International Mobility in Research and Teaching

International Mobility in Research and Teaching

The European dimension is apparent not just in the EU framework programme but also in the European mobility programmes, which additionally contain an international component that extends beyond Europe and present opportunities for cooperation beyond the realm of higher education.

All the groups at the University are important to the UDE where international mobility in research and teaching are concerned. It concentrates in particular on the early career stage and the students, but it also takes all researchers, teaching faculty and members of the technical and administrative staff into consideration.

Early career researchers play an important part in internationalizing research. Incoming young scientists and academics with international experience are welcomed at the UDE, helping to maintain international connections and raise the level of internationalism on the home campuses. On the outgoing side, the UDE supports its young scientists in their international networking efforts by enabling them to spend time abroad. It is only with this internationalism and experience that the researchers can pass on their motivation to gain experience abroad to the students.

The UDE therefore participates in numerous international mobility schemes and excellence programmes for early career researchers and academics.

With the special composition of its student body in mind, the UDE sets out to ensure that equality of educational opportunity and social inclusion are also achieved in relation to international mobility and to counteract the mechanisms of social selection in the familiar exchange programmes. The UDE, which has a disproportionately high number of students from a non-academic background, pays particular attention to ensuring that participation in education extends to participation in exchange programmes.

Students who are the first in their family to go into higher education are disproportionately more likely to have little money and therefore no real access to work or study abroad. What is more, students from a migrant background have experience that makes them especially well-equipped for an exchange or work placement abroad. It is therefore important that the advice given to students includes information on financing issues and recognition of academic achievements abroad. At the same time, it is also important to take into account and do justice to the diverse mixture of motivations and prerequisites for study. At central level, the International Office is responsible for international student mobility and cooperates closely with the relevant advisory bodies at faculty level. The UDE has firmly established service and other support offerings in place for the group of students who come from diverse backgrounds, which reflects its awareness of diversity and commitment to the equality of educational opportunity. This commitment applies especially to the first-in-family group of students and equally to international mobility among students with a disability and students with children.

The UDE is increasing the number of students who gain international experience by studying or completing a placement abroad. It makes specific efforts to encourage international mobility, e.g. by systematically increasing placement opportunities or structured offerings for individual degree programmes. A stay abroad as a mandatory component of teaching degrees in foreign-language disciplines and targeted scholarship programmes likewise help to raise the number of students taking advantage of international mobility. The University of Duisburg-Essen’s approach to the recognition of academic achievement abroad is based on the same principle as the Lisbon Convention, i.e. fairness to the student.

Teaching faculty, researchers, and technical and administrative staff are supported in their efforts to spend time abroad and in gaining and intensifying their international skills. They have a well-established range of information and advisory services at their disposal to help them with content, organization and financing, and additional support is available from the international offices of the UA Ruhr should they need it. The UDE also provides appropriate training opportunities to encourage teaching faculty, researchers and other employees to continue building their international skills and experience.