A developing Internationalization Strategy

International strategies and cooperations

The University of Stuttgart has made internalization a strategic goal. It cultivates cooperations and partnerships around the globe for networked teaching and research.

Internationally engaged and interconnected

The University of Stuttgart's strategic goal expressed in the slogan “internationally engaged and networked” describes undertakings with a global perspective.

Because an international orientation encourages diverse intellectual approaches, it attracts students and scientists from around the world. The University’s international atmosphere, the way it organizes studies, and the focused way it promotes international projects ensure that our graduates are equipped to meet their responsibilities in various contexts, both here at home and abroad.  

Researchers, students, and staff take international and cultural aspects into account in their methods, programs, and ways of working. They promote the University of Stuttgart’s self-image as a

  • Globally recognized research university on the cutting edge of scientific-technological progress,
  • as well as a

  • Reliable and internationally accepted partner for knowledge and technology transfer in industry, science, and society

Cooperations around the globe

The University of Stuttgart cooperates with foreign universities in both research and teaching. This can mean participation in research alliances, exchange programs or dual-degree study programs. The world map shown here pinpoints partner universities and selected cooperations. For more detail, see the definition list segmented by region, each designated by capital letters on the map.

Weltkarte mit Standorten ausgewählter Kooperationshochschulen auf allen Kontinenten (c)
With 320 cooperations around the world, the University of Stuttgart is part of a global network.
A: North America

17 direct partnerships, 6 country programs totaling more than 60 universities

B: Latin America

28 cooperations

C: Europe

ca. 240 relationships in 32 countries

D: Africa

4 cooperations

E: Asia

22 cooperations

F: Oceania

10 cooperations

Internationalization strategy

The University of Stuttgart is committed to continuing on its path to becoming an internationally leading research university. Internationalization is a qualitative process which affects all departments and member groups at the university, with their array of international activities. It is the basis of

  • increasing our competitiveness in the Stuttgart region with a number of global market-leading companies
  • and developing our graduates into innovative, socially responsible, globally conscious and interculturally educated people.

Therefore, the University of Stuttgart has agreed upon targets and measures in five different areas.

It is important to create awareness of the necessity of a goal-oriented internationalization strategy in all areas of the university. This means that broad-based involvement and close coordination of all structures and decision-makers involved is essential. Internationalization is closely linked with the development of the university and is incorporated into university management and faculties. This ensures a close dialog between all entities.

The research carried out by the University of Stuttgart compares favorably with the best in Germany and around the world. The parameters of international research are determined using the research information system.

A standardized application procedure for doctoral degree students, as well as more international mobility for researchers, in particular doctoral researchers, should make our research even more international.

The university is also focusing on increased internationalization when it comes to knowledge and technology transfer by organizing it with partners from the Strategic International Network University of Stuttgart SINUS and encouraging exchange between the TTI GmbH and similar institutions abroad.

University studies and research at the University of Stuttgart are becoming more internationalized, meaning that

  • the foreign language skills of members of the university are improving,
  • English-language courses at master’s degree level is continuing to grow (25 percent by 2020),
  • English-language courses at bachelor’s degree level are being introduced,
  • there are more lecturers with international experience.

The level of outgoing mobility is increasing, meaning that

  • the process of getting foreign examinations recognized is uniform and more transparent,
  • double/joint degree programs in bachelor’s and master’s degree programs are being expanded,
  • the opportunities to spend time abroad are promoted more heavily.

The University of Stuttgart has an excellent reputation internationally and is attractive to a number of cooperation partners abroad. In order to make better use of the opportunities this provides, the university aims to

  • improve internal communication and collaboration to ensure a sustainable dialog about strategic internationalization,
  • develop cooperation internationally in terms of education,
  • optimize external visibility and branding,
  • take local and global engagement into account,
  • use quality management and data collection to take even better account of internationalization in quality development.

Internationalization will be intensified through advisory and support services to students, prospective students, employees and guests. The university is improving the preparation it offers for stays abroad, not just centrally but also in the faculties. It is strengthening its “welcoming culture” by creating additional offers of support (such as the welcome center, the buddy program, the cross-cultural mentoring program), improving communication between stuvus and international students and seeing them as future alumni who can get other people enthusiastic about the university. Another aim is to provide sufficient low-cost accommodation close to the university for students and guest scientists coming from abroad.

International and intercultural perspectives also play a major role in the administration. Staff are interculturally adept and connected, services are available in both German and English and international employees, guests and students have fixed contact persons and ports of call.

The strategic focus of international activities began in 2011, and was continued in the university’s overall strategy development from 2013 to 2018 as well as by internationalizing the HRK audit process in 2017. Representatives from all faculties, the central units, the administration as well as students have been in dialog with one another about the internationalization strategy since 2018 as part of the Steering Committee Internationalization, and are implementing this strategy together.

Strategic partnerships

The University of Stuttgart has concluded strategic partnerships with select foreign universities. Already in place are oneswith Jiao Tong University in Shanghai and Saint Petersburg Polytechnic University, for example. Others are being prepared for or in the planning stage.

The cooperations span multiple areas. With Shanghai Jiao Tong University, for example, a Joint Research Lab is being set up in China for Stuttgart and Shanghai scientists to do collaborative research on Industry 4.0 projects. For decades, we have enjoyed an active, friendly exchange with professors of the Georgia Institute of Technology that resulted in a dual-degree Master's study program in Mechanical Engineering in which both institutions confer degrees.

Brücke über einen Kanal in Minhang in Shanghai. (c) 蟋有的蟀 (Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 3.0)
The university's campus is situated in the Minhang district.

Shanghai Jiao Tong University in China

This university located in China’s economically most powerful region was founded in 1896 and has a comprehensive research-focused, international orientation. It has 37,000 students enrolled in 29 departments. It offers undergraduate programs in economics, law, literature, science, engineering, agriculture, medicine, management and art. Master’s and PhDs are offered in the fields of economics, law, literature, science, engineering, agriculture, medicine and management. Application-oriented teaching and research, both experimental and using simulation technology, are based on- and off-campus. The laboratories, research, and cooperation centers cover broad areas and make comprehensive knowledge transfer to society and the economy feasible.

Homepage of Shanghai Jiao Tong University

Internationale Studierende im Foyer der Polytechnischen Universität Sankt Petersburg. (c) Media Center, SPbPU
Students come to the Polytech from all over the world, among others, to take advantage of a long tradition of mechanical engineering that the university can look back on.

Saint Petersburg Polytechnic State University (SPbPU) in Russia

This university in Russia’s cultural capital was founded 1899 as Peter the Great University. It sees its mission as translating national policies to the university level. The goal is to create a knowledge economy that leads and innovates. This mission can be traced back to its origins: the first faculties to be set up were economic science, naval architecture, electromechanics and metallurgy. Today, most of the roughly 27,000 students are divided among the disciplines of engineering sciences and technologies and the social sciences. Other faculties are mathematics and natural sciences, humanities, art and educational sciences.

Homepage of the Polytechnic State University Saint Petersburg

Blick in den großen Hörsaal der Universität Bergamo, eine alte Kirche. (c) Università degli Studi di Bergamo (public domain)
Innovation meets tradition: The Aula Magna of the University of Bergamo is located in the heart of the medieval Old Town.

University of Bergamo (Università degli Studi di Bergamo) in Italy

The University of Bergamo is in Lombardy, Italy’s strongest economic region. It opened its doors in 1968 and has about 16,000 students divided between three city campuses. Economics and law are taught downtown; humanities, human science and social sciences as well as linguistics and cultural studies are based in the medieval old town, and the engineering sciences occupy an outlying industrial area, which makes it an optimal location for knowledge transfer and cooperations with industry.

Homepage of the University of Bergamo

Contact

Wolfgang Holtkamp
Dr.

Wolfgang Holtkamp

Senior Advisor International Affairs (SAIA)

To the top of the page