Conference report

Which learning outcomes receive particular emphasis when internationalizing curricula and which methods can we employ to help students to achieve these learning outcomes? How can curricula in specific disciplines be internationalized? Which role do digital media play in internationalization processes? How can the systematic internationalization of the formal curriculum be productively linked to the informal curriculum and other measures of 'Internationalization at Home'? Which challenges do we face within the framework of the German higher education system and its structural characteristics, and which opportunities arise?

These were some of the key questions discussed during the two-day conference, which opened with public lecture on the internationalisation of the Humanities curriculum by the renowned Postcolonal Studies scholar Prof. Homi K. Bhabha (Harvard University).

In her keynote lecture with the title "Internationalisation of the Curriculum: Challenges, Misconceptions, and the Role of the Disciplines," em. Prof. of the Internationalisation of Higher Education Elspeth Jones (Leeds Beckett University, UK), offered an introduction to the conceptual foundations of the topic. Another keynote lecture was delivered by Dr. Michael Harms from the German Academic Exchange Service, who discussed the connection between virtual and physical mobility and the resulting consequences for German higher education institutions.

"How international can, how international must a medical curriculum be today?" asked Prof. Reinhard Putz (LMU Munich) in his plenary lecture and elucidated the relevance of international learning materials and content in medical education. Frederik De Decker (Ghent University) reported on the systematic and comprehensive internationalisation of the curricula at Ghent University and the ways in which successful measures for quality assurance in internationalisation have been implemented there. Prof. Hiltraud Casper-Hehne, Vice-President for International Affairs at the University of Goettingen, introduced the pilot scheme "Internationalisation of the Curricula: Internationalisation - Digitalisation - Diversity," devoting particular attention to the University's approach to change management and the process of internationalising the curricula.

The conference participants shared experiences and good practice examples in a variety of workshop sessions. Among the topics discussed were fundamental questions and strategic points of departure, 'employability' and internationalised curricula, and the use of cultural diversity as a resource in teaching and learning as well as on teacher training programmes. Other sessions also devoted attention to the potential of digital formats and research-oriented teaching and learning.

The conference closed with a panel discussion. Dr. Gordon Bölling (HRK), Dr. Christian Schäfer (DAAD), Isabel Schünemann (Stifterverband für die Wissenschaft), Dr. Antje Tepperwien (VolkswagenStiftung), Peter Hassenbach (BMBF) drew conclusions from the conference. They reminded the audience that English-taught programmes alone do not suffice to prepare students for the globalised workplace. Furthermore, they pointed to the potential of digital media and elaborated on the necessity of internationalising the curricula in higher education.