Globus
Globus

We and the German Excellence Initiative

Since 2007, the International Office of the University of Konstanz has significantly contributed to the university’s success during both funding phases of the German Excellence Initiative.

Internationality has established itself as an interdisciplinary topic involving the entire university - expectations and opportunities have changed in Konstanz in fundamental ways. Thanks to the Excellence Initiative, the International Office, departments and other central services, have been able to collectively encourage and shape internationality at the University of Konstanz:

Goals within the scope of the institutional strategy

  • Increasing the international visibility of the University of Konstanz
  • Promoting international cooperation in research
  • Promoting student mobility
  • Recruiting excellent international researchers and junior researchers

Measures

These objectives are of key importance to the university, which is why it instated an International Advisory Board as well as a Vice-Rector for International Affairs and Equal Opportunities, who has an important voice in the university administration. To reach the aforementioned goals, the International Office has utilised a significant amount of Excellence Initiative funding for personnel and material resources since 2007. These goals have been reached through the following measures:

1. Establishing the Welcome Center as the central point of contact for international (junior) researchers with a comprehensive range of services and a high degree of professionalism.

2. Creating additional staff positions within the International Office team, in order to, for example, promote student mobility through the Study Abroad Campaign.

3. Expanding staff positions for coordinating internationalisation measures at the departments. The Erasmus+ Exchange departmental coordinator positions were augmented and professionalised.

4. Improving the cooperation between Research Support and the International Office, as well as establishing new competencies for the creation of new project partnerships, e.g. in the scope of Erasmus+

5. Awarding substantial funds for internationalisation measures to individual researchers and academics (seed money). These funds are awarded by a committee through a competitive selection process in order to close specific funding gaps. Funding is provided for

  • supplements for international stays by doctoral students from Konstanz or abroad
  • international guest lecturers
  • summer schools
  • international conferences and workshops
  • start-up funding for requesting external funding for internationalisation projects

 

Successes

These measures are showing initial results. For the International Office, the first phase of the Excellence Initiative 2007-2012 was used to establish and develop structures and processes. During the second phase 2013-2017, the International Office allocated and awarded additional institutionalised resources. The departmental coordinators and the IO are very proud of

1. a positive funding track record with the DAAD

20072014
DAAD funding volume1.58 million euros 2.21 million euros

2. a successful start into the new EU programme generation "Erasmus+ 2014-2020"

2007/20082015/2016
Outgoings257477
Partner universities180230
Incomings204305
Internships2055
Budget€ 320,000€757,128

  • a significant increase in the key figures
  • 100% approval, right from the start, of the applications for E+ International
  • support of several E+ partnership projects at the intersection between education and research
  • in cooperation with our staff development colleagues, a "certificate of inter-cultural competence" was developed for the research support staff

3. diverse internationalisation activities

2013-2017
start-up funding26
multi-month stays for international doctoral students19
multi-month stays abroad for doctoral students from Konstanz30
invitations for international visiting lecturers42
summer schools11
conferences/workshops47

4. extensive support services from the Welcome Center for international (junior) researchers. The concept of the Welcome Center is based on a unique approach in Europe and even the world. It combines professional service and comprehensive quality management with an extensive range of services in terms of time and scope. The Welcome Center serves as a best practice model for institutions throughout Europe. More than 20 institutions from Germany and Europe have visited the Welcome Center to gather informationon its structure and inner workings. Furthermore, the concept of the Welcome Center has been presented at various German and European conferences. The Welcome Center manages approximately 300 new cases ever year.

 

Outlook

As a result fo this great potential and success, future tasks have been identified that will be tackled in a dynamic process, new development potentials will be sought, new IT solutions will be developed and much more.

The “Culture of Creativity” is an intrinsic part of our highly motivated International Office team at the University of Konstanz.