Germany: a country with international relationships and engaged globally in training and research

Federal Government publishes "Report on International Cooperation in Education, Science and Research 2017-2018"

The cabinet has approved the second report from the Federal Government on international cooperation in education, science and research. The report provides information on the activities undertaken in 2017 and 2018. Federal Minister of Education and Research Anja Karliczek commented:

"Successful research requires international cooperation. Only in this way can research also find answers to the global challenges of our time – such as climate change.

The latest report from the Federal Government on international cooperation in education, science and research shows that the German research and education landscape has also recognised this and, for this reason, has developed an extensive international network. Maintaining and strengthening this network is a high priority for the Federal Government and for my ministry in particular. For this reason, the Federal Ministry of Education and Research alone made around € 978 million available in 2018 for strengthening international cooperation.

In order to strengthen research over the long term, we have to develop education and skills training internationally. In doing so we contribute a great deal – together with the federal states and universities – to establishing Germany as an outstanding centre for science and research. With this in mind, I am particularly delighted that, as a place to study and research, our country attracts increasing numbers of excellent students. The Federal Government’s original target of attracting 350,000 foreign students to Germany by the end of the decade was surpassed ahead of schedule in the 2016/2017 winter semester. In the 2017/2018 winter semester, the number of foreign students in Germany rose again to around 375,000, equivalent to around 13 percent of all students.

I also regard it as a success that in recent years significant strides have been made in terms of cooperation with Africa. For several years, the Ministry of Education and Research has been working intensively together with partners from ten countries of western Africa (WASCAL) and five countries of southern Africa (SASSCAL) on establishing two regional centres of excellence for climate change and land management. We are helping to put in place excellent training structures in these locations. This is because helping people to help themselves in dealing with climate change needs a lot of well-trained people. In 2018 alone, the funding provided for project cooperation with Africa was € 33.5 million. Cooperation with African partners received a new overall strategic framework in November 2018 with the publishing of the BMBF’s Africa strategy.

On the part of the EU, Horizon 2020 is the supporting programme for research and innovation and represents the key implementation instrument for the European research area. Germany has been actively involved in this over the reporting period. German organisations, for example, received approximately €6.12 billion of European grant funding from the programme between January 2014 and March 2019. This makes Germany the leading nation of all those involved.

The report also shows that, in addition to science and research, issues relating to education and training policy-making are increasingly gaining importance. During the Argentinian G20 presidency, the first meeting of G20 education ministers took place in 2018. The German dual model of vocational education and training is regarded globally as the example to follow for the future. I am very pleased that this is the case. This is because vocational education and training gives young people a solid foundation for a successful professional career with a wide range of different opportunities for advancement. The Federal Government has now concluded 16 bilateral cooperation agreements globally relating to vocational education and training.

International cooperation and networking strengthen Germany as a centre for science – the report demonstrates this impressively."

Source: (press release of the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research), revised by iMOVE, February 2020