takes a positive view of the opportunity to embrace this potential and turn it to productive advantage.
Strategic objectives for 2016–2020
For the period 2016–2020 Fulda University has set itself the following internationalisation goals:
- To increase the share of international students to at least 15% by 2020 and the share of students with foreign university entrance qualifications to at least 12%.
- To promote university access for refugees by expanding the current range of pre-study programmes and possibly by developing low-threshold courses specifically for this group.
- Following the granting of the independent right to award doctoral degrees, to take appropriate measures to specifically address graduates living abroad who would like to study for a doctoral degree.
- To establish at least one additional international study programme.
- To engage in a systematic international university marketing plan and to develop new and existing recruitment tools, in particular online recruiting, as a means of attracting international students.
- To develop an intercultural openness and a welcoming culture at Fulda University by expanding intercultural skills in the administrative departments, particularly in the central services, and among the teaching staff.
- To raise the success rates of international students to a level that is comparable with those of students with a German university entrance qualification. The plan is to achieve this by continuing to provide a foundation course and by expanding the provision of courses in German as a Foreign Language. The aim is also to improve international students’ prospects on the German labour market. This can be achieved – subject to positive evaluation – by continuing the Careers Service for International Graduates project.
- To improve the integration of international students in terms of participation in off-campus and on-campus social life, for example by creating appropriate structures, setting up integrated study groups in departments with a high share of international students, systematically expanding the Buddy Programme throughout the university and developing an integrated residential concept.
- With regard to the attainment of international skills by students with a German university entrance qualification, to aim for a substantial increase in the number of outgoing exchange students by 2020. The target is for one in three students to gain relevant experience abroad as part of his or her studies. A further goal is to achieve a balance in the numbers of incoming and outgoing students.
- To give priority to ensuring high quality with regard to periods abroad: full recognition of all courses in the learning agreement that count towards the final qualification, the acquisition of intercultural competencies and better language skills.
- To ensure that students with a German university entrance qualification who cannot be mobile are able to acquire intercultural competencies through integration measures among international students (Internationalisation at Home) and are encouraged to do so.
- To continue to expand the cooperation network and to establish or expand partnerships with universities in previously underrepresented regions such as South America, Africa and Asia; to continue the commitment to regional partnerships in the federal state of Hesse. In this connection, the International Course in Social Work and the International Summer/Winter University play a particularly important role.
- To engage in development cooperation by taking part in, further developing and expanding existing initiatives, particularly in the Departments of Food Technology, Nutritional, Food and Consumer Sciences, Social Work and Economics. Fulda University’s aim is thus to contribute to solving global problems and overcoming conflicts, especially in developing countries.
- To promote international research and development projects, particularly through the EU research framework programme, e.g. by developing strategic partnerships with universities, organisations and enterprises abroad.
- To explore the possibility of participating in the German Rectors’ Conference’s Internationalisation Audit.
A list of measures is being drawn up to meet the above-mentioned objectives.