Wissenschaft weltoffen - The Blog

The central aim of the Wissenschaft weltoffen blog is to support the exchange between university research and university practice in the field of internationalisation and academic mobility. To this end, we conduct interviews with relevant researchers, draw attention to current data collections and studies and carry out small special analyses from the Wissenschaft weltoffen database. Please note that the views expressed in the interviews do not necessarily reflect the views of the DAAD or the DZHW.

“Research shows that migration also has positive effects in the countries of origin”

Johannes Haushofer is a development economist and Professor of Economics at the National University of Singapore and Stockholm University. One of his main research interests is the reduction of poverty in the Global South. At the same time, he is also active as a practitioner in this field: in 2021, he founded the organisation Malengo, which enables school graduates from low-income countries to study in Europe. The impact of their support is being scientifically analysed by an independent research team. In this interview, Johannes Haushofer explains how he came to investigate the effects of educational migration, how exactly the Malengo project works and which research questions are at the centre of the investigation into its impact.

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“Small experiences within daily living collectively create really powerful cultural learning opportunities”

Dr. Jenna Mittelmeier is a researcher and lecturer in International Education at the Institute of Education at the University of Manchester. Together with other researchers, she just published the latest edition of the “DAAD Research Brief”. It contains the findings of a qualitative interview study on the everyday experiences of international students in Germany and their significance for students' intercultural learning. In the interview, she explains the specific and innovative approach of the study, summarises the most important findings of the study and explains what recommendations she believes can be made for university practice on this basis.

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“Our methodology is very similar to that used for election forecasts”

This winter semester, the DAAD once again conducted a Snapshot Survey on the number of international students in Germany, in which 170 universities from all over Germany took part. Based on this feedback, the DAAD is forecasting a new all-time high in student numbers. In our interview, DAAD expert Dr Jan Kercher explains why the DAAD has been conducting the annual Snapshot Surveys since 2020, how the forecast of student numbers is compiled and which findings from this year’s survey are particularly noteworthy in his view.

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“International students are actively pursued by several countries as “ideal” immigrants”

Roopa Desai Trilokekar is an associate professor at York University in Toronto, Canada. In this role, she heads the international research project "International students are "ideal" immigrants: A critical discourse analysis of study-migration pathways in Canada, Australia and Germany", in which a total of ten researchers from Canada, Australia and Germany are involved. In the interview, she explains what prompted the research project, what she sees as the key findings of the analyses to date and what conclusions can be drawn from this for higher education policy and practice.

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“A lot of research about international students wasn’t very good”

Dr. Jenna Mittelmeier is a researcher and lecturer in International Education at the Institute of Education at the University of Manchester. Together with other researchers, she recently launched the website "Research with International Students", which will be followed by an anthology and conference of the same name at the end of 2023. In the interview, she explains what prompted these projects, which topics are in focus and what she sees as the biggest challenges and research gaps in research with and about international students.

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“For many prospective students it was very important to hear the firsthand experiences of other students in Germany”

Dr Sazana Jayadeva is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of Cambridge in the UK. In a recently published analysis, she examines the question of what influence Indian influencers in social media such as Facebook and YouTube have on the decisions of prospective Indian students in favour of Germany as a possible host country. In the interview, she explains what prompted this research question, what the key findings of her study are and what conclusions she believes can be drawn from this for university practice.

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“International students need early access to information about how to prepare for work in Germany”

The new "DAAD Research Brief" issue provides an overview of the current structures and strategic perspectives of International Career Services at German universities. In our interview, author Jessica Schueller from Miami University in Ohio, USA, explains which specific requirements International Career Services must fulfil, which concepts can be differentiated here and what the central challenges are when setting up such services for international students.

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“Many of the funded researchers kept an affiliation with Germany even after the funding had ended”

How does DAAD funding for international doctoral students affect their research and publication behaviour? This question was investigated in a study recently published in the "DAAD Research in Brief" series. The study was conducted by a research team from Stellenbosch University in South Africa and Leiden University in the Netherlands. In this interview, the three members of the research team explain exactly how they went about it, which findings they consider to be particularly noteworthy and what conclusions can be drawn from this for research and practice.

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“Virtual Exchange can teach important skills for the international labour market”

With the “DAAD Research Briefs”, the DAAD offers a publication series that aims to make current academic findings comprehensible and usable for higher education practitioners. In the fourth issue, Dr Robert O'Dowd, Associate Professor for English as a Foreign Language and Applied Linguistics at the Universidad de León in Spain, reports on the possible uses of Virtual Exchange formats in international higher education and their benefits from the perspective of students and teachers.

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