1. Our international focus is reflected in the diversity of our international partnerships and the importance we attach to international competence.
2. International partnerships open up possibilities for students and lecturers to undertake exchanges, internships and excursions abroad as well as for organising and further developing joint degree programmes and research activities.
3. The prerequisites for making use of this diversity are transparency, cross-faculty cooperation and a networked approach towards our partner universities.
4. For UAS_BO, international competence comprises three main components: Cultural sensitivity, foreign language skills and openness towards mobility.
5. We run commensurate education and training programmes to foster this competence among our students, lecturers and staff in teaching, research and administration.
6. In this context, our students’ encounter and dialogue with other cultures is a core and central element of our University’s policy. For us, cultural diversity is an asset that further enhances the quality of our work. We are expanding this diversity by:
- Increasing the percentage of incoming students through more English-taught courses, block instruction, winter/summer academies and appropriate supervision
- Raising the number of outgoing students through corresponding (linguistic and cultural) preparation and by streamlining programmes with our partners abroad
- Giving each student at UAS_BO the opportunity to establish international contacts (or undertake an exchange abroad)
- Offering a programme for visiting professors from abroad
- Bringing our international partners together in the framework of regular University-wide “International Days”, creating in the process a platform for international dialogue for students and teaching staff
- Providing special support for research projects with a strong international dimension and for active participation in international conferences
- Developing further services for our international guests
7. We are conscious of the reciprocal effects these measures have on expanding cultural diversity at our University. Within the scope of its possibilities, the University’s management supports all members who contribute to expanding cultural diversity at UAS_BO.
(Bochum, March 2012, Prof. Dr. Jürgen Bock, Vice President for University Development, Marketing and International Affairs)
UAS_BO has identified the following key policy areas for promoting internationalization:
Student Mobility (Outgoing)
Bochum University of Applied Sciences embraced the importance of internationalization early on, creating numerous opportunities for students to spend one year at selected partner universities abroad and earn a second degree from that university in addition to their UAS-BO degree. These opportunities are being expanded at the undergraduate and postgraduate level with new, selected partner institutions worldwide. In this effort, one regional focus will be on the Scandinavian countries.
Student Mobility (Incoming)
Given the expected decline in German high school graduates starting around 2018, the University will support policies designed to raise international student enrolment at UAS_BO. One way of achieving this goal is offering courses and degree programmes taught in English. The Department of Business Management will offer English-language courses totalling 30 ECTS credits, meaning that English-speaking international students may spend a full semester abroad in Bochum. At the same time, however, policies for incoming students must also reflect the standards defined in the “National Code of Conduct for German Universities Regarding International Students”.
Raising International Awareness
Bochum University of Applied Sciences offers its students a range of cross-disciplinary opportunities to develop and promote their foreign language and intercultural skills. The IZK works to put intercultural issues on the agenda across academic disciplines by designing lectures and courses with an international outlook. But selected issues also make their way into subject-related coursework. The University will look into these existing opportunities to see whether they are sufficient.
The University is already involved in the German-Chinese University and the German-Jordanian University and will continue to support such initiatives in the future. For example, UAS_BO currently takes on a leading role in forging ties between German and Indian universities (Indo German Center for Higher Education, IGCHE). German partners currently include Westphalian University of Applied Sciences in Gelsenkirchen, Hochschule Bonn-Rhein-Sieg University of Applied Sciences (H-BRS) and Zittau/Görlitz University of Applied Sciences.
Cooperate Education Term (industry/lab experience)
Completing one semester of cooperative education is an opportunity for students to gain practical work experience at companies worldwide. The network of industry partners built by UAS_BO professors must be stabilised and expanded through maintaining existing contacts and further networking. The goal must be to encourage more students to make use of this opportunity. The current restructuring of many bachelor’s degrees from six to seven semesters allows for the (re-)introduction of cooperative education terms at most departments.
Successful examples of workshops marked by an international outlook can be found at the departments of architecture and civil engineering but also in mechatronics. Again, the University must look for ways of transferring the experiences gained from these workshops to other departments.
For more than ten years, the Department of Business Management has successfully held its so-called “International Days”. The University now plans to introduce an interdisciplinary “International Day” for all UAS_BO students, featuring a series of lectures from the various departments and disciplines and supporting events to promote intercultural awareness and to inform students about study abroad opportunities and possible sources of funding.
Internationalisation of Research Cooperation
Through its involvement in Tempus projects, Bochum University of Applied Sciences helps support the creation of research structures at universities abroad.
Guest professorships are a way of having native speakers teach courses in various foreign languages, encouraging intercultural dialogue and initiating or consolidating university collaborations in teaching and research. To make teaching at UAS_BO more international, the University will develop and introduce a university-specific programme for guest teachers.
ERASMUS CHARTER FOR HIGHER EDUCATION 2014–2020
As in previous years, Bochum University of Applied Sciences received an ERASMUS CHARTER from the European Commission for the years 2014–2020. The CHARTER entitles the University to engage in mobility programmes sponsored by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). By applying for this award, however, the University also commits itself to complying with certain quality standards and to promoting the international exchange of students and staff.
Further information and advice on the Erasmus+ mobility measures is available from the DAAD.
This project was funded with support from the European Commission. The sole responsibility for the content of this publication lies with the author; the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.