Germany has the largest population of any country in the EU. With close to 400 mostly public universities, 9,500 undergraduate and 6,800 graduate study programs, and a student population of 2.4 million, Germany is an excellent place to teach and conduct research. The German university system features four major types of institutions, and U.S. scholars are highly welcome at all of them: Universitäten (traditional research universities); Fachhochschulen (universities of applied sciences, usually not offering Ph.D. programs); Berufsakademien und Duale Hochschulen (cooperative programs integrating bachelor studies with workplace training); and Research Institutes such as Max-Planck.
German higher education institutions maintain partnerships with 5,000 universities in 150 different countries, many of which take place in the European Higher Education Area, a consortium of 48 countries that have harmonized their higher education structures to increase the academic mobility of their students, faculty, and staff (Bologna Reforms). Additionally, most German universities maintain long-lasting partnerships with one or more American institutions of higher education. Given Germany´s strong interest in keeping up close relations with the U.S., many universities wish to expand their transatlantic networks to discuss strategies and ways to strengthen transatlantic exchange in higher education and seek new U.S. partners for collaborative initiatives in teaching and research. Additionally, several German-American cultural institutes welcome the contribution from U.S. Fulbright scholars and offer opportunities for guest lectures. The German-American Fulbright Commission works with practically all accredited and recognized institutions of higher learning in both countries and sets high quality standards for the selection and sponsorship of excellent scholars and administrators in higher education.
In the Scholar Program, the German-American Fulbright Commission is particularly interested in teaching and/or research proposals based on comparative approaches and issues, especially but not exclusively in the humanities and social sciences. Whether teaching, consulting on course design/curriculum, and/or researching, the specifics of the arrangement should be coordinated directly with the prospective host institution. Preference is given to academic and professional excellence, the originality and innovativeness of the project, its relevance for the academic community, and significance and match with the host affiliation. The Scholars should have strong reasons for wishing to pursue the proposed project in Germany. Their invitation from the German host university should convey a clear idea of what they wish to accomplish during their time as a Fulbright Scholar, not only academically, but also in terms of reaching out to the wider community, as part of the public diplomacy mission of the Fulbright program. The invitation should also include a description of the host’s interest in the applicant’s project, and how both sides will profit from the proposed collaboration. The quality of the invitation letter and of the institutional collaboration proposed therein is an important selection criterion. For maximum outreach and impact, the project activities should take place when German universities are in session, i.e. during the core lecture periods which last from early October until the end of January (fall term) and from early April until the end of June (summer term).
The goal of the U.S. Administrators in International Education Program is a frank and imaginative assessment of how to deepen and even expand transatlantic academic exchanges. Within this framework, the focus of this 14-day seminar is on internationalizing higher education, career services, fundraising, and network building. Participants will have the chance to engage in discussions on recent challenges in German and U.S. higher education, to further their professional development and establish new partnerships.