New global book on collaborative degree programmes

The Institute of International Education in the United States and DAAD – the German Academic Exchange Service – have published a book that looks at the field of international collaborative degree programmes.

Global Perspectives on International Joint and Double Degree Programs was conceived as an orientation for higher education institutions, government agencies and other organisations. It contains essays by 33 experts from six regions across the world.

The publication examines areas such as student demand, employability of graduates and quality assurance. It also looks at what collaborative degree programmes can achieve in regional policy contexts, and presents a number of in-depth case studies.

Joint and double degree programmes were introduced in the 1990s, although it took more than a decade for them to really catch on. Initially, they were run primarily in Europe.

Many institutions across the world have since recognised the benefits that collaborative degrees offer in developing international links and partnerships.

They also enable institutions to widen programmes, strengthen research collaboration, advance internationalisation, raise visibility and prestige – and even boost revenue.

Students are becoming more aware of how important international skills can be and are increasingly grasping opportunities provided by the new programmes.

“Joint and international programmes are an important contribution to the internationalisation of higher education and to the strengthening of international exchange among students and academia,” said DAAD President Margret Wintermantel.

“Since these programmes open up new opportunities to develop strategic partnerships and networks between institutions of higher education worldwide, the number of projects has steadily increased within the last years.”

Allan Goodman, president and CEO of the Institute of International Education, or IIE, said: “As they seek new ways to prepare global citizens and perform cutting-edge research across borders, higher education institutions are increasingly looking to innovations like joint and double degree programmes as a promising path into the future.”

The IIE was founded in 1919 with the aim of promoting international educational exchange. It initially focused strongly on ties with the United States. Inspired by Carl Joachim Friedrich, who went to the US to continue studying political science on a fellowship, the IIE created further fellowships for German students.

The Akademischer Austauschdienst, founded in Germany in 1925, greatly expanded exchange activities, and as the German Academic Exchange Service it is now the largest organisation operating in this field.

Nearly 100,000 students, scholars and professionals benefit from international academic exchange opportunities offered by the two agencies, and institutions are also supported in developing links.

* Michael Gardner Email: