The HfG Karlsruhe sees itself as a space of possibility, where connections are created between departments, ideas, and people, and where people learn to create connections. As a space of possibility, it has been and remains international. The participants in this process include everyone with a connection to the HfG; the HfG’s network is global. Our internationalization strategy is intended to honor this process, give it structure where needed, and make it sustainable for the future.
The university of the future is an international university, this seems to be a common understanding. But what does this exactly mean? Especially for a small institution such as the HfG Karlsruhe, where both students and faculty make up a culturally diverse structure. An internationalization strategy for the HfG Karlsruhe cannot be static; it must be dynamic and responsive. At the same time, however, the collaborative processes involved in every strategic initiative must be given careful direction without being robbed of their vitality. The space of possibility embodied by an international HfG must be able to evolve in ways both planned and unplanned. We regard internationalization as a vibrant pathway between structure and process, with boundless hospitality as the guide to all our actions.
The HfG’s internationalization strategy takes shape in interaction with the strategies pursued by the German government and the state of Baden-Württemberg, as well as the HfG’s own strategic priorities. Four questions are of particular relevance here
Internationally oriented interdisciplinarity and transdisciplinarity have been part of the HfG Karlsruhe’s identity since its founding. This means that we combine an interdisciplinary approach to work, research, teaching, and learning with an internationally focused education program to train students who are capable of thinking and moving in interdisciplinary, networked, and cosmopolitan ways, in productive dialogue with a wide range of different positions. As an institution the HfG Karlsruhe has to remain aware of this constantly. An internationalization strategy can raise awareness within the institution.
The HfG Karlsruhe is an international space of possibility. A large proportion of both students and faculty operate in an international context and have an international background. In many courses, the language of instruction is English; others may be temporarily taught in English as enrollment dictates. As is typical at a university of the arts, the topics explored arise out of global discourses. In keeping with its underlying concept, the HfG has an established network of partners in Europe (Erasmus) and around the world. These partnerships are of benefit not only to students, but to all members of the university.
The HfG Karlsruhe is constantly developing its identity; In terms of internationalization, the following points are strategically important:
- Networking: Building collaborative relationships (Erasmus/overseas) with suitable partners to secure the HfG’s position in contexts of global arts, design, and theory
- The HfG Karlsruhe is rooted in Europe and views itself as part of the landscape of European higher education – its lived identity is that of a cultural diversity that can only be found in transnational dialogue and respect for others. The opportunity to research, teach, study, and communicate without limits in this expanded space is regarded as a special phenomenon, and as a privilege to be safeguarded and cultivated.
- Extending mobility (students, staff, etc.): Internationalization exists not on paper but through people. The HfG cultivates and promotes increased mobility for everyone connected with the school, as well as international students and faculty who wish to learn, teach, and research at the HfG.
- Structured internationalization of educational offerings: Developing specifically internationally oriented programs of study to attract the world’s leading figures in art, design, and academia, thereby bringing the world to the HfG Karlsruhe (“internationalization at home”).
- Internationalization on all levels: Internationalization cannot be pursued on the student, faculty, and content levels alone; it must also be developed on the administrative level. A welcoming HfG brings everyone along.
- Expanding scholarships to assist students with limited financial resources: The extension of participation to those whose opportunities for mobility are limited by their circumstances must also be a part of any internationalization strategy.
- Raising awareness: Internationalization is relevant to all of us!
- Internationalization and global thought and action as an integral approach to teaching and research
- Targeted information on the topic of internationalization for students and staff
- Transparent description of processes and responsibilities in the area of internationalization
- Cultivation of international partnerships
- Evaluation of existing partnerships, strategic search for new partnerships
- Adequate support for international students
- Continuing education for staff (language classes, intercultural training, etc.)
- Acquisition of scholarship funding
- Development of international programs of study (e.g. doctoral programs)
- International Office as central point of contact