Furtwangen university has a distinctly global outlook which is our hallmark. We are one of the most prestigious international universities in Germany with a higher than average number of students and teaching staff spending time abroad every year. The University has a large percentage of international students and cooperates with numerous partner universities, companies and research institutions worldwide. Our location on three campuses in the beautiful area of south-west Baden-Württemberg, makes HFU an attractive destination for our international guests, who also appreciate the welcoming atmosphere and supportive staff, as well as our close contacts with organizations in the region.
Furtwangen University cooperates with well over 100 partner universities around the world. A world map with our foreign partner universities can be found in our databank.
Internationality is central to our vision and at the core of our strategy in every area of the university - research, teaching, learning, knowledge and technology transfer, life-long education and administration.
The international strategy of Furtwangen University has 4 strategic core aims:
- As many HFU students as possible should spend an exchange and/or internship semester abroad.
- An international campus is encouraged not only by attracting both international students and academic staff, but also by expanding the number of courses taught in English.
- HFU's international affiliation network should be further developed, building relationships with foreign partner universities and strengthening international contacts.
- HFU students are specifically prepared for international employment and careers.
Internationalization is one of the strategic aims in the development of Furtwangen University, encouraged in every area of the university: teaching, learning, research, continuing education and knowledge and technology transfer. The high level of teaching quality, the international competitiveness and the international visibility of the university is achieved through sustainable, qualitative and cross-faculty internationalization. The individual and differentiated strategies of internationalization at the university are integrated in the strategic goals of the university and comply with the institutional goals and strengths.
Furtwangen University will continue to strive towards the goal of becoming an "International Campus" where people of all origins and backgrounds will study, research, teach and participate in lifelong learning. We support the academic, interdisciplinary, and sociocultural integration and networking of our students to make intercultural dialogue possible. We call upon both students and staff to participate in this tolerant and open-minded academic and cultural exchange.
Furtwangen University supports the mobility of students and university staff in exchange programmes, international collaborative research, integrated degree programmes, bi-national joint degree programmes and internationally and practice-oriented degree programmes. We aim to strengthen and expand worldwide contacts with universities, companies, research institutes and other institutions through long-term strategic partnerships.
Our goal is for at least half of each graduating year to spend an exchange semester abroad and gain international experience. Full transfer of credits for courses taken abroad and improved intercultural and foreign language skills are prerequisites for lasting results and high quality foreign exchanges. Students and staff members who wish to improve their language skills are offered online and international language courses, and a wide range of courses at the Language Center.
The international orientation of curricula and teaching methods is continually updated enabling HFU students to gain international skills whether or not they take part in an exchange. The expansion of courses and degree programmes taught in foreign languages is an integral part of the multilingual policy of the university, as is the encouragement of our international guests to learn German to enable them to make the most of university and daily life in Germany.
Virtual learning opportunities are valuable for internationally oriented degree programmes and university partnerships. Blended Learning methods can be used to integrate short foreign exchanges in the study programmes. Furtwangen University also offers academic professional development through internationally and practice-oriented degree programmes, mobility options for working students and professional development with modules taken abroad.
Many university partnerships are developed and maintained through the efforts of individual members of staff, central services and project groups. Teaching staff regularly take the opportunity to work as a guest lecturer abroad or spend a professional development semester at a partner university abroad.
Under the aegis of HFU International, the 3 central services, the International Center, Language Center and Global Services, make it possible for many students to carry out successful exchanges and make HFU the international and cosmopolitan university that it is.
International Affairs Project Group
The International Affairs Project Group coordinates and accompanies the internationalization process at Furtwangen University. The Project Group initiates and supports university-wide communication of the strategy process and defines guidelines for the internationalization activities of the university. It is also responsible for the operations planning of our internationalization goals and for providing recommendations for implementing such goals.
The Project Group is headed by the Vice President International and Executive Learning supported by Global Services. Other members of the Project Group are the international and regional coordinators from all faculties, the International Center, the Language Center, representatives of central services and additional lay members.
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 2011/2012 Furtwangen University participated in the German Rectors' Conference (HRK) "Internationalization of universities" audit, and in December 2012 the University was awarded the HRK audit certificate.
In the 2016 "International Student Barometer" HFU was ranked 5th among the 36 German universities which took part. This excellent result is only one of many top placings which HFU achieved in the worldwide survey in which 182 universities worldwide took part.
HFU also ranked well in the following areas: "Examinations Office" (2nd place in Germany and internationally), "Internationally-oriented lectures" (3rd place in Germany and internationally), "Tutoring within Buddy Programme" (3rd place in Germany and internationally).
For many international students the teaching and support services at HFU stand out compared to other German universities. They are especially satisfied with the following aspects of teaching at HFU: "Course Organisation (2nd place in Germany), "Quality of lectures" (3rd in Germany), "Learning support" (3rd place in Germany), and "Class size" (3rd place in Germany). In the categories of "Living" and "Support", the level of satisfaction was above the German average in the following areas: "Host friends" (2nd place) and "Setting up a bank account" (3rd place).
The "International Student Barometer" is the largest study of mobile students and PhD candidates worldwide, with over 150,000 students taking part in the survey. This is not the first time HFU has gained top results in the student Barometer. In 2011 student satisfaction was also very high in the areas of "Learning", "Quality of lectures", "Living", "Support", "Work experience" and "Preparation for the workplace".
The 2012 "International Student Barometer" showed that Furtwangen University can more than hold its own with our international competition as a study location for international students. It took first place among all the German universities in the survey.
This fantastic result is a combination of top grades in the areas of , "Learning", "Quality of lectures", "Support", Work experience" and "Preparation for the workplace" which HFU achieved. In the survey of 210,000 students at 208 universities in 16 countries, 34 universities in Germany took part. The "International Student Barometer" is the largest study of mobile students and doctoral candidates worldwide.
In 2006 HFU won the Foreign Office Prize for outstanding support of international students with the "Hand in Hand – Furtwangen University Goes International" project. Prizes were awarded for initiatives offering innovative solutions and particularly effective models of counselling and support for foreign students.
The ERASMUS Charter for Higher Education (ECHE) has been awarded by the European Commission to Furtwangen University for the period 2014-2020. The ECHE entitles the University to participate in ERASMUS mobility programmes. In return, HFU guarantees to fulfill certain quality standards and to promote exchanges of students and staff. The rights and requirements of the students taking part are laid down in the ERASMUS Student Charter. Furtwangen University also had to submit an ERASMUS Declaration of University Policy (EPS) which describes the entire internationalization strategy of the University.
Furtwangen University joined the "National Codex for Internationals studying at German universities" to guarantee and improve the quality of support for international students. The Codex was introduced in 2009 by the German Rectors' Conference. The main aim is to give international students, wherever possible, the same rights as German and EU students, and to provide assistance to foreign guests who particularly need it.
International students who have complaints related to non-compliance with the National Codex, or any general complaints regarding the ERASMUS programme, should contact the Vice-president International and Continuing Education.
Furtwangen University is a member of various networks:
- International Organization of Lake Constance Universities
- Trinational Metropolitan Upper Rhine Region
- Skills Alliance in the Winner Region
More about the networks