Awards & Networks
Furtwangen University is a member of various national and international networks and university organizations, has signed several declarations to secure quality standards for the internationalization of the university and has received several awards for its efforts to internationalize study programmes, teaching and research.
In 2011/12 Furtwangen University participated in the German Rectors' Conference (HRK) "Internationalisation of Universities" audit and in December 2012 the university was awarded the HRK Audit Certificate.
Prof. Dr. Michael Lederer, Vice President for International Affairs and Executive Education: "The HRK Audit takes us a step further in the internationalization process. One great advantage we have is that the project group is made up of members of staff from all HFU areas and campuses - the International Center, Language Center, the faculties and administration - and this creates a dynamic of change. We're already at a high level but continual improvement is our declared aim, both in our strategic approach and in the measures based upon it."
International Student Barometer
Furtwangen University can more than hold its own with competition in the international marketplace as the results of the International Student Barometer, published in April 2012, clearly show. HFU was the top-ranked German university of the 34 which took part in the survey.
The placing resulted from the various top grades HFU gained in the areas of "Learning", "Quality of lectures", "Living", "Support", "Work experience" and "Preparation for the workplace". Over 210,000 students from 208 universities, 34 of which were German, in 16 countries took part in the questionnaire. The"International Student Barometer" is the largest study of mobile students and PhD candidates worldwide.
Foreign Office Prize
With the "Hand in Hand – Furtwangen University Goes International" project in 2006, HFU won the Foreign Office prize for outstanding support of international students. Prizes were awarded for initiatives offering innovative solutions and particularly effective models of counselling and support for foreign students.
The "Hand in Hand - Furtwangen University goes International" project involved setting up a complete range of services for international students in cooperation with various external organizations such as Student Services Freiburg and the Catholic Student Congregation (KSG). These services specifically took into account the unique study location of Furtwangen. In a town of only 10,000 inhabitants located in the rural region of the southern Black Forest, the services offered had to differ from those offered in large university towns.
The "Hand in Hand" project aimed not only to help international students to deal with their study and daily life, but also to encourage cooperation between international and German students. The "Hand in Hand" award was an acknowledgement of all the hard work the individual members involved in the project put in to optimize support for international students.
ERASMUS Charter for Higher Education and ERASMUS Policy Statement
The European Commission has once again awarded Furtwangen University an Erasmus Charter for Higher Education (ECHE), this time for the period from 2014 - 2020. The ECHE gives the university the right to participate in ERASMUS mobility programmes. In return, HFU is required to meet certain quality standards and to promote student and staff exchange. The rights and requirements of the students taking part in the programme are laid down in the ERASMUS Student Charter. Furtwangen University has also submitted an ERASMUS Policy Statement in which the university's internationalization policy is described.
National Codex for foreign students studying at German universities
In order to ensure the quality of support for foreign students and improve it further, Furtwangen University has signed the "National Codex for foreign Students studying at German Universities". The national codex was passed in 2009 at the German Rectors' Conference. The rationale behind the codex is to grant international students wherever possible the same rights as German and coequal EU students and to provide the help that they require as foreign guests.
Complaints by foreign students regarding breaches of the national codex, or any complaints in connection with the ERASMUS programme, should be directed to:
International Organization of Lake Constance Universities
Furtwangen University is a member of the cross-border university organization, the Hochschulverbund Internationale Bodensee-Hochschule (International Organization of Lake Constance Universities). Thirty universities from four countries - Germany, Switzerland, Austria and Lichtenstein - belong to the organization. With over 100,000 students, approximately 20,000 members of staff and 3,000 professors, this organization is the largest inter-university organization in Europe. The member universities are actively networked using synergies for cross-border collaborations. The IBH supports projects in the areas of teaching, research and development, knowledge and technology transfer and structure building, in which a minimum of 2 universities from at least 2 of the 4 member countries participate.
Trinational Metropolitan Upper Rhine Region (TMO)
Furtwangen University is a cooperation partner in the Trinationalen Metropolregion Oberrhein (Trinational Metropolitan Upper Rhine Region), an exemplary Centre of Excellence in the heart of Europe. The Upper Rhine region on the borders between France, Germany and Switzerland, plays a leading role in research, development and innovation. The TMO connects many first-rate academic universities and research and development institutes with high-growth potential sectors and innovative companies, creating an effective network of those at the forefront of research, development and innovation.
As a member of GATE-Germany, Furtwangen University has access to the services of the largest and most-experienced providers of international university marketing. Started in 2001, GATE-Germany now has 147 member universities at which 85% of all international students in Germany are enrolled. The target-market and region-specific services of GATE-Germany take into consideration the various needs of the universities which are supported through the worldwide image campaign, "Study in Germany - Land of Ideas". GATE-Germany also delivers marketing strategies and the professional positioning of German universities on the international education market.