07. May 2024

University of Bonn’s Internationalization Strategy Recognized University of Bonn’s Internationalization Strategy Recognized

“Internationalization of Universities” re-audit run by the German Rectors’ Conference completed successfully

How much progress has the University of Bonn already made with internationalization, and where is there still room for improvement? The University asked itself these questions for the first time in 2017 when it passed the “Internationalization of Universities” audit organized by the German Rectors’ Conference (HRK). The University’s Rector Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Michael Hoch and its Vice Rector for International Affairs, Prof. Dr. Birgit Ulrike Münch, received a certificate from the HRK earlier today confirming its successful completion of the re-audit. The implementation of around 140 action points has been discussed, supported and evaluated together with experts from the HRK between 2018 and 2024, with a very positive outcome.

The University of Bonn’s internationalization strategy has been recognized.
The University of Bonn’s internationalization strategy has been recognized. - Rector Michael Hoch (left), Vice Rector Birgit Ulrike Münch (center) and Stephan Keuck (HRK, right) with the new certificate. © University of Bonn/Barbara Frommann
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At a special handover ceremony, Stephan Keuck and Alexandra Feisthauer from the HRK presented Rector Michael Hoch and Vice Rector Birgit Ulrike Münch with a certificate confirming the successful re-audit. Many of the planned actions have been initiated over the past few years, and some have been implemented for the long term or already completed.

A willingness to keep on evolving
One of the aspects that the HRK praised in its concluding report was “the willingness to keep on evolving” that it said was apparent throughout the process. Thus the University of Bonn “made efficient and strategic use of the HRK re-audit as a tool to bring numerous elements of its internationalization further forward in a targeted way, link them to its other strategy processes and, in this regard, achieve more broad-based engagement and significant progress within the institution.”

In this context, Vice Rector Birgit Ulrike Münch referenced the highly dedicated work done by the University’s Internationalization Commission on the many action points, which have been formulated over the past few years and which have largely already been implemented successfully: “Above all, I’d like to highlight the outstanding cooperation between the representatives from all our faculties, the student body and our Transdisciplinary Research Areas. We wanted to make sure that all status groups at the University were involved in the ongoing implementation of the Internationalization Strategy, which they have been thanks to everyone’s concerted efforts.”

Many measures already put in place
Among the milestones reached on the University’s path to internationalization have been the introduction of high-profile professorships and the increase in the percentage of international professorships. A network of Bonn University Ambassadors has also been created. These are individuals who completed their doctorate or spent time researching at the University or who have taught for many years in the city and are now acting as its ambassadors in other countries. This makes them ideal contacts for students and lecturers interested in studying, teaching or researching at the University of Bonn.

Birgit Ulrike Münch said: “Other objectives that we’ve already achieved include expanding and funding German courses, drawing up guidelines for internationality in teaching and for a language policy, setting up a Central Translation Service, relaunching the website including providing its German content in English, establishing the Bonn Research Alliance—BORA for short—and working even more closely with the United Nations.” A portfolio of six high-caliber strategic partner universities has also been put together, and the number of international degree and doctoral programs has been increased significantly.

Internationalization a key strategic issue
“Being recognized in this way reaffirms to us that we’re already on the right track with our Internationalization Strategy,” Michael Hoch added. “But we’ve no intention of resting on our laurels. We see the new recommendations for action that the HRK has produced in 2024 as a further challenge and are aiming to devise and implement appropriate measures through our joint efforts. The HRK has confirmed that we’ve already achieved a quantifiable cultural change. Internationalization is and will remain a key strategic issue and is set to play a major role in improving the quality and competitiveness of the University of Bonn even further across the board. The successes that we’ve enjoyed in international rankings make it quite clear that we’ve been able to raise our international profile considerably.”

Even after the successful completion of the re-audit, the University of Bonn’s Internationalization Commission will continue to meet regularly to progress the actions already being implemented and devise a strategy for the next steps. More information on the University of Bonn’s internationalization measures can be found at https://www.uni-bonn.de/en/international/international-profile/2025-internationalization-strategy/2025-internationalization-strategy?set_language=en.

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