New Frontiers for Ideas - The internationalization of German

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					           New Frontiers for Ideas
           The internationalization of German humanities


Published by
Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung/

Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)

Humanities, Social and Cultural Sciences,

Academies, Research Museums

53170 Bonn

In writing to the publisher
PO Box 30 02 35
53182 Bonn
Or by
Phone: +49(0)1805 – 26 23 02
Fax: +49(0)1805 – 26 23 03
(0.14 euros/min. from the German fixed network, max. 0.42 euros/min. 

from German mobile networks)



Edited by
Rolf Geserick (PT DLR, Bonn)

Many of the examples cited in the text are based on the BMBF study 

„The International Standing of the Humanities in Germany“ (2010), 

conducted by HIS Hochschul-Informations-System GmbH (Hanover) 

and written by Karl-Heinz Minks und Lars Fischer.

Paul Cohen

Christiane Zay, W. Bertelsmann Verlag (wbv), Bielefeld,

Printed by

Bonn, Berlin 2011

Photo credits
Cover and p. 28: getty images; PT-DLR, Marco Schmidt: p. 3, 4, 7, 8, 13,

15, 17, 20, 24; Kompetenznetz Crossroads Asia (Bonn): p. 10; DAAD: p. 12;

bpk/Gemäldegalerie, SMB, Kaiser Friedrich-Museums-Verein/Jörg P.

Anders: p. 18; ZDF: p. 21; GHI (Washington): p. 25; Orient-Institut

Beirut: p. 33; Klassik Stiftung Weimar/Museen, Toma Babovic: p. 34

       New Frontiers for Ideas
       The internationalization of German humanities



The humanities thrive on diverse intellectual and        The present brochure documents selected re ­
cultural exchanges that extend far beyond the        sults from a study and a conference “Mind Cross­
national stage. In fact, they only achieve their     ing Borders” on the international character of the
full potential in an international context. Clas ­   humanities. Outstanding research in Germany
sical philology, for instance, flourishes thanks     is the key to successful networking. The BMBF is
to the great archaeological discoveries made in      actively also effectively promoting the humanities
Greece, Asia Minor and in the regions that were      with its “Freedom for Research in the Humanities”
part of the Roman Empire. Furthermore, studying      initiative.
modern foreign languages, along with the pursuit
of historical and cultural studies, is enriched          It is clear that the international character of
in countless ways by study-related stays and         research in the humanities has to be improved –
language-study trips abroad.                         and promoting multilingual publications, pursu­
                                                     ing exchanges with other cultures of knowledge
    In 2006, the German Council of Science and       and integrating non-Western knowledge into
Humanities found that the humanities enjoyed         historical studies can help make this a reality.
excellent international orientation and network­     In addition, it is essential to enhance Germany’s
ing. In order to further promote the international   attractiveness as a center of research among
character of the humanities, the German govern­      young academics in the humanities. International
ment has established four key objectives. The aim    exchanges make an important contribution
is to enhance research collaborations worldwide,     towards achieving these goals.
tap into innovative potential on an international
scale, strengthen collaborations with developing
countries in the areas of education, research and
development – and, last but not least, assume
international responsibility for tackling global
challenges. These principles also fully apply to     Prof. Dr. Annette Schavan, MP
the humanities and social sciences. To help pave     Federal Minister of Education and Research
the way forward, the Federal Ministry of Educa­
tion and Research (BMBF) is fostering comprehen­
sive academic exchanges with foreign cultures
through the Foundation of German Humanities
Institutes Abroad (DGIA).
conTenTs                                                                                                                                                           1



The international standing of the humanities in Germany –
Important results of the HIS study ............................................................................................................................   3

Characteristics of international activities in the humanities .........................................................................                           6

New Frontiers for Ideas – facts on the exchange of students and researchers ...........................................                                           11

The German language: a bridge between cultures and a barrier .................................................................                                    14

The “legacy of the grand old masters” and research quality today ..........................................................                                       18

An international comparison of research conditions at German universities ..........................................                                              22

Experience abroad, career-oriented and mobile: young academics and junior researchers ...................                                                         23

Data and survey methods of the HIS study, future areas of research .........................................................                                      26

Results of the “Mind Crossing Borders” conference from the perspective of the BMBF ..........................                                                     30

New frontiers for science – the German government’s internationalization strategy ..............................                                                  31

How the BMBF promotes the international character of the humanities ..................................................                                            33

Bibliography, references and tips for further reading ......................................................................................                      36
ImporTanT resulTs of The hIs sTudy                                                                                       3

 The international standing of the humanities
 in Germany – Important results of the HIS study

 The humanities in Germany are highly
 respected around the world. This was the
 conclusion reached by a study entitled “The
 International standing of the humanities in
 Germany”, in which hIs Gmbh (hochschul­
 Informations-system) surveyed 1,250 hu­
 manities scholars from Germany, the uK,
 australia, Japan and the usa.

 “The quality of the research has a reputation for
 being methodically outstanding. Germany sets
 worldwide standards for many subject areas”, says
 Karl-Heinz Minks, who directed the study. A wide­
 ranging research environment and the existence
 and excellence of so-called “small disciplines”
 constitute an internationally respected wealth
                                                      Karl-Heinz Minks (HIS Hochschul-Informations-System GmbH,
 of academic diversity.                               Hanover) directed the study entitled “The International Standing
                                                      of the Humanities in Germany” and presented the results at the
     By gazing inwards and gazing outwards, i. e.,    BMBF’s “Mind Crossing Borders” conference in Bonn on February
 examining self-perceptions and perceptions by        25-26, 2010.

 others, the study paints a diverse picture of the
 current standing of the humanities in Germany.
 This is neither an evaluation of subject areas in    Here are the key results of the study:
 the humanities nor an international comparative
 study. Instead, the study illustrates the interna­   an outsider’s perspective
 tional character of the humanities in Germany.
 Its objective is not to conduct an international     The humanities in Germany are highly respected
 comparison, but rather to gain a clearer under­      around the world. Humanities scholars from
 standing of the reputation of the humanities on      abroad unanimously underscore the outstanding
 the international academic stage, and to assess      quality of Germany’s libraries, archives and muse­
 how this status could be improved. The core of       ums. The wide range of source material available
 the explorative study consists of 49 structured      here induces them to take frequent research trips
 interviews and an online survey of humanities        to Germany (p. 18).
 scholars from Germany and abroad (more on this
 in the chapter on “Data and survey methods …”            Researchers and instructors from abroad
 p. 26).                                              also particularly appreciate Germany’s many
                                                      programs to promote international mobility (the
                                                      German Academic Exchange Service – DAAD, the
                                                      Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, etc. see p. 9).
                                                      Nevertheless, they feel that it is extremely diffi­
                                                      cult in Germany to penetrate the “inner research
                                                      circles” or acquire a German professorship. When
                                                      this succeeds, however, they say that outsiders
                                                      receive an extremely collegial welcome and
                                                      a great deal of friendly support (p. 22).
4                                                                                 ImporTanT resulTs of The hIs sTudy

    Germany’s reputation as a center of research                  recent years in Germany that have resulted in the
in the humanities still heavily relies on the                     elimination of professorships and mid-level fac­
“legacy of the grand old masters” from the 19th                   ulty positions, particularly in the small disciplines
and 20th centuries. Germany’s ongoing high level                  that traditionally enjoy an outstanding reputa­
of methodology, which is largely based on the                     tion. This is echoed by criticism of the conditions
academic foundations that were laid back then,                    for young academics in Germany – conditions
determines the image and status of the country’s                  which are seen as not highly competitive in com­
current research practices in the humanities                      parison to Anglo-American countries. Although
(p. 18).                                                          the situation enjoyed by young academics in
                                                                  other countries may on average be no better than
                                                                  in Germany, the tendency is actually for the best
                                                                  educated young academics in the humanities
                                                                  in Germany to be attracted to prestigious and
                                                                  comparatively well-endowed higher education
                                                                  institutions abroad (p. 23).

                                                                  International contacts

                                                                  Humanities scholars from Germany maintain
                                                                  most of their research-related contacts in the
                                                                  USA (43 percent), the UK (30 percent) and France
                                                                  (23 percent). This is followed by Austria (20 per­
                                                                  cent), Switzerland and Italy (each with 16 per­
Dr. Angelika Willms-Herget, head of the Department of             cent); the figures for all other countries remain
Humanities, Social and Cultural Studies at the Federal Ministry   under 10 percent (p. 6).
of Education and Research, welcomed participants to the BMBF
                                                                     Research in the humanities in Germany and
                                                                  abroad is highly individualized and, at the same
challenges                                                        time, influenced by informal research networks.
                                                                  The type and intensity of international network­
Germany’s wide-ranging research environment in                    ing depends on the discipline and the subject of
the humanities combined with the existence and                    the research or studies (p. 7).
excellence of small disciplines constitutes an in­
ternationally respected – yet jeopardized – wealth                   Instrumental music is one of the fields of study
of academic diversity (p. 6).                                     with the highest proportions of foreign students
                                                                  in Germany (33 percent during the 2006/2007
    This resource is threatened in part by a wide ­               winter semester). Many of these future musicians
spread yet biased economic applicability ration­                  study not only one or two semesters in Germany,
ale, which acts as a determining factor when                      but also conclude their studies here. Exceptional
universities decide whether to maintain or fill                   career opportunities and Germany’s excellent
top academic positions or (sub-)disciplines (p. 20).              master-student ratio are responsible for both
                                                                  the high proportion of international students in
   Institutionalized international research colla­                Germany and the relatively low foreign mobility
borations consisting of project-related research                  of German music students (p. 12/13).
consortia tend to be the exception rather than
the rule. In the interest of appropriately adapting                  The HIS graduate survey (2006/07) revealed
international research collaborations to meet cur­                that the pursuit of a course of study in the
rent needs, humanities scholars would like to see                 humanities includes a stay abroad more often
a more flexible funding system here (p. 6).                       than in nearly all other disciplines (51 percent).
                                                                  Nevertheless, these stays abroad are primarily un­
   Both German and foreign humanities schol­                      dertaken in the fields of languages and cultural
ars are concerned about cutbacks introduced in                    studies (p. 11).
ImporTanT resulTs of The hIs sTudy                                                                       5

     A large proportion of the foreign humanities      statistical data as well as data from academic
 scholars in Germany who receive funding are           programs that provide funding for international
 graduate students, particularly doctoral candi­       exchanges of students and researchers.
 dates. Most of these scholars come from the USA,
 followed by Russia, France, Poland and China.             Invitations to participate in the online survey
 When it comes to foreign faculty members at           were sent to all scholars in the nine subject areas
 German higher education institutions, European        in Germany whose e-mail addresses were publicly
 and Anglo-American countries of origin dominate       available via the department websites of German
 in languages and cultural studies, as well as in      universities. In addition, in Australia, the UK and
 artistic and musical areas of study (p. 5).           the USA, approximately 400 to 500 randomly
                                                       selected representatives of these subject areas
 Visibility of (German-language) research              in each country were asked to take part in the
                                                       online survey (p. 26).
 Today, German is still only internationally recog­
 nized as an academic language in sub-disciplines
 of the humanities. Research results published in
 German have too little impact on international
 academic discourse. By all appearances, it would
 be advantageous to provide more funding for
 high-quality translations of academic essays and
 monographs into English and other languages
 (p. 14).

    Of the surveyed humanities scholars from
 Australia, the UK and the USA, it should be
 noted however that 69 percent read publications
 in French, followed by 59 percent who read
 German, 21 percent Italian, 17 percent Spanish
 and 12 percent Dutch (p. 16).

     Readers from abroad are often confronted
 with a “highly academic” language in German
 research publications that laypeople cannot deci­
 pher. By adopting a more popular style of writing,
 which nonetheless retains the substance of the
 results, Germany’s latently jeopardized humani­
 ties research could reach a wider audience (p. 14).


 The HIS study consists of a quantitative and a
 qualitative analysis. The core of this explorative
 study consists of 49 structured interviews and an
 online survey of humanities scholars from Germa­
 ny and abroad. The field phase of the study took
 place from mid-November 2008 to early January
 2009. Nine subject areas in the humanities were
 selected for the interviews and the online survey.
 The online survey in Germany is representative
 of the selected subject areas. In addition to em­
 pirical data and interviews, a third pillar of this
 study consists of secondary analyses of official
6                                                            characTerIsTIcs of InTernaTIonal acTIVITIes In The humanITIes

Characteristics of international activities 

in the humanities

International research activities in the                                  tology, Arab/Islamic studies, religious studies)
humanities can come in many guises, such                                  that ascribe the greatest amount of importance to
                                                                          international networks.
as meeting with colleagues at conferences,
establishing personal networks, belonging                                     Due to Germany’s federal system, both the
to an editorial board, evaluating research                                federal government and the states are involved in
and working with a multinational team of                                  the debate on the current situation and the out­
                                                                          look for these small disciplines. Current plans call
associates. admittedly, however, the results
                                                                          for the range of subject areas and the research en­
achieved don’t always reflect the efforts                                 vironment of the “small” subject areas to be given
made.                                                                     a greater European focus, further developed and
                                                                          more closely coordinated with each other than
                                                                          in the past. Since location-independent learning
The vast majority of the humanities scholars                              has become very common, there is no need for
interviewed have no doubt about the importance                            extremely small disciplines to be taught and of­
of having an international orientation. After all,                        fered in every state. It is this type of approach in
it also helps build their personal reputation. How­                       particular that meets the standards of the Euro­
ever, they have differing views on the necessity                          pean Research Area. Furthermore, new subject
of international networking, depending on their                           areas deserve to be conceived and established in
field of study. The more international their own                          European dimensions. Some of these newcomers
objects of research and the smaller their scientific                      to the academic stage have been created based
community, the higher they tend to rate the ne­                           on new findings and continue to grow because
cessity of taking an international approach, and                          there is a need for them. Others are derived from
their own research network tends to have a more                           older subject areas, which are being split up – or
pronounced international character. Thus it is the                        have already split up – into a number of smaller
“small” subject areas (e. g., African studies, Egyp­                      disciplines.

Figure 1: Countries in which humanities scholars from Germany have the most research-related contacts
          (in %, multiple answers)

                               In which of the following countries are the majority of your research-related contacts?

                       USA                                                                               43

                         UK                                                      30

                     France                                          23

                    Austria                                    20

               Switzerland                              16

                       Italy                            16

              Netherlands                      9

                    Poland                7

                   Sweden             4

                  Denmark         3

                            0                      10           20                30                40               50
Source: template 11 from Minks‘ presentation
characTerIsTIcs of InTernaTIonal acTIVITIes In The humanITIes                                                               7

networking often, yet rarely working
in groups
Research in the humanities in Germany is
traditionally a highly individualized pursuit
and working in research groups is relatively
rare. Collaborations also often take place on an
individual or informal basis, and sometimes even
in a haphazard manner, and may, at times, be
limited to reading certain texts or using a foreign
archive. Not everyone, of course, is as internation­
ally mobile as Kiran Klaus Patel. Within just a few
years, Patel worked at the Humboldt University in
Berlin, at Harvard and at the European University
Institute in Florence, allowing him to contribute        Perfectly combining theory and practice: Guest speaker Prof. Homi
to intensive dialogue between (scientific) cultures      Bhabha (Harvard, 3rd from left) says that eating together and so­
and act as an interpreter among them.                    cializing is essential for successful academic exchanges. This photo
                                                         shows him enjoying dinner with participants of the conference
                                                         entitled “Mind Crossing Borders” by the Federal Ministry of Educa­
    When it comes to internationalizing their            tion and Research (BMBF).
efforts, all researchers endeavor to build up their
own personal networks or seek to become integral
members of existing ones. In the opinions of those      contacts that are established at conferences and
interviewed, young academics should begin as            conventions. The Internet is primarily used to
early as possible to establish contacts with col­       maintain previously established contacts, and less
leagues abroad and in Germany. Building up such         as a tool to establish new ones.
a network can only be mapped out in advance to
a limited extent, but it can be fostered. A prime           International research projects are also
way of doing this, particularly during the early        frequently launched when collaborating with
phases of a career in the humanities, is by attend­     partners from other countries is a compulsory
ing international conferences and conventions to        aspect of acquiring funding. Many interviewees
make contacts and present one’s own research to         were highly critical of such obligations. Andreas
an international audience. Being part of one or         Scholl, who works for the National Museums
more organized networks is the key to an inter­         in Berlin, admitted that researcher exchanges
national approach in the humanities and often           sometimes lead to “doing things for the sake of
forms the basis for wide-reaching international         doing things”, which doesn’t necessarily foster
activities such as evaluating research applications,    the exchange of ideas. And an art history aca­
serving as a member of an editorial board, and          demic surveyed by HIS sees things this way: “It
taking part in or directing joint research projects.    is incredibly difficult to meet the requirements
                                                        of EU applications […]. You are constantly busy
    Interviewees say that they rather infrequently      finding partners: a partner here, a partner there.
take part in international research projects, i. e.,    And then there are countless other hurdles all
collectively working on an issue with other col­        along the way. I see it as such an incredible
leagues and institutions abroad in an organized         bureaucratic hassle that I always think twice
and structured manner. This type of collabora­          about re-entering the fray.” There is a widespread
tion is most commonly mentioned in connection           impression that applicants for EU funding have
with art history. Occasionally, there are circum­       no chance without professional support during
stances or even coincidences that lead to such          the application process.
projects, for instance, an Egyptologist noted that
international collaborations are often estab­              Consulting services are, however, available:
lished for field work in Egypt. It should also be       the German National Contact Point for Socio-
noted that the Internet as a platform for interna­      Economic Sciences and Humanities (NKS SWG at
tional exchanges is less important than personal        the Project Management Agency in the German
8                                              characTerIsTIcs of InTernaTIonal acTIVITIes In The humanITIes

Aerospace Center/DLR in Bonn, working under              closer cooperation in the form of a joint project
commission by the BMBF), is the national contact         with partners abroad, often complain of overly
point for all scholars, employed at public institu­      strict rules for grant applications. For instance,
tions and companies, who would like to take part         they criticize that sources of funding occasionally
in the European Research Framework Program               stipulate the countries from which the collabora­
in the disciplines dealt with here. The services         tion partners must come.
of the NKS SWG include targeted informational
events, individual consulting on project ideas and       financing international activities
strategies when applying for EU funds, the critical
review of project applications, and a newsletter         German university departments can only grant
on the EU Research Framework Program.                    funding for international activities to a very
                                                         limited extent from their own budgets. This
    Not all research topics appear to require col­       includes conference participation, research trips
laborations and, in some cases, they can be more         and even international projects. Due to a lack of
effectively tackled alone. EU regulations occasion­      other funds, some academics say that they have
ally necessitate stopgap solutions that research         to pay “out of their own pocket” for air fares
sponsors should avoid at all costs. It is therefore      and overnight accommodation when attending
important to continue to coordinate regionally,          conferences or project meetings. This explains
nationally and internationally-oriented funding          why third-party funding is so important here. To
programs so that they can better complement              address this situation, the BMBF sponsors fund­
each other.                                              ing projects – in particular the Käte Hamburger
                                                         Collegia (international research centers in the
However, interviewees reported that they were            humanities), but also other key areas of funding
also confronted with the opposite problem.               for the humanities – in addition to field research
Humanities scholars who feel that international          and intensive foreign contacts and countless
research collaboration would be useful due to            events. International collaborations are expressly
the nature of the topic, and who are interested in       desired.

                                                                           They discussed the transfer of ideas and
                                                                           the benefits of international research col­
                                                                           laborations (from left to right): Prof. Dr.
                                                                           Kiran Klaus Patel (contemporary historian,
                                                                           European University Institute, Florence),
                                                                           Armin Himmelrath (science journalist
                                                                           and facilitator, Cologne), Prof. Dr. Lorenz
                                                                           Engell (media scientist, Bauhaus University
                                                                           Weimar) and Prof. Dr. Andreas Scholl
                                                                           (archaeologist, National Museums in
characTerIsTIcs of InTernaTIonal acTIVITIes In The humanITIes                                              9

                                                        The interviewees generally highly praise and wel­
 Käte hamburger college for “Work and                   come the available programs in Germany to fund
 human life cycle in Global history”                    foreign mobility. Time and again, respondents of
                                                        the online survey highlighted German research
 The International Research Center pursues fun­         funding institutions like the German Research
 damental research under the direction of Prof.         Foundation (DFG), the Alexander von Humboldt
 Andreas Eckert of the Humboldt University in           Foundation and the German Academic Exchange
 Berlin. From a comparative international and           Service (DAAD). Foreign academics find it espe­
 historical perspective, the center focuses on          cially helpful that they can receive approval for
 the relationship between work and life cycle,          third-party funding from these organizations in
 between work and career images, between                order to take part in conferences and conventions
 work and career structures, and investigates           in Germany.
 the relationship of work and social justice
 between the generations. Every year the center             Another aspect of this issue, of course, is
 invites 10 scholars from various disciplines and       that the German scientific community needs to
 origins to create a forum for exchanges and to         present itself abroad. Companies, research organi­
 promote cooperation among well established             zations and research projects are called upon
 and younger researchers. This takes place in           here. When a HIS study shows that 30 percent
 the context of workshops, international con­           of all respondents abroad were not able to name
 ferences and summer schools. Like the other            or assess the incentives for pursuing work in the
 international colleges, it helps redefine the          humanities in Germany, then it is time to bolster
 international character of the scientific com­         international networking and Germany’s market­
 munity in Germany. This requires not just great        ing of its research capabilities. Up until now, such
 minds – but also very special venues where             showcases of research in Germany have primarily
 collective research, personal exchanges and            presented achievements in the areas of technolo­
 creative work is possible without short-term           gy and natural science. Nonetheless, the humani­
 production and publication pressure. Inter­            ties are assuming a greater and more attractive
 national research centers offer these kinds of         role here, which is not surprising in view of their
 conditions.                                            historical and current visibility and accomplish­
                                                        ments. This research presence is necessary to
 Fellows and post-doctoral researchers do not           gain access to global centers of excellence and
 come exclusively from Anglo-American re­               obtain regionally-specific knowledge.
 gions. Conscious efforts are also made to invite
 scholars from Africa and Asia to take part in
 this forum in Berlin. This creates learning com­       area studies
 munities that contribute different knowledge
 traditions, methodological approaches and              The German government’s internationalization
 specific cultural viewpoints to the College.           strategy includes BMBF funding programs for
 Whenever possible, former fellows are hired            area studies. The first applications were submit­
 to engage in subsequent work. This makes it            ted in 2009. This marks the beginning of a broad
 possible – despite changing constellations of          initiative to enhance Germany’s knowledge of
 guests – to create a research tradition and a          the four corners of the world. In view of the on­
 scientific community focusing on the topic of          going process of globalization, the need for well­
 work. The BMBF annually provides the Interna­          founded knowledge of foreign regions has grown
 tional Research Center with up to €2 million in        immensely in nearly all areas. Indeed, research
 funding. The international research centers are        and education in area studies have a wide range
 a key element of the “Freedom for Research in          of fields of application, from trade and economic
 the Humanities” funding initiative.                    cooperation to diplomacy, law and culture, yet
                                                        also include disaster management and ecology.
                                                        Area studies contribute more, and more effec­
                                                        tively, to strategic policy consulting than other
                                                        subject areas. But this is rarely their prime objec­
10                                                           characTerIsTIcs of InTernaTIonal acTIVITIes In The humanITIes

The	Federal	Ministry	of	Education	and	Research	is	funding	ten	research	networks	in	the	field	of	area	studies.	They	help	ensure	that	
globalization	issues	and	topics	concerning	developing	countries	and	countries	in	transition	are	integrated	into	Germany’s	research.	

tive.	Instead	they	focus	on	enabling	and	generat-                          opening	up	limitlessly	and	randomly	in	every	
ing	a	stock	of	knowledge	(which	is	not	the	result	                         direction.	The	answer	can	only	be	that	interna-
of	short-term	efforts).	                                                   tionalization	is	not	an	ideal	in	itself.	It	is	assessed	
                                                                           according	to	its	ability	to	enrich	our	lives	by	
    The	usual	competitive	research	grant	ap -                              learning	about	other	cultures	of	knowledge	and	
plication	processes	do	not	equally	acknowledge	                            approaches.	
and	involve	all	regions	of	the	world.	In	addition,	
project	proposals	dealing	with	various	regions	                                With	this	in	mind,	Germany	cannot	accept	
of	the	world	compete	with	the	achievements	of	                             any	shortcomings	at	home.	In	many	German	
various	specialist	disciplines.	After	considering	                         institutions,	debates	in	the	humanities	that	are	
the	scientific	quality	of	diverse	possibilities,	the	                      conducted	abroad	–	particularly	outside	of	Europe	
BMBF	decided	to	fund	two	competency	net-                                   –	are	ignored	or	taken	up	at	a	much	later	date.	
works	on	Latin	America.	By	contrast,	the	African	                          There	is	a	certain	amount	of	blatant	Eurocentrism	
continent	has	so	far	been	neglected	by	BMBF -                              here,	and	academia	has	to	become	more	inquisi-
sponsored	regional	studies.	By	actively	observing	                         tive,	examine	more	carefully,	probe	more	deeply,	
political,	cultural	and	economic	debates	abroad,	                          and	refine	and	expand	its	cognitive	horizons.	
the	selected	project	groups	in	the	humanities	                             Publishing	works	in	a	number	of	languages	can	
and	the	social	sciences	can	bring	foreign	per-                             lead	to	a	wider	readership	and	a	deeper	under-
spectives	and	approaches	into	our	debates	and	                             standing	abroad	of	German	research	in	the	
enrich	them.	At	the	same	time,	they	help	ensure	                           humanities.	Although	the	BMBF	can	stimulate	
that	globalization	issues	and	topics	concerning	                           the	integration	of	non-European	knowledge	into	
developing	countries	and	countries	in	transi-                              historically	shaped	Western	disciplines,	only	the	
tion	are	appropriately	integrated	into	Germany’s	                          individual	disciplines	can	follow	through	on	this	
research.	                                                                 integration	and	pursue	a	debate	on	methodology.	
                                                                           The	Federal	Ministry	of	Education	and	Research	
In	summary,	“internationalization”	in	the	human-                           is	interested	in	how	the	integration	of	foreign	
ities	is	not	about	leveling	off	linguistic,	methodo -                      knowledge	and	methods	is	viewed	and	practiced	
logical	and	systematic	diversity,	i.	e.,	researching	                      in	other	countries,	and	which	funding	tools	have	
according	to	the	lowest	common	denominator	in	                             proven	effective	there.	
a	scientific	and/or	cultural	sense,	nor	is	it	about	
facTs on The exchanGe of sTudenTs and researchers                                                               11

New frontiers for ideas – facts on the exchange
of students and researchers

International activities begin while students               not go to university. Graduates with excellent and
attend university. early foreign mobility                   good grades have completed stays abroad signifi­
                                                            cantly more often than those who have average
plays a particularly important role in en­
                                                            or poor grades. The influence of gender is by
hancing a long-term international orienta­                  contrast slightly less, but still remains significant.
tion, even after a course of study has been                 The probability that female students go abroad is
completed.                                                  1.4 times higher than among male students.

                                                               The data from the German Academic Ex­
stays abroad by students enrolled in German                 change Service (DAAD) provide detailed infor­
higher education institutions                               mation on Erasmus-sponsored stays abroad in
                                                            Europe. After the social sciences, students in the
The HIS graduate survey (2006/07) revealed that             humanities most often benefit from funding from
the pursuit of a course of study in the humani­             the DAAD, with students of linguistics and philol­
ties includes a stay abroad more often than in              ogy constituting the leading beneficiaries within
nearly all other disciplines (51 percent). Never­           this group. DAAD-sponsored students spend their
theless, study-related stays abroad are primarily           external study-related stays abroad primarily in
undertaken in the fields of language and cultural           one of the large EU countries.
studies. Within the context of the short bach­
elor’s program, nearly four out of ten graduates            stays abroad by humanities scholars
of subject areas in the humanities are able to              attending German universities
acquire experience abroad. Despite the existence
of funding programs, the relative likelihood of a           Information from the respective funding organi­
stay abroad during a course of studies is 1.7 times         zations (see “Wissenschaft weltoffen” and biblio­
higher for children whose parents attended                  graphy p. 36) provides insights into the structure
university than for students whose parents did              of the funded foreign mobility of German schol­
                                                            ars. The largest proportion of funding for foreign
Figure 2: Study-related stays abroad by graduates*          mobility in the humanities is received by the
          of German universities in the humanities          “graduate students” group – primarily doctoral
          and other fields (Diplom, Magister, artistic      candidates. The leading destination country by far
          degrees, multiple answers, in %)                  is the USA (21 percent of German guest academics
                                                            abroad) followed by the UK (10 percent). This also
                                                            holds true for natural sciences and engineering.
                                                                In addition to benefiting students, DAAD fund­
                                        42             42
                                                            ing within the framework of Socrates/Erasmus is
                             32                             granted to scholars in Europe. In 2004, 30 percent
                                                            of all German humanities scholars abroad who
                                                            received aid benefited from DAAD grants.

                                                               The Alexander von Humboldt Foundation is
                          Stays abroad                      another major provider of funding to promote
                                          the international mobility of research staff. In
       Business and economics
                              2006 only twelve percent of all academics in
       Natural sciences
                                    the humanities who received funding benefited

                                                            from Humboldt Foundation grants, which was
       University total                                     significantly less aid than what was distributed
* only first degree                                         by the DAAD. This does not mean, however, that
Source: HIS graduate survey 2005, special assessment        the Humboldt Foundation focuses on promoting
12                                                     facTs on The exchanGe of sTudenTs and researchers

mobility in the natural sciences. The vast majority
of destination countries for academics benefiting
from Humboldt grants are in Western Europe and
North America.

foreign students at German universities

Current statistical data show a significant in­
crease in the number of foreign students at Ger-
man universities. The number of foreign students
rose by more than 100 percent between 1997
and 2005. In fields of study in the humanities,
however, there was only roughly a 30-percent
increase during this period. German studies and
English studies are the most popular fields of
study among foreign students in the humanities.
Slavic studies, Byzantine studies and Romance
languages also attract a high proportion of for­
eign students. These minor subject areas enjoy a
long academic tradition in Germany, but in view
of current cutbacks at many universities – and
the trend toward consolidation that this entails –
they now have to fear for their very existence.

    The attractiveness of these subject areas for
foreigners is reflected in the proportion of foreign    Merushka Peterson, a student in Halle, uses the carrot approach
students in each individual subject area. For exam­     to attract foreign students to Germany.
ple, there is a high proportion of foreign students
in Eastern European languages and cultural stud­
ies. Over the past decade, increasing numbers of         musical education in Germany
foreign students from the new EU member coun­
tries in Eastern Europe have made this the main          Instrumental and orchestra music are two of
group of origin. For instance, in the 2006/2007          the fields of study with the highest proportions
winter semester, Polish students in the humanities       of foreign students in Germany (33 percent and
(with the exception of arts and music) were the          31 percent, respectively, during the 2006/2007
largest group of foreign students in Germany.            winter semester). At the Academy of Music
                                                         Hans Eisler Berlin, the University of Music
   In 2010, in collaboration with the German             Lübeck and the University of Music Freiburg,
Academic Exchange Service, the BMBF started              the proportion of foreigners is over 50 percent.
funding an image campaign entitled “Study in             Furthermore, many future musicians study not
Germany – Land of Ideas,” which promoted Ger­            only one or two semesters in Germany, but also
many as a place to study. Foreign students give          conclude their studies here. This is due in large
the campaign a personal touch. The campaign              part to the comparatively good professional
targets primarily prospective students from Asia,        opportunities. Germany has one of the highest
Central and South America, Central and Eastern           numbers of orchestras per capita in the world.
Europe and the Gulf region. Furthermore since            In addition, Germany’s excellent master-student
May 2010, the BMBF and the DAAD have been                ratio is responsible for not only the high pro­
promoting the development of doctoral candidate          portion of international students in Germany
programs with an international focus. There is a         but also the relatively low foreign mobility of
budget of nearly €15 million to cover the costs of       German music students.
this program over three years.
facTs on The exchanGe of sTudenTs and researchers                                                                             13

                                                                           foreign academics in Germany

                                                                           A large proportion of the foreign humanities
                                                                           scholars who receive grants in Germany are
                                                                           graduate students – primarily doctoral candi­
                                                                           dates. Analogous to the destination countries
                                                                           of German academics, the USA also plays an
                                                                           outstanding role as a country of origin in the
                                                                           humanities, followed by the Russian Federation,
                                                                           France, Poland and China.

                                                                              In 2006, 16 percent of researchers receiving
                                                                           Humboldt grants came from the humanities.
                                                                           This makes the humanities the second largest
                                                                           group after the social sciences. Most recipients of
                                                                           Humboldt grants come from the USA, followed by
                                                                           China and India.

                                                                               According to official statistics, nine percent of
                                                                           the faculty members at German universities came
 Mareile Schmidt plays the organ on February 25, 2010 at
                                                                           from abroad in 2006. In languages and cultural
 the Collegium Leoninum, which was the venue for the BMBF                  studies as well as in artistic and musical fields,
 conference entitled “Mind Crossing Borders” in Bonn. Since 2010           the proportion is 10 percent, which is roughly
 the organist, who was born in 1982, has been a professor at the           equivalent to the national average. Academic
 University of Church Music in Bayreuth.
                                                                           faculty in languages and cultural studies come
                                                                           primarily from France, the UK, Spain and Italy.
                                                                           It should be noted that there are only five non-
                                                                           European countries among the top 20 countries
                                                                           of origin.

Figure 3: Country of origin of foreign academic staff at German institutions of higher education 2006,
          linguistics and cultural studies (numbers and in %)

          Country                              Number        Percentage

          France                                   376           10,1 %

          UK                                       337            9,0 %

          Spain                                    331            8,9 %

          Italy                                    321            8,6 %

          USA                                       314           8,4 %

          Austria                                  200            5,4 %

          Switzerland                              154             4,1 %

          Russian Federation                       134            3,6 %

          Poland                                   124            3,3 %

Source: Fig. 10 from the abbreviated version of the HIS report, p. 18
14                                            The German lanGuaGe: a brIdGe beTWeen culTures and a barrIer

The German language: a bridge between
cultures and a barrier

attracting international attention to out­               German for the quality, english for
standing research results from Germany                   the popularity
ultimately depends on the language in
                                                         Papers written in English usually attract the at­
which the articles are written. many
                                                         tention of humanities scholars abroad, but the
scholars who research and publish are                    language is not the only factor that determines
asking themselves whether they should                    how they are received. There is a great deal of
write in German or english.                              debate over whether, and to what extent, German
                                                         research results in the humanities gain recog­
The language debate is apparently being fueled           nition internationally and are cited. “You are
by publishing practices in the natural sciences,         wasting your time, your talent and your resources
where English has clearly gained the upper hand.         when you publish in German”, Dutch sinologist
In the humanities, however, language serves              Prof. Barend ter Haar emphatically told his Ger-
as more than just a means of communicating.              man colleagues at the BMBF conference. He said
It constitutes an integral part of specific (area­       that in some cases outstanding research work on
related) cultural thought and communication              China has been done in the social sciences, but
patterns and, in that sense, acts as a means of          whenever these results are published in German,
conveying knowledge and culture. The German              they fail to receive any international attention.
Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) describes the           Doctoral rules and regulations that still require
significance of language in its “Memorandum on           dissertations to be submitted in German are
Promoting German as an Academic Language”                also sorely outdated, he added. Another aspect
(February 2010) as follows: “German academic             that ter Haar underscored was that those who
language has evolved over time, enjoys a long            write only in German place themselves outside
tradition and is a multifaceted heritage. It             (international) debate, academic competition and
constitutes an essential resource of academic            quality assurance. He said that this has a negative
knowledge and creativity and safeguards the              long-term impact, particularly on the interna­
vitality of the common language while convey­            tional standing of the small disciplines. Ter Haar
ing scientific results to a non-academic audience.”      argued that quality can only be assured when it is
Particularly in view of today’s growing interest in      possible to make comparisons with international
scientific topics, the German language is the un­        leading authorities in a given subject area.
rivaled medium for conveying research results
to a wide audience in German-speaking regions.               In the HIS study, a large number of interview­
                                                         ees from abroad said that they are under the
    When it comes to the international dissemi­          impression that German academics go to great
nation of research results, it is not enough to          lengths to make their research results available to
publish in the most frequently read languages,           an international readership by presenting them
with English at the top of the list. Researchers         at conferences and conventions and in English­
also use translations to convey the language ­           language articles – and, in their opinion, the
based academic and cultural characteristics of           Germans more actively take part in international
each specialist discipline. This places extremely        academic discourse than, for example, French or
high demands on translations of academic works.          southern European colleagues. Other respond­
In the words of the linguist Jürgen Trabant:             ents in Germany and abroad said that German
“Communication is not the prime objective of my          colleagues still publish too little in English and
academic writing, but rather the creation of aca­        rely too much on the belief that articles in Ger-
demic thought itself. The idea is not that I can say     man will also continue to receive an appropriate
something only in German, but rather that I can          amount of attention abroad due to the traditional
say it best in German.” (Frankfurter Allgemeine          status of German as an academic language.
Zeitung, April 1, 2010)
The German lanGuaGe: a brIdGe beTWeen culTures and a barrIer                                                       15

                                                                     They talked about the role of the German
                                                                     language (in academia) and what this entails
                                                                     for the publishing of research results (from left
                                                                     to right): Prof. Dr. Ludwig M. Eichinger (Insti­
                                                                     tute for the German Language, Mannheim),
                                                                     Prof. Dr. Barend ter Haar (Sinologue, University
                                                                     of Leiden), Armin Himmelrath (facilitator),
                                                                     Prof. Dr. Erika Fischer-Lichte (theater studies,
                                                                     Berlin Free University) and Dr. Dorothea Rüland
                                                                     (until 2010 Director of the Center for Interna­
                                                                     tional Exchange, Berlin Free University)

Ludwig Eichinger, Director of the Institute for        monographs are far less often translated from
the German Language (Mannheim), enriched               German into English than articles for professional
the debate with a brief linguistic and historical      journals.
overview. The humanities suffer from the fact
that they are not leading scientific disciplines,          A remarkable counterpoint to this is “Geistes­
he said. They lost this status to sociology no later   wissenschaften International” (“Humanities Inter­
than the 60s and 70s, he added, saying that these      national”), an award which provides funding for
days brain research, for instance, takes priority.     translations. The German Publishers and Book­
According to Eichinger, the humanities are thus        sellers Association, Fritz Thyssen Foundation,
no longer able to make their mark on academic          VG WORT and the German Foreign Office togeth­
language usage. Eichinger reminded listeners           er bestow this prize in honor of outstanding Ger-
that the humanities originally had a multilingual      man books in the humanities and social sciences.
character when they were first established (dur­       The money is used to translate the works into
ing the 18th and early 19th centuries). French         English. The award winners from 2009 included
and German were the most important languages.          Jan Assmann’s “The Price of Monotheism” and
“We have to restore this enlightened multilin­         Jürgen Osterhammel’s history of the 19th century
gualism”, he urged his listeners, and clearly          entitled “The Transformation of the World”. One
voiced his opposition to the dominant position         year earlier, the award went to a study by Hans
occupied by English in the academic world.             Belting called “Florence & Baghdad: Renaissance
                                                       Art and Arab Science”.
    In many disciplines, such as philosophy,
numerous standard works in the humanities              German loses ground, but a knowledge
have been written in German, many of which             of German is still required
have still not yet been translated into English, for
example, important works by the Egyptologist Jan       As the debate continues in Germany over the
Assmann, the philosopher Hans Blumenberg, and          alleged superiority of the English language, one
a wide range of German texts in Islamic studies.       academic tradition is far too often overlooked.
This is particularly true for works that are only      There are indeed still prominent areas within
of interest to small academic circles and cannot       individual disciplines where it is necessary to
claim to attract the attention of a wide inter­        have a working knowledge of German. Neverthe ­
disciplinary audience, as is the case with great       less, there is a perceptible global trend towards
philosophical treaties, for instance. What’s more,     German being a language that is primarily read
16                                                              The German lanGuaGe: a brIdGe beTWeen culTures and a barrIer

instead of written and published. In history,                              nication studies. Since multilingualism tends to
musicology and art history there are still sub­                            be on the decline in the English-speaking world,
disciplines in which German has remained the                               German academics will probably continue to
reference language, or at least is internationally                         increasingly have to publish in English if their
recognized as an academic language of equal                                research results are to initiate and/or influence
importance. In subject areas in which German                               international discourse. German has already lost
scholars once made groundbreaking contribu­                                ground in the humanities and been reduced
tions, or where German-speaking scholars suc­                              to a language of publication in certain areas of
ceeded in establishing a field of study, academics                         research.
today still require at least a reading knowledge
of German. Nevertheless, the humanities scholars                           building bridges: english as an academic
interviewed by HIS also notice a decline in the                            language
importance of German in nearly all disciplines.
                                                                           Many work and study methods belong to the
    Whereas one religious studies scholar felt                             basic set of introductory skills that are required of
that a knowledge of German was necessary when                              students entering higher education. This includes
studying Islamic mysticism or pursuing Bible re­                           compiling bibliographies, citing sources, deal­
search, this does not hold true to the same degree                         ing with online resources and coming to terms
for other areas of religious studies. Disciplines in                       with the standards and terminologies of a given
the humanities where a reading knowledge of                                subject area. However, bridges are rarely built to
German is still essential today include Egyptology,                        ease the transition from the English that stu­
Arab/Islamic studies, art history, musicology, reli­                       dents learned in school (or during an exchange
gious studies and, of course, German studies.                              year abroad) to the English that is required in
                                                                           an academic setting. Learning how to do this is
    German also remains a leading language of                              something entirely different from translating a
publication for historians working in a number                             German essay into another language.
of areas. German is less important in other areas,
such as African studies and media and commu-                                  The participants at the BMBF conference
                                                                           agreed: Germany’s institutions of higher learning
                                                                           have didactic centers, international officers and
Figure 4: Foreign languages in which scholars 
                            data processing centers. Yet they also urgently
          from Australia, the UK and the USA read 
                        need centralized service areas that can provide
          scientific publications the most (multiple 
                     students and teachers with ongoing support in
          answers, probands from abroad, in %)
                            learning and practicing how to convey their
                                                                           ideas in foreign academic languages. This would
                                                                           be consistent with an approach to specifically
       French                                              69
                                                                           prepare students in the humanities for future oc­
                                                                           cupational fields and international collaborations.
                                                                           By learning how to write and make presentations
     German                                         59
                                                                           in English, academic languages and cultures
                                                                           become more strongly integrated into the cur­
       Italian                21

                                                                           promoting multilingualism

     Spanish             17                                                Since producing high-quality translations of
                                                                           works in the humanities entails coming to terms
                                                                           with enormous linguistic, context-related and
       Dutch        12                                                     financial challenges, there is a growing desire for
                                                                           more programs that provide funding for transla­
                                                                           tions from German into English. The BMBF has
Source: Fig. 4 from the abridged version of the HIS report, p. 11
                                                                           responded to this demand by launching concrete
The German lanGuaGe: a brIdGe beTWeen culTures and a barrIer                                               17

programs. Anyone who receives funding within           beyond academic circles: “The target audience for
the scope of “Area studies” or other initiatives can   written works should be an important criterion
receive grants to cover the costs of translating or    when selecting a language.”
preparing their texts for publishing in other lan­
guages – indeed, English is by no means still the
only language for academic publications.                The research context determines
                                                        the use of language
    Today’s emerging multi-polar world is char­
acterized by growing multilingualism. Conse­            Erika Fischer-Lichte spoke at the BMBF confer­
quently, the most likely trend will not be towards      ence about linguistic usage in her academic
“more English, less German” – but rather towards        milieu. The Berlin professor has taken part in
more multilingualism. In order to enhance the           a number of projects, including the BMBF Käte
visibility of German humanities on the interna­         Hamburger College for “Interweaving Perfor­
tional stage and intensify networking, an increas­      mance Cultures” and the “InterArt” interna­
ing number of multilingual publications are re­         tional postgraduate seminar organized by the
quired. For instance, Spanish is the key language       German Research Foundation (DFG). At the
for both of the BMBF-sponsored competency               postgraduate seminar, German was the primary
networks on Latin America, and the competency           language, although only roughly half of the
network on China publishes its research results in      young academics taking part in the course had
Chinese and English.                                    German as their mother tongue. By contrast,
                                                        the Käte Hamburger College attracts many
    One rule of thumb can be applied far beyond         fellows from abroad and English is nearly
the confines of area studies: Complete trans­           exclusively spoken and written there.
lations are often unnecessary. Sometimes an
abstract or short summary of the results and the        The theater studies expert stressed that each of
procedures is enough to generate international          these languages extend – and limit – horizons;
attention for new research, particularly since a        each language paves the way and prevents the
translation cannot disguise one specific draw­          production of new ideas, she said. On a num­
back – at least from an international perspective       ber of occasions, she has noticed that “books
– associated with a number of academic works            change when they are translated”. While the
published in Germany: It doesn’t help much if a         English language requires clear and concise
text is translated into English but its horizons are    statements, German uses constructions that
clearly limited and the footnotes and bibliogra­        are far more complex.
phy clearly prove that the author moves exclu­
sively in German and German-speaking circles. In
such cases, the essay’s or book’s apparent provin­
cialism becomes more pronounced than ever, de­
spite the fact that an English version is available.
It takes time to produce translations that go far
beyond a simple transfer of linguistic elements.
The BMBF is currently reviewing how these time
requirements can increasingly be taken into con­
sideration for future project funding.

    Given the complexity of the task, it often takes
“native-speaker knowledge” to improve a work
that was written in German, to polish it and, in
addition to the new knowledge that it brings,
help it achieve a more compelling style and at­
tract greater attention among readers around
the globe. Philip van der Eijk urged participants
at the conference to take the language debate
18                                                                                      research qualITy Today

The “legacy of the grand old masters”
and research quality today

There are not only “old masters” in the                     the Humboldt Foundation. The majority of inter­
world of art. Great minds of the 19th and                   viewees also mentioned that they maintain good
                                                            personal contacts to researchers from Germany.
20th early centuries have also had a decid­
                                                            Primarily Australian and American respondents
ing influence on their disciplines in the                   underscore the high proportion of research insti­
humanities – and German academia                            tutes and the friendly, collegial and supportive
continues to benefit from this legacy today.                atmosphere in the German scientific community.

HIS respondents working in a wide range of                  The HIS online survey distinguished between
disciplines underscored during interviews the               three elements that have to do with the percep­
key historical role played by Germany during the            tion of quality:
19th and early 20th centuries in developing the
humanities – a legacy which is still felt today.            1.	 The reputation of Germany as a center of
A British musicologist said: “I deal a lot with dead            research with regard to their own subject
Germans, and my desk is awash with dead Ger­                    areas (only asked in Germany)
mans of various sorts because I think that their
work certainly is still important.” Some of the             2.	 The quality of each center of research (asked
subject areas included in the HIS study date back               internationally)
to this era. The enormous prestige of Germany as
a center of research continues to attract foreign           3.	 The research quality of the subject area in
scholars here to pursue their research.                         their own countries (also asked internation­

                                                            German humanities scholars have a high appreci­
                                                            ation of Germany’s reputation in their disciplines,
                                 The “legacy of the         but there are also clear divergences here. Accord­
                                 grand old masters”         ing to observations made by the respondents, the
                                 continues to character­    Anglo-Saxon countries and Sweden tend to be the
                                 ize the reputation of
                                                            leaders in the area of communications and media
                                 the humanities in Ger­
                                 many. Research stays
                                                            studies. German contributions don’t attract much
                                 here are widely viewed     international attention here, they say. A compari­
                                 as rewarding and at­       son of international respondents reveals that Ger-
                                 tractive. Up until 1985,   man humanities scholars give their country lower
                                 the “Man with the
                                                            ratings as a center of research than respondents
                                 Golden Helmet” was
                                 thought to be the work
                                                            from the USA and the UK. (Australia apparently
                                 of Rembrandt; it can       suffers from its remote location on the globe,
                                 be viewed in Berlin’s      which is not particularly conducive to typical
                                 Gemäldegalerie.            forms of networking in the humanities.)

Humanities scholars from abroad unanimously                 subject areas are assessed differently
underscore the outstanding quality of Germany’s
libraries, archives and museums. The wide range             Four examples from the interviews show how
of source material available here also induces              respondents from the reference countries rate the
them to take frequent research trips to Germany.            research quality of German humanities:
They see the numerous top-notch conferences
and conventions as an additional magnet. Their              ●●	   Egyptology: Respondents particularly highlight
participation in such events is often funded by                   the fundamental research in philology that was
German organizations such as the BMBF, the                        conducted by German scholars in the 19th and
German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and                       early 20th centuries. But there are converging
research qualITy Today                                                                                                                19

     opinions on the current standing of Germany’s       These awards have drawn attention to works that
     work in the area of Egyptology. A few respond­      are the subject of German literary studies.
     ents voiced fears that – despite its cultural and
     scientific value – this subject area could fall         In the online survey, German and foreign
     prey to today’s increasingly economic-based         humanities scholars from the reference countries
     evaluations of academic disciplines.                were asked what could lure foreign researchers
                                                         to Germany. The five top incentives are shown in
●●   History: The large number of German histo ­         the following diagram:
     rians at institutions around the world is an
     excellent indication of the strength of German      Figure 5: Most common incentives for working
     research in this field. Conversely, Germany’s                 in Germany as a humanities scholar –
     “bizarre” history is also viewed abroad as a                  Respondents from Germany and the
     very interesting subject of research. Indeed,                 countries of reference (in %)
     Germany appears to be attractive on two             Do you see incentives for researchers in your area of
     fronts: as a center of research and as a histori­   specialization to work in Germany?
     cal field of research.
                                                                   Museums,                                                 46
                                                           libraries, archives                            25
●●   Islamic studies: Islamic studies are unani­
     mously given highly positive ratings. They are       Excellent research                          23
     seen as “the starting point in research” and               environment                         20
                                                          Discipline/issue is
     respondents note a high level of methodology                                              16
                                                             a strong area of
     and a rigorous philosophical approach.                focus in Germany

                                                                    Academic              13
●●   Religious studies: Respondents focus on the                   excellence                  16
     zenith of religious studies in Germany dur­
                                                          Excellent research         10
     ing the 19th and early 20th centuries. They                     funding              13
     say that important fundamental research is                                  0     10                20        30     40     50
     still done in Germany. These days, however,
                                                                                     Respondents in Germany
     new research approaches and breakthroughs                                       Respondents in reference countries
     tend to be localized in Anglo-Saxon countries.
     A British religious studies scholar said: “I         Incentives                   Yes                    No        Cannot say
     would say that Germany still is a center and         Respondents in
     is indispensable in doing the history of the                                         29                  53           18
     subject. So, if one wants to study the history
                                                          Respondents in
     of theories, explanations of myth or religion,                                       24                  46           30
                                                          reference countries
     Germany is central.”
                                                         Source: template 25 from Minks‘ presentation
Prof. Dr. Ryuichi Higuchi said that Germany still
owes its reputation to the widely recognized
fundamental research that has been done there in         When asked about obstacles to their work in Ger­
the area of musicology. This includes, for example,      many, German and foreign interviewees respond­
publishing comprehensive volumes on the works            ed, with one exception, rather similarly: For
of famous composers. Nonetheless, this tradition         foreign humanities scholars, the language bar­
is threatened, he added, because it is becoming          rier is a considerable problem (36 percent). From
increasingly difficult to acquire funding for long­      the perspective of German respondents, however,
term projects such as books. German studies very         it is rather marginal (five percent). Obstacles that
clearly illustrate how strongly a subject area’s per­    both groups perceived as similarly problematic
ception can be influenced by events taking place         include: unfavorable personal development op ­
outside the academic world. Within just 10 years,        portunities (24 percent among foreign respond­
three German-speaking authors received the               ents versus 33 percent among respondents from
Nobel Prize for literature: in 1999 Günter Grass,        Germany) and a limited number of top academic
in 2004 Elfriede Jelinek and in 2009 Herta Müller.       positions (18 percent versus 31 percent). 15 per-
20                                                                                               research qualITy Today

                                                                     has proven itself to be relatively stable during the
                                                                     crisis. They also regret that it is primarily chairs
                                                                     in the small disciplines that are often not filled
                                                                     again. To make matters worse, humanities
                                                                     scholars in Germany often do not have the
                                                                     necessary time available to complete long-term
                                                                     research projects. Fundamental research suffers
                                                                     the most from this development and internation­
                                                                     al collaborations are also adversely affected.

                                                                         A number of interviewees say that this situ­
                                                                     ation, which they perceive as critical, is caused
                                                                     by an overemphasis on economic considerations
They discussed the quality of German research in the humanities
                                                                     when rating individual academic areas, including
from a foreign perspective (from left to right): Prof. Dr. Ryuichi   the humanities. As a result, quite a number of
Higuchi (musicology, Meji Gakuin University, Tokyo), Armin           the German humanities scholars see themselves
Himmelrath (facilitator), Prof. Dr. Philip van der Eijk (classics    locked in a nearly hopeless, never-ending bat­
and science historian, Humboldt University, Berlin)
                                                                     tle to legitimize their existence with regard to
                                                                     the so-called MINT (mathematics, information
cent of each group cited an insufficient number                      technology, natural sciences, technology) fields.
of mid-level faculty positions as an obstacle.                       This troublesome trend has a particularly strong
                                                                     impact on (small) subject areas in the humanities
concerns about the future                                            in which current German research still has a sig­
                                                                     nificant influence on international discourse.
The quality of academic work, and its measur­
ability, are more intensively debated today than                         Many German humanities scholars say that
they were just a few years ago. Participants at the                  they have some catching up to do when it comes
BMBF conference agreed that quotation indexes                        to the challenge of more effectively utilizing their
for the humanities are, for the most part, unus­                     research results, which can be extremely difficult
able. Ryuichi Higuchi argued as follows: The                         to comprehend. By contrast, academics from Eng­
frequency with which a work is quoted depends                        lish-speaking countries appear to have no qualms
primarily on the subject and not on the quality of                   about a broader and more popular “marketing”
the work. What’s more, small subject areas are at                    of their own research results. Although German
a disadvantage compared to large disciplines.                        humanities scholars are widely seen abroad as
                                                                     maintaining extremely high academic standards,
    Many academics express deep concern about                        respondents say that the “highly academic” style
the future of humanities research in Germany.                        of writing of their research reports often makes
Their views cannot be attributed alone to the                        these texts difficult to understand outside aca­
dominance of the English language and the                            demia and thus of little interest to many readers.
limited international attention achieved by                          This tradition runs contrary to the goal of mak­
non-translated research results from Germany.                        ing research in the humanities more visible.
Academics in Germany and abroad have noticed
an ongoing trend here towards cutbacks in uni­                           Apparently, many of the activities of the “Sci­
versity positions in the humanities that primar­                     ence in Dialogue” initiative have not been able to
ily affect mid-level faculty positions. There is no                  halt or slow this trend. Of all the “Science Years”
doubt that the ongoing financial crisis since 2008                   organized by the BMBF, only 2007 has been dedi­
has led to severe job cutbacks in university sys ­                   cated to the humanities. Many philologians also
tems that are highly dependent on outside capital                    have difficulties with the visualization of their
or primarily financed by foundations. Kiran Klaus                    results. But it is precisely this visual presentation
Patel reminded participants at the conference                        of research results that is desperately needed in
that – compared to the USA and the UK – the pri­                     order for issues in the humanities to attract the
marily state-financed German university system                       attention of TV audiences.
research qualITy Today                                                                                               21

                                                                   together our cultural and academic traditions.
                                                                   This is an ongoing challenge that involves – just
                                                                   like in a family – adjusting the inheritance to
                                                                   meet the needs of changing times and, if possible,
                                                                   finding ways to foster its growth. There is another
                                                                   question that is just as important: What do you
                                                                   want to pass down to future generations? This is
                                                                   what debates over the future of the humanities
                                                                   have to measure up to. The stakes are as high as
                                                                   ever: the international reputation of the humani­
                                                                   ties in Germany does not rest alone on the legacy
                                                                   of the “grand old masters”. It also highly depends
                                                                   on the current level of excellence in Germany.

A prime example of how research in the humanities can be popu­     outlook: monitoring research
larized: the public TV network ZDF runs a series on secret docu­
ments kept in the archives of the Vatican. The show was hosted     The BMBF faces an important task: it has to ob ­
by Münster church historian Hubert Wolf (left) and journalist
                                                                   serve and analyze international trends in (hu­
Wolf von Lojewski (2010).
                                                                   manities) research. It is only based on these obser­
                                                                   vations that funding strategies can be successfully
The inheritance of the humanities                                  developed and established. International monitor­
                                                                   ing provides information on international actors
An inheritance is normally seen under this as ­                    at an early stage, and makes it possible to rate
pect: What have I inherited or what is my inherit­                 and utilize this within national strategies. This is
ance worth? Expressed in terms of the history of                   only possible thanks to the capable presence of
academia, this means: What does my inheritance                     German research as well as research and funding
consist of? When it comes to German humanities,                    organizations on location with direct personal
this inheritance was evidently particularly valua­                 contacts to important institutions. Working hand­
ble, as witnessed by the disciplines of philosophy,                in-hand with German academic organizations,
art history, archaeology and philology. But much                   the BMBF intends to create the right conditions
of this great inheritance has long since been                      to collect uniform and internationally compat­
squandered. Many great minds and researchers                       ible data for international benchmarking of the
had to flee Germany in the 1930s, and countless                    German academic system and its performance.
scholars were murdered by the Nazis. Those who                     It is also important to investigate what steps are
were able to escape settled in safety abroad, often                undertaken by funding organizations elsewhere
in the USA or other English-speaking countries.                    in the world to support and better highlight
                                                                   research in the humanities in their countries, and
    Yet despite these devastating losses to academ­                what collaborative initiatives could conceivably
ia – which first occurred during World War I, and                  be launched to achieve this.
then to a massive degree under the Nazis – in
the opinion of many interviewees, the “desperate
clinging to the ideals of science” and the out­
standing methodological standards of the human­
ities in Germany are still exemplary today. In all
the fields covered by the study, the interviewees
attributed a high research standard to Germany;
one US academic even called German research
contributions in the humanities “state of the art”.

   Indeed, it is not so much a question of what
we have inherited, but rather what we do with
this inheritance, i. e., how well we can piece back
22                             an InTernaTIonal comparIson of research condITIons aT German unIVersITIes

An international comparison of research
conditions at German universities

In addition to obvious praise for Germany              a research stay in Germany will be recruited for
as a center for research and instruction in            long-term research activities in Germany.” (p. 19)
the humanities, some aspects are also criti­
                                                       The best compete with each other
cized by German and foreign respondents.
according to the hIs study, this concern               There are no relevant studies that undertake
focuses primarily on general conditions and            an international comparison of the work and
                                                       research conditions at humanities institutions.
teaching resources in Germany. The core of
                                                       The measured indicators in various countries, the
the criticism: German academics, especially            subject area groups formed and, last but not least,
those in top positions, lack sufficient time to        the university systems are often so diverse that
conduct research.                                      they render it difficult to draw correct conclu­
                                                       sions from a direct comparison. Nevertheless, a
Participants in the HIS interviews often said that     recent study (Janson et al 2007) which compared
the added strain of administrative and teaching        the number of positions, the salaries of faculty
duties and the pressure of acquiring third-party       members and the teaching schedules of academ­
funding detract from the attractiveness of work­       ics in Germany and the USA across all subject
ing as a department chair at a German university.      area groups demonstrates that, on average, in
                                                       all departments and fields, at least these employ­
    According to humanities scholars abroad,           ment conditions in Germany were no worse
the procedures for filling positions at German         than, for example, in the USA. After the introduc­
universities present a major obstacle to making        tion of Germany’s new pay scale, known as the
internationality a reality. They say that positions    “W-Besoldung”, faculty at German universities
are frequently advertised only in Germany, giving      actually earn on average more than their col­
the impression that these selection processes are      leagues in the USA. Nonetheless, employment
often not open-ended. As a result, foreign human­      conditions vary to a fairly high degree between
ities scholars who do not benefit from extensive       Europe and America. Competition to recruit out­
networking in Germany often feel that they have        standing researchers educated in Germany comes
little chance of acquiring a chair at a German         primarily from attractive top universities abroad.
university. In order to change this, Lorenz Engell
(Bauhaus University Weimar) has urged that ap­             Another study (Kreckel 2008) analyzed the
pointment committees should always include a           career paths of young academics, focusing on a
wide range of international members.                   comparison of various higher education systems
                                                       and highlighting other distinguishing features
    The German government’s internationaliza­          between the habilitation, i. e., the German qualifi­
tion strategy (see p. 31) points in the same           cation for a professorship, and the tenure model.
direction: “Backed by an award to recruit interna­     An important criterion here is the freedom and
tional top academics (“Alexander von Humboldt-         independence that individuals enjoy in pursuing
Professur”) and other initiatives launched by          their own research. This freedom exists already
Germany’s institutions of higher education, the        for young academics under the tenure model,
proportion of international professors at German       whereas under Germany’s “Habilitation” model,
universities (8 percent) will be increased over        such liberties in pursuing research can only be
the next 10 years. Plans also call for a further       enjoyed after a PhD holder has been appointed as
increase in the proportion (15 percent) of interna­    a professor, which is usually a lifetime position in
tional academics at research institutions. Fur­        Germany. In addition, a tenure track position of­
thermore, the hiring process for new academic          fers a more secure basis for long-term planning.
faculty will always be open to international ap­
plicants and, via the European Research Council,
the most highly qualified individuals interested in
younG academIcs and JunIor researchers                                                                                        23

Experience abroad, career-oriented and mobile:
young academics and junior researchers

career paths are reminiscent of road net­                                     of this competition are an excellent indication
works. There are passing lanes and dead                                       of the strength and performance of a system of
                                                                              higher education. This approach doesn’t docu­
ends, straight and curved sections of high­
                                                                              ment losses, but rather levels of performance.
way, direct routes and detours. but no                                        Brain circulation – the multifaceted and multiple
matter what the route looks like, without                                     exchange of knowledge, talent and expertise –
contacts and experience abroad, it is no                                      has become the norm.
longer possible to successfully reach the
                                                                                 Nevertheless, Germany’s future as a center of
final destination.                                                            research is also highly determined by the pros­
                                                                              pects available to young academics and junior
It is still quite common to hear complaints about                             researchers – and is, in any event, sustainably
the brain drain: Germany is allegedly losing                                  assured by offering such possibilities. Across a
talented individuals, academic knowledge and                                  wide range of disciplines, respondents to the HIS
multifaceted research competencies. These com­                                survey made very similar statements concern­
plaints are obsolete. The fact that young academ­                             ing career opportunities for young academics
ics from Germany are able to make the (career)                                in Germany. Some interviewees from Germany
jump to other countries is a clear indication for                             expressed their concerns that highly promising
the BMBF that an education in the humanities                                  graduates decide against a career in the ivory
in Germany is internationally highly recognized                               tower these days. They said that many young
and that young college graduates from German                                  people prefer to take jobs in the private sector
universities are very sought after and successful                             because of the financial incentives or enter the
on the international labor market. For a long time                            teaching profession due to the social benefits.
now, there has been intensive, international com­                             Many respondents said that countless talented
petition to headhunt the best minds. The results                              young German academics are seeking employ-

Figure 6: Judgement on career opportunities for young academics in the country of residence by scholars
          from Australia, the UK, the USA and Germany (figures on a 5-level scale, 1 + 2 = (very) good,
          4 + 5 = (very) poor, all probands, in %)
How would you judge your subject area in [your country] in an international comparison concerning the following aspects?

                       UK                              52                                  27                21

                Australia                      37                              26                      37

                      USA                                           74                                  17        9

                Germany         10                    30                                        60

                               (very) good             medium            (very) poor

Source: Fig. 8 from the abridged version of the HIS report, p. 16
24                                                             younG academIcs and JunIor researchers

ment in the USA and the UK because they feel              German fellowship programs have an excel­
that they only have mediocre prospects of obtain­     lent reputation within the country and, above
ing a secure research position in Germany. Career     all, internationally. In particular, the DAAD and
paths abroad appear to be easier to navigate and      the Humboldt Foundation are mentioned very
the journey to an occupational destination seems      positively in this respect. Problems tend to sur­
more manageable. Career opportunities in other        face with regard to issues associated with daily
countries are perceived to be more transparent        life, such as the enormous effort required to find
and predictable.                                      housing and the demands of integrating oneself
                                                      into the host country. Information from funding
    A large number of respondents complained          organizations shows that exchanges of fellows
that young academics in Germany are subjected         from abroad primarily take place within the
to an overly restrictive regime of academic de ­      scope of doctorate programs; post-doc positions
pendencies coupled with an outlook that is too        are still rare in the humanities.
uncertain. In the German professorship system,
graduate students are all too often enormously        career planning and groups of junior
dependent upon their supervisors. Not surpris ­       researchers in the humanities
ingly, many junior researchers are lured abroad
by the prospects of early academic independence,      Of course, in addition to examples of targeted
tenure track and acquiring a position at a prestig­   efforts to enhance internationalism in academia,
ious university. A tenure track position offers an    there is also something that could be called
opportunity of acquiring a lifelong academic posi­    “unwanted internationalism” warned Marie Luise
tion at the same university or research institution   Ehrenschwendtner. This is experienced by academ­
following successful completion of a provisional      ics who have not managed to find their footing
period of employment – in the USA six to seven        at German universities. Ulrike Albrecht said that
years – in which the candidate‘s teaching and         in addition to subject-related achievements, social
research are subject to evaluation. In the opinion    competencies – known as soft skills – have become
of a number of respondents, the attractiveness        more important for university careers. This pri­
of positions in these countries is additionally       marily has to do with the ability to move at ease
enhanced by the fact that researchers there are       on the international academic stage. Only 20 years
given a greater amount of freedom to pursue           ago, this milieu was still synonymous with the An­
their work as they see fit. Another consideration     glo-American sphere, but now the community has
is that they have an opportunity to gain interna­     become more diverse. Asian and Latin American
tional recognition by publishing their own works      partners have gained in importance – and the aca­
in English (see “German language”, p. 14)             demic world has become more multi-polar. Trips,
                                                      stays and experiences abroad have gone from

                                                                    They discussed career opportunities and obsta­
                                                                    cles based on international comparisons
                                                                    (from left to right): Dr. Marie Luise Ehren­
                                                                    schwendtner (University of Aberdeen), Junior
                                                                    Prof. Dr. Schirin Amir-Moazami (Free University
                                                                    Berlin), Armin Himmelrath (facilitator), Prof.
                                                                    Naoki Murata (Japan Society for the Promotion
                                                                    of Science, Tokyo) and Dr. Ulrike Albrecht
                                                                    (Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, Bonn)
younG academIcs and JunIor researchers                                                                                      25

being desirable to becoming a nearly indispensable
precondition for academic careers. But these paths
and detours need to be planned. Especially now
that there are a wider range of options, the routes
have become more complex, making it increasingly
important for students to plan their careers while
studying at institutions of higher education, accord­
ing to Dorothea Rüland.

    With the launching of an initiative called “Jun­
ior Researchers Focusing on ‘Europe Seen from
the Outside’”, the BMBF is pursuing two objectives.
First, the ministry is further expanding the inter­
nationalization of the humanities in Germany.
Second, the qualification of young academics is
being actively supported on a broad basis. With
this and other programs focusing on groups of
junior researchers, the BMBF is reacting to the fact
that career opportunities can be improved thanks
to concrete measures such as structured and
common ways of working in doctoral programs,
or working in a group of independently directed         One of the ten institutes of the Foundation of German Humani­
                                                        ties Institutes Abroad (DGIA): The German Historical Institute in
junior researchers. Those who pursue a doctorate
                                                        Washington DC. The work of the Institute focuses on economic
independently, without being involved in a group        and social history.
or a program, are more likely to subsequently find
themselves in a precarious employment situation.        ●●   Develop and enhance innovative research ap ­
                                                             proaches and interdisciplinary academic work
   Since 2010, there have been seven sponsored
projects focusing on the theme of “Europe Seen          ●●   Involve fellows from other countries and estab ­
from the Outside”. These projects endeavor to                lish national as well as international networks
accomplish the following:
                                                        Jan Logemann of the German Historical Insti­
●●   Provide insights into how external perceptions     tute (DHI) in Washington, DC manages a project
     of Europe have developed historically and          entitled “Transatlantic Perspectives”. He focuses
     contemporarily, and into the cultural, social      on European immigrants and émigrés who left
     and political factors that have influenced this    Europe between 1940 and the 1970s and settled
     development                                        in the USA, and examines their awareness and
                                                        perceptions of Europe “from the outside”. Usually,
●●   Reconstruct the changing influences that           the opposite side of the coin is examined for the
     Europe has experienced during its interactions     post-war decades, namely focusing on American
     with non-European countries                        influences on (Western) Europe. Instead, this study
                                                        takes a look at notions of Europe entertained by
●●   Question what “external” and “internal”            the “wanderers between the worlds” and the im­
     mean from a European perspective and what          pact that this has had on Americans‘ views of Eu­
     developments these demarcations and border         rope and transatlantic relations. The immigrants‘
     constructions have undergone                       perspectives of their European origins contained
                                                        and conveyed the inceptions of a modern Euro ­
●●   Pave the way for talented young scholars with      pean identity which helped to bring European
     experience in research and teaching to gain        experiences into an Atlantic world that was more
     additional academic qualifications that allow      strongly influenced by America. Three case studies
     them to apply for positions in the scientific      deal with the areas of economic systems, urban
     community and top jobs in the private sector.      planning & architecture, and consumer culture.
26                                                              daTa and surVey meThods of The hIs sTudy

Data and survey methods of the HIS study,
future areas of research

statistical methods can be used to measure                  In addition to empirical data and interviews,
the mobility of students and researchers:               a third pillar of this study consists of secondary
                                                        analyses of official statistical data as well as data
how often they travel abroad, how often
                                                        from academic programs that provide funding
they take part in conferences, how often                for international exchanges of students and
they publish in foreign languages. however,             researchers. This data covers all disciplines in the
statistics cannot document the transfer and             humanities, as defined in the recommendations
                                                        of the German Council of Science and Humanities
receiving of ideas originating from foreign
                                                        in 2006.
research. International quotation indexes
are also problematic in the humanities.                    Some of the issues addressed in this study
                                                        have, on occasion, already been examined and
This explains why the HIS study consists of a           discussed. What makes the present study unique,
quantitative and a qualitative analysis. There are      however, is that various aspects of the interna­
even limits to the current ability to quantify mo ­     tional character of the humanities in Germany
bility in the academic world, since there is a lack     are described from the viewpoint of the players
of standards to measure this mobility. There are        involved in researching and teaching at German,
no statistics on doctoral candidates who spend          Australian, British, Japanese and American
time abroad while working on their dissertations.       higher education institutions. One obstacle nev­
A number of institutions involved in international      ertheless remains: For the time being, there are
exchanges have been very helpful, such as the           hardly any internationally binding standards for
German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD)                 documenting and interpreting data on interna­
and the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation.              tionalization.
In addition to supplying data, as members of the
advisory board, both of these organizations were        online survey of humanities scholars
consulted concerning the concept and implemen­          in Germany and abroad
tation of the study.
                                                        Invitations to participate in the online survey
explorative study                                       were sent to all scholars in the nine subject
                                                        areas in Germany whose e-mail addresses were
The core of this explorative study consists of          publicly available via the department websites
49 structured interviews and an online survey of        of German universities. In addition, in Australia,
humanities scholars from Germany and abroad.            the UK and the USA, approximately 400 to
These interviews and the online survey do not           500 randomly selected representatives of these
reflect the complete range of subject areas in the      subject areas in each country were asked to take
humanities. Nine subject areas were selected –          part in the online survey. (It was not possible
African studies, Egyptology, German studies, his­       to conduct an online survey that was originally
tory, Islamic studies, communication and media          planned for Japan.) Requests to participate
studies, art history, musicology and religious stud­    were sent to a total of 4,633 people at German
ies – to explore the possibilities of more accurate ­   universities (see Fig. 1) and 1,356 people in the
ly specifying area-related particularities within       reference countries (see Fig. 2). English-speaking
the context of internationality. At the same time,      parts of the world were chosen due to the domi­
this selection includes fields of study with various    nance of English as an academic language,
academic traditions in Germany. For instance,           the USA due to its competitive position in the
German studies and history are among the “old”          humanities, and Japan as a country with an
disciplines, whereas it wasn’t until the 20th           Asian culture.
century that Islamic and media studies became
established at German universities.
daTa and surVey meThods of The hIs sTudy                                                                       27

Table 1: Response of the online survey in Germany according to subjects (number of invited and participants,
         response in %)

                                                Invited          Participated              Response in %

 African studies                                   70                  17                      24 %
 Egyptology                                        52                  14                      33 %
 Islamic/Arabic studies                           132                  24                      18 %
 German studies                                  1536                357                       23 %
 History                                         1664                331                       20 %
 Communication/media studies                      232                  82                      35 %
 Art history                                      372                  65                      17 %
 Musicology                                       416                109                       26 %
 Religious studies                                115                  20                      17 %
 Others                                            44                  11                      25 %
 Total                                           4633               1030                       22 %

    The field phase of the study took place from           Due to the minimal number of respondents for
mid-November 2008 to early January 2009. It                the reference countries Australia, the UK and the
was possible to evaluate the results from 1,211            USA, it was decided to forgo a presentation of the
respondents. Among personnel in the humanities             results for these countries according to subject
in Germany, this corresponds to a response rate            area. For this reason, subject areas have been
of 22 percent; but it differs in some cases signifi­       pooled to display the results from Germany as
cantly depending on the subject area. Among the            well.
sample abroad, the return rate varies, depending
on the country surveyed, between 12 and 15 per­            qualitative interviews with humanities
cent.                                                      scholars in Germany and abroad
                                                           During the winter of 2008/2009, academics in
Table 2: Response of the online survey in Australia,       the above-mentioned subject areas and countries
         the UK and the USA (number of invited and         were invited to take part in an interview. In addi­
         participants, response in %)                      tion to Australia, Germany, the UK and the USA,
                                                           interviews were conducted in Japan. In select­
                                     partici­   response   ing the interviewees, steps were taken to ensure
                                      pated       in %     that all potential respondents had many years of
                                                           academic experience abroad. A number of the
 Australia             368              48         13      participants are actively involved in international
                                                           bodies, or were involved in the past. Efforts were
 UK                    471              73         15      made to maintain a balanced mix among the in­
                                                           terviewees with regard to gender, titles and coun­
 USA                   517              60         12      tries of origin. In Germany two interviews were
                                                           conducted in each discipline. In Australia, the
 Total               1356              181         14      UK and the USA, one individual was questioned
                                                           in each discipline, with the exception of the UK,
 Source (Table 1 and 2): His online survey
                                                           where two additional academics in the area of
                                                           religious studies were willing to participate in the
                                                           study. Only five interviews could be conducted
                                                           in Japan. As a result, there were no interviews
28                                                               daTa and surVey meThods of The hIs sTudy

presented for individuals in Japan in the subject     future research projects
areas of religious studies, Islamic/Arabic studies,
German studies and history.                           There are countless statistics on imported and ex­
                                                      ported goods. Yet there is a dearth of comparable
    The interviews were primarily conducted in        and comparative statistics on the foreign mobility
person and, in some cases, by telephone between       of students and research personnel. Data quality
October 2008 and March 2009. All interviews           and methods for such comparisons need to be
were digitally recorded. All quotations from the      improved. One of the studies in this area is the
interviews are anonymous. Source information          “Wissenschaft weltoffen” project conducted by
is therefore generally limited to the subject         the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD)
area and country where the interviewees were          and HIS Hochschul-Informations-System GmbH
researching and teaching at the time of the           (Hanover).
                                                      a comparison of career conditions in diverse
The complete version of the study is available (in    countries
German) at:
internationale_positionierung_geisteswissen           The study revealed clear national differences with
schaften.pdf                                          regard to career conditions in the humanities,
                                                      which primarily have to do with the general con­
The abridged version of the study (in English) is     ditions for the academic profession. This concerns
available at: http://www.geist-kennt-keine­           not just material career aspects, but also imma­            terial conditions and incentives: What prompts
                                                      humanities scholars to remain in the country or
                                                      go abroad? Where do they see themselves in the
                                                      future and what future do they anticipate to have
                                                      in the country where they were educated? These
                                                      conditions partially contribute to the departure
                                                      of German personnel in search of new horizons
                                                      abroad. When it comes to careers in the natural
                                                      sciences and technical areas, there are hardly any
                                                      differences in terms of the material conditions
                                                      in the USA and Germany and, in some respects,
                                                      conditions are even better in Germany. These are
                                                      important considerations for engineers, yet no
                                                      such comparative analysis exists for the humani­
                                                      ties. Nonetheless, there are indications of diverse
                                                      differences in working conditions, not all of
                                                      which are material in nature. In particular, it is
                                                      unknown where Germany stands internationally
                                                      in terms of the following characteristics:

                                                      ●●	   The foreign mobility of young academics:
                                                            motives, career options

                                                      ●●	   Material aspects of the career conditions of
                                                            young academics (possible career paths, job
                                                            prospects, transparency of career opportuni­
                                                            ties, income)

                                                      ●●	   Labor markets for humanities scholars, includ­
                                                            ing outside the usual academic career paths
daTa and surVey meThods of The hIs sTudy                                                               29

●●   Freedom to design research; opportunities to         In order to achieve this, we need to transfer
     make their own mark                               results from humanities research to the non­
                                                       academic public along with the sensitivity of the
●●   Balance of research and teaching duties: teach­   humanities for social processes that are beyond
     ing load in Germany, the UK, the USA; actual      the immediate circle of scientific communities.
     amount of time available for research, teach­
     ing and administration; student/teacher ratio         An important field of research is the interna­
                                                       tional comparative analysis of communicative
●●   Conditions for receiving grants; types and fos­   structures and conditions between the humani­
     tering of networks and publications, support      ties and society, for instance, examining which
     with translations and international marketing;    structured transfer processes are available in
     tailoring of funding programs (requirements);     diverse countries, how they are organized and
     opportunities for “small subject areas”; needs    what impacts they achieve. It is important to find
     of researchers                                    ways to use active communication, publications
                                                       and other media to reach individuals who are not
musicology and music                                   schooled in these particular areas.

In the field of instrumental music, German
universities have a particularly high proportion
of students from Eastern Europe and East Asia.
There is no valid information on the histories and
successes of their studies, their integration into
the university and society, or the whereabouts of
these graduates. Based on standardized (long­
term) surveys and qualitative methods, it would
be possible to acquire more knowledge about the
histories and problems associated with their stud­
ies, and about successful funding and integration
of highly talented students.

using research results to benefit society

The humanities are often referred to as nothing
more than a “labor of love” and a series of “use ­
less orchid disciplines”. This point of view ignores
the economic significance of Europe’s cultural
and creative industries. The cultural and creative
industries boast significant gross value added –
and their growth rates over the past years have
consistently remained higher than the average
for the entire economy.

    Moreover, in view of global social upheavals
and exacting cultural tests, the humanities enjoy
interesting opportunities and should be aware
of their responsibility. Whether a civilized and
peaceful coexistence can be maintained or re­
established on the world stage depends to a great
degree on how successful we are at revealing and
overcoming latent (often exclusionary and segre ­
gationist) social contexts and replacing these with
new prospects.
30                                                    resulTs of The “mInd crossInG borders” conference

Results of the “Mind Crossing Borders”
conference from the perspective of the BMBF

The prime objective remains to improve the            intensively received in Germany and integrated
international visibility of German research           into humanities research in this country. Academ­
                                                      ic projects such as the “Käte Hamburger Colleges”
and research results.
                                                      and the “Area studies” pave the way forward.

Multilingual publications could contribute to         research funding
achieving this goal, and this would by no means
be limited to books and essays in English, but        In order to find out how the BMBF should pro ­
would most certainly also include French, Span­       ceed in the future, it would be advisable to more
ish, Japanese and Chinese works. It goes without      intensively observe tools and strategies used by
saying that this is not limited to philological       other countries to promote research funding
translations, but also includes works that take       in the humanities. What types of networking
into account academic and cultural differences,       are practiced there? How is the attractiveness
i. e., that conform to common publication formats     of diverse centers of research enhanced? What
and popular forms of presentation in the target       publication strategies are preferred by other large
countries. It will take work and time to meet this    non-English speaking countries like France, Italy,
challenge, and both of these aspects should be        Spain and Asian countries? What specific tools for
considered and included in the planning of larger     funding the humanities and social sciences are
projects in the humanities.                           common elsewhere? What strategic goals under­
                                                      lie research funding and what are the humanities
     An information portal with “abstracts of Ger-    expected to achieve? All of these issues should
man research in the humanities” is a notion that      now be pursued and, as long as they are produc­
is worth taking into consideration. The confer­       tive, be continuously and systematically processed
ence showed that reading the complete texts of        afterwards.
monographs is not the only factor governing vis ­
ibility. Often a short summary or a synopsis of the   research and monitoring
work’s results is enough to put German research
on the radar of international humanities. In the      The BMBF is interested in ensuring that inter­
areas of history and social sciences, the H-Soz-u-    national research trends in the humanities are
Kult community network has established a mod­         observed and analyzed. It is only based on these
ern information and communications platform.          observations that funding strategies can be suc­
Academic news and publications, reviews and           cessfully developed and established. International
conference reports are published at http://hsoz­      monitoring provides information on global actors Access to current       at an early stage, and makes it possible to rate
insights into events in the world of academia is      and utilize this within national strategies.
available via the website, e-mail and RSS feeds. It
would be worthwhile looking into whether a simi­          International monitoring requires the capable
lar form would be desirable for the humanities.       presence of German research, research organi­
It is possible that the topics and methods there      zations and sponsors on location. This can only
are so multifaceted that one forum would not be       be effectively carried out in coordination with
enough to cover the entire spectrum.                  academic organizations within the scope of a
                                                      joint initiative aimed at gathering uniform and
    In reaction to the stronger reception of Ger-     internationally compatible data for a worldwide
man research results abroad, it is important          benchmarking of academic systems and their
to energetically pursue systematic exchanges          achievements. Embarking on such an initiative
with other cultures of knowledge and integrate        should include collective efforts with other coun­
non-western knowledge into our historically           tries and their research organizations in favor of
influenced disciplines. The BMBF would like to        improved framework conditions for humanities
help make it possible for foreign ideas to be more    research and its funding.
The German GoVernmenT’s InTernaTIonalIzaTIon sTraTeGy                                                    31

New frontiers for science – the German
government’s internationalization strategy

science and innovation have paved the                   Tapping into the international potential
way for globalization processes and, at the             for innovation
same time, these processes have an impact
                                                        German companies have to form partnerships
on science. It will only be possible to shape           with the leading and newly created high-tech
globalization, however, if its causes and               hubs around the globe and the most creative
manifestations are researched and critically            research and development centers. This will
                                                        strengthen Germany’s role as a hotbed for innova­
                                                        tion and make it more attractive for companies
How can Germany become even better networked            that conduct intensive research.
in the international scientific community? How is
it possible to forge more intensive collaborations      sustainably bolster cooperation with
to jointly tackle global issues? And how attractive     developing countries
is Germany as a center of research for academics
around the world? The internationalization strat­       To help ensure that modern university, research
egy that the German cabinet introduced in Febru­        and innovation systems are created in the de ­
ary 2008 addresses these questions and aims to          veloping countries of Africa, Latin America and
strengthen Germany’s position in the global sci­        Asia, scientific initiatives will be launched to
entific community. Scientific policy is becoming        better coordinate technological and development
an increasingly strong pillar of Germany’s foreign      cooperation. This will create better conditions for
policy and Germany is doing its part to continue        closer cooperation with emerging scientific and
to develop Europe as a modern, international and        economic centers.
competitive research region.
                                                        Taking international responsibility
   Indeed, the education of junior researchers
has become increasingly international. Research         Germany is contributing to tackling today’s glob ­
institutes and corporations are joining forces with     al challenges, including climate change, dwin­
research and university institutions to establish       dling resources, infectious diseases, terror and
competency centers that achieve international           migration. This requires research and political in­
recognition and attract students, researchers and       itiatives with an international focus. The German
companies. The earlier such ties are established,       government is working in international bodies to
the more productive scientific collaborations will      promote the development and implementation of
evolve.                                                 this type of international research agenda. At the
                                                        same time, it is necessary to improve the general
The four key objectives of the internationalization     conditions for international research investments
strategy are:                                           in Germany and the knowledge transfer among
                                                        public research institutions, universities and com­
strengthening research collaborations with              panies. German investments in foreign research
the best in the world                                   centers must also generate the highest possible
                                                        benefits for Germany.
German researchers have to collaborate more
closely with the most innovative scientists and            In order to constructively shape and monitor
best research groups in the world. At the same          the globalization process and its social conse ­
time, Germany intends to become one of the top          quences, international collaboration in the hu­
countries for the best researchers and students         manities and social sciences will also be further
from around the world.                                  enhanced. These disciplines reflect and explain
                                                        the trends, causes and consequences of globaliza­
                                                        tion. Significant contributions towards achiev­
                                                        ing these goals are made by the “Freedom for
32                                                    The German GoVernmenT’s InTernaTIonalIzaTIon sTraTeGy

Research in the Humanities” funding initiative,            abroad, and effective promotion of Germany as a
the “Käte Hamburger International Center for               center for higher education, research and innova­
Humanities Research” and the interdisciplinary             tion.
competency networks for area studies.
                                                              The BMBF has its internationalization strategy
    This internationalization strategy is supported        checked every three to five years by an indepen­
by the coordinated presence of the German scien­           dent and international group of experts. The
tific community abroad, information provided by            German government presented an initial interim
German industry and the scientific community               report in July 2009.
on research, innovation and strategic activities
hoW The bmbf promoTes The InTernaTIonal characTer of The humanITIes                                                   33

How the BMBF promotes the international
character of the humanities

findings made by researchers in the hu­                            Here is a list of these 10 research institutes:
manities and social sciences are particularly
                                                                   ●●   German Forum for Art History Paris
valuable in times of transition and rapid
change, in other words, whenever there is a                        ●●   German Historical Institute London
greater need for the kind of knowledge that
can provide orientation. These realizations                        ●●   German Historical Institute Moscow
shape how a society sees itself in terms of
                                                                   ●●   German Historical Institute Paris
its past, present and future.
                                                                   ●●   German Historical Institute Rome
dGIa foundation
                                                                   ●●   German Historical Institute Warsaw
The BMBF provides institutional support for the
internationalization of the humanities through                     ●●   German Historical Institute Washington DC
the Foundation of German Humanities Institutes
Abroad (DGIA), which has ten institutes working                    ●●   German Institute for Japanese Studies Tokyo
in the humanities. These work primarily in the
areas of historical, cultural, economic and social                 ●●   Oriental Institute Beirut
studies in selected countries and promote mu­
tual understanding between Germany and these                       ●●   Oriental Institute Istanbul
                                                                   The foreign institutes are centers of excellence for
                                                                   German humanities research. They pursue their
                                                                   own research, educate junior researchers and –
                                                                   thanks to their publications, academic events,
                                                                   libraries and media centers – serve as prestigious
                                                                   points of contact for scientific communities in the
                                                                   host countries.

                                                                       Within the scope of the “Translation Function
                                                                   of the Humanities” funding program, the BMBF
                                                                   is supporting an interdisciplinary joint project on
                                                                   the culture of sensuality in Weimar Classicism,
                                                                   conducted in collaboration with the German Fo­
                                                                   rum for Art History (DFK) in Paris and the Klassik
                                                                   Stiftung Weimar. With three sub-projects, regular
                                                                   working conferences and an exhibition, the
                                                                   project honors the eminent importance of sensual
                                                                   and material qualities in Weimar culture around
                                                                   1800. It examines the latest research on Weimar
Exhibition on the Biblioteca Islamica at the Orient Institute in
                                                                   Classicism, which focuses increasingly on mate­
Beirut in 2010.
                                                                   rial and aesthetic aspects, and further pursues
                                                                   this line of study by bringing together historical
                                                                   special research and current theory formation in
                                                                   the humanities.
34                                             hoW The bmbf promoTes The InTernaTIonal characTer of The humanITIes

                                                                     preserve the internationally highly respected
                                                                     tradition of German humanities. Thanks to this
                                                                     program, it is possible to safeguard, access and
                                                                     illustrate this cultural heritage to pave the way
                                                                     for its exploration. This ranks among Germany’s
                                                                     largest research programs in the humanities.

                                                                         Most projects in the academies’ program have
                                                                     long enjoyed excellent relations to local public
                                                                     administration officials responsible for the areas
                                                                     of science and research. This networking is based
                                                                     primarily on personal contacts maintained by
                                                                     project managers. Until now, it has not been pos­
                                                                     sible for the above-mentioned projects to acquire
                                                                     appropriate financing from the corresponding
Goethe’s residence – the epitome of German classicism, which is
                                                                     host states in Germany. This means that the pro ­
an area of study jointly researched by the Klassik Stiftung Weimar   jects of the academies’ program depend on count­
and the German Forum for Art History in Paris.                       less international collaborations and networks.
                                                                     Yet there is a sense that comparable traditions
                                                                     such as those in Germany, i. e., the form of fund­
                                                                     ing that is practiced in the academies’ program,
                                                                     are lacking worldwide.
The administrative office of the foundation
in Bonn supports the work of the institutes in                           One project effectively provides an illustration:
Germany and abroad. This primarily concerns                          “European Traditions – An Encyclopedia of Jewish
their collaboration with German university and                       Cultures” by the academy in Saxony focuses on
non-university research institutions and academic                    researching Jewish cultural traditions from early
institutions in the host countries. The BMBF is the                  modern times to the present throughout Europe,
only source of institutional financing for the foun­                 as well as in America and Middle and Near East­
dation; however, the foundation can also acquire                     ern countries. Contacts to leading experts around
funding from third parties. The foundation’s cur­                    the world are essential here. The project primar­
rent annual budget is approximately €36 million,                     ily relies on the well established contacts of the
with nearly €2 million coming from third parties.                    Simon Dubnow Institute for Jewish History and
                                                                     Culture at the University of Leipzig.
The union of German academies of science
                                                                     “freedom for research in the humanities”
The eight German academies of science in Berlin,                     funding initiative
Düsseldorf, Göttingen, Hamburg, Heidelberg,
Leipzig, Mainz and Munich together form the                          The BMBF funds the humanities and social sci­
Union of German Academies of Science. There are                      ences with ongoing activities to improve research
some 1,600 members in the union from a wide                          infrastructures, international collaboration
range of subject areas. The academies’ main mis­                     projects and numerous projects that are part of
sion consists of coordinating long-term funda­                       the “Freedom for Research in the Humanities”
mental research projects and fostering interdisci­                   funding initiative, which have been continuously
plinary dialogue.                                                    issuing grants since the “Year of the Humanities”
                                                                     (2007). Many of these initiatives are based on
   The union oversees the academies’ program,                        recommendations or comments by the German
which is equally financed by the federal govern­                     Council of Science and Humanities.
ment and the German states, and includes €51.8
million (figures: 2011) for nearly 150 long-term                        The funding initiative aims to help shape the
projects that primarily focus on fundamental                         future through long-term humanities research.
research in the humanities. These efforts help                       This is made possible by allowing scholars more
hoW The bmbf promoTes The InTernaTIonal characTer of The humanITIes                                         35

time for research, which strengthens the develop ­    dialogues with diverse academic disciplinary
ment of methods and methodological pluralism          cultures. An important aspect here consists of de ­
in the humanities, particularly with regard to        veloping new fields of application for the humani­
how these disciplines interplay with the natural      ties. Museums provide a particularly attractive
sciences and engineering. This enhances the           field of application for humanities research. This
importance of humanities research for social          explains why alliances between university insti­
dialogue in today’s globalized world, advances        tutes and museums receive separate funding.
the internationalization of research, and bolsters
the role of the humanities as a conveyor and              Supported by the recommendations of the
interpreter.                                          German Council of Science and Humanities, the
                                                      BMBF gives special attention to “strengthen­
    The core of the initiative is exemplified by      ing and further developing area studies” (see
the Käte Hamburger International Research             p. 9/10, “Area studies”). These initiatives use new
Centers (see p. 9, box “Work and Human Life           forms of cooperation to enhance and consoli­
Cycle in Global History”). These are directed         date our knowledge of far corners of the world,
by a small team of academics who have been            inherently gained through area studies. Seven
largely exempted of administrative and teach­         inter-university competency networks and three
ing obligations, allowing them to pursue their        inner-university projects develop trans-regional
own research and invite groups of internation­        and interdisciplinary research areas and help to
ally renowned fellows to join them. Based on a        advance methodological analysis.
systematic confrontation with other cultures of
knowledge, the aim is for these communities of            For the first time in its funding of the hu­
academics to put to the test their own views of       manities, the BMBF specifically supports junior
what is “natural” and “obvious”. Up until now, a      researchers to allow them to achieve higher aca­
total of nine of these international research cent­   demic qualifications. The announcement of the
ers have received funding, and the fourth round       “Europe Seen from the Outside” initiative (2008)
of grant applications was opened in 2010.             allows seven groups of young academics to work
                                                      in independent university groups during a fully
    In 2005 the German Council of Science and         funded four-year internationally-oriented project
Humanities expressly recommended that some            (see p. 24/25 “Career planning and groups of jun­
humanities centers receive further funding. Con­      ior researchers in the humanities”).
sequently, since 2008, the BMBF has been jointly
funding these centers together with the host Ger-        Within the scope of the “Humanities in the
man states: the Center for Literary and Cultural      Social Dialogue” funding initiative, since 2006
Research (ZfL), the Centre for General Linguistics    projects have been focusing on the topic of
(ZAS) and the Center of Modern Oriental Studies       “Europe – the social and cultural identifying
(ZMO, all in Berlin), along with the Humanities       elements of Europe and being European”.
Center for the Study of the History and Culture
of Eastern and Central Europe (GWZO) in Leipzig.      For more information see:
This group will also soon include the Centre for
Contemporary History Research (ZZF) in Potsdam,
which joined the Leibniz Association in 2009.

Thematic project funding

The projects of the “Translation Function of the
Humanities” funding initiative deal with com­
prehension (communication) in one’s own and
in a foreign culture; visualization (representa­
tion), in particular the relationship between one’s
own and foreign traditions, as well as convey­
ance (transfer), particularly when engaging in
36                                                       bIblIoGraphy, references and TIps for furTher readInG

Bibliography, references and tips
for further reading

results of the hIs study                                    General literature

The complete version of the study is available (in          BMBF: Internationalization of Higher Education –
German) at:                                                 Foreign Students in Germany – German Students            Abroad. Results of the 18th Social Survey of the
positionierung_geisteswissenschaften.pdf                    Deutsches Studentenwerk (DSW) conducted by HIS
                                                            Hochschul-Informations-System 2008.
notes on bmbf funding                                       Sonderbericht_Internationalisierung_engl.pdf

Information provided by the BMBF on international           DAAD (publisher): Wissenschaft weltoffen. Facts and
collaboration in research and education:                    figures on the international nature of studies and                             research in Germany. (95 pages)
                                                            This publication examines Germany‘s attractiveness
Information on research funding provided by the             as a place to study, and conducts an international
BMBF:                               comparison of the foreign mobility of students and
                                                            instructors. The text is in German and English.
Information on the funding activities of the BMBF in
the humanities, lists of projects (organized according      DAAD (publisher): Internationalität an deutschen
to funding initiatives, in German):                         Hochschulen – Konzeption und Erhebung von Profil­                                        daten. Bonn 2010 (130 pages)
                                                            The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), the
Funding map with continuously updated project               University Rector‘s Conference (HRK) and the Alexan­
overview (in German):                                       der von Humboldt Foundation (AvH) conducted this­                            project on the international character of German
Geisteswissenschaften.php                                   universities in collaboration with the Association
                                                            for Empirical Studies (GES). The aim is to use profile
BMBF brochure: Freiraum für die Geisteswissenschaf­
                                                            data to demonstrate the degree of international­
ten, Bonn/Berlin 2007 (English: Freedom for Research
                                                            ity enjoyed by universities and study areas based
in the Humanities, French: Un espace libre pour les
                                                            on meaningful criteria and data. The study focused
sciences humaines):
                                                            primarily on comparisons across Germany.
in_the_humanities.pdf                                       Karola Hahn: Die Internationalisierung der                   deutschen Hochschulen. Kontext, Kernprozesse,
geisteswissenschaften_frz.pdf                               Konzepte und Strategien. Wiesbaden (VS Verlag)
other organizations                                         Klaus W. Hempfer, Philipp Antony (publisher): Zur
                                                            Situation der Geisteswissenschaften in Forschung und
Alexander von Humboldt Foundation: http://www.              Lehre. Eine Bestandsaufnahme aus der universitären                        Praxis. Stuttgart (Franz Steiner Verlag) 2009; incl.
                                                            Ansgar Nünning: Thesen zur Internationalisierung
German Academic Exchange Service:
                                                            der geisteswissenschaftlichen Dolktorandenausbil­
                                                            dung und Forschung – Plädoyer für Kooperationen,
Foundation of German Humanities Institutes Abroad           Perspektivenvielfalt und Selbstreflexivität
(DGIA):                                                     (pp. 127-142), Wolfgang Mackiewicz: Replik 1            (pp. 143-149), Paul Nolte: Replik 2 (pp. 151-157).

The Union of German Academies of Science:
bIblIoGraphy, references and TIps for furTher readInG                                                          37

Friedrich Jäger, Claus Leggewie: Made in Germany.        The following notes relate to the chapters of this
Deutsche Geisteswissenschaften im Prozess der Inter­     brochure.
nationalisierung. KWI-Interventionen 2/2009 (series
published by the Institute for Advanced Study in the     Germany’s attractiveness
Humanities – KWI) (11 pages).
A summary of a conference jointly held by the KWI        Uwe Brandenburg, Philipp Höllemann, Daphne Lipp:
and the Goethe Institute in February 2008 Essen.         The laws of attraction. Erfolgsfaktoren in interna­
                                                         tionalen Hochschulkooperationen. In: die hochschule.
Jane Knight: Five Myths about Internationalization.      Journal für wissenschaft und bildung 1/2008, p. 4-22
duz europa 1/2011, p. 12-13
                                                         Alexander von Humboldt Foundation: Strategies to
Aus Politik und Zeitgeschichte no. 46/2007 “Geistes­     Win the Best: German Approaches in International
wissenschaften”, provides a summary of the Science       Perspective. Proceedings of the Second Forum on
Year 2007 and asks how successful efforts were at        the Internationalization of Sciences and Humanities.
gaining more public attention for these disciplines      December 5–7, 2008, Berlin, Germany (72 pages)
during the Year of the Humanities.
                                                         Reports on an event attended by leading interna­
Aus Politik und Zeitgeschichte no. 48/2006 “Hoch­        tional academics. Participants addressed strategies
schulpolitik und die Zukunft der Geisteswissen­          for improving the attractiveness of the German aca­
schaften”, describes the impact of the Bologna           demic system for top researchers from abroad. This
Process on the German humanities and its specific        publication contains a range of recommendations
culture of knowledge.                                    (p. 56-61).

Wissenschaftsrat (Juli 2010): Empfehlungen zur           Thomas Schröder, Ilka Sehl (publisher): International­
deutschen Wissenschaftspolitik im Europäischen           isierung von Hochschulen. Ergebnisse eines deutsch­
Hochschulraum. Internet: http://www.wissen­              österreichischen Benchmarking-Verfahrens. Hanover un­            2010 (HIS: Forum Hochschule 8/2010)
abridged version (p. 7ff.) and a summary of the
recommendations (p. 142ff.) Offers an introduction
to reading the 186-page document.                        The German language, publishing practices
                                                         and visibility of research
Wissenschaftsrat (2006): Empfehlungen zur Entwick­
lung und Förderung der Geisteswissenschaften in          DAAD: Memorandum zur Förderung des Deutschen
Deutschland. Internet: http://www.wissenschaftsrat.      als Wissenschaftssprache (vorgelegt am 25.02.2010)
de/download/archiv/7068-06.pdf                           In view of the increasing dominance of English in the
                                                         international scientific community, the DAAD says that
area studies                                             it is necessary for the German language to maintain its
                                                         traditional position. On the occasion of the launching
Birgit Schäbler (publisher): Area Studies und die        of the “German – Language of Ideas” initiative by the
Welt. Weltregionen und neue Globalgeschichte.            German Foreign Office, the DAAD provides an over­
Vienna (Mandelbaum Verlag) 2007                          view of the linguistic guidelines that it pursues.

Susanne Weiss: Wissenschaft und Wirtschaft in der        Ulrich Greiner: Ist Deutsch noch zu retten? In: Die
Globalisierung. Regionalstudien in Deutschland.          Zeit (German weekly newspaper) no. 27 from July 1,
Berlin (Weiss von Richthofen Verlag) 2007.               2010, p. 44 (focusing particularly on language selec­
                                                         tion and language use in academia)
Features a comprehensive geographically organized
overview of which university and non-university insti­   Jürgen Trabant: Ein Plädoyer für die Vielsprachigkeit.
tutions are active in area studies.                      In: FAZ (Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, German
                                                         daily newspaper), April 1, 2010, p. 9
                                                         Trabant highlights the conflict between academic
                                                         production (where the most thoroughly mastered
                                                         language should be used) and communicating
                                                         research results (which reaches the largest possible
                                                         audience if this is done in English). He calls for a
                                                         “flexible approach to language” in academia.
38                                                       bIblIoGraphy, references and TIps for furTher readInG

research quality                                            Minks, Karl-Heinz/Schneider, Heidrun (2008): Kompe­
                                                            tenzanforderungen an junge Geisteswissenschaftler
British Council: Measuring and benchmarking the             in nicht traditionellen Berufen. In:Goschler, Constan­
internationalisation of education London QE confer­         tin u. a. (publisher): Arts and Figures: Geisteswissen­
ence centre, March 26, 2010.                                schaftlerInnen im Beruf. Göttingen. Wallstein Verlag,
The internationalization of German universities             pp. 131-154
receives top marks in a worldwide comparison. This          Guide to Enhancing the International Student Ex­
was the result of a British study, which concluded          perience for Germany. How to improve services and
that German universities are successful both in terms       communicate to better match expectations. GATE-
of research collaborations and student exchanges.           Schriftenreihe Hochschulmarketing, Band 4, ISBN
Germany is at the top of the list of 11 analyzed coun­      978-3-7639-4841-3
tries on the National Policy Index (NPI). This study
was presented at the Going Global 4 (GG4) confer­
                                                            Internationalization strategies
ence hosted by the British Council. Further informa­
tion is available in the German Science and Informa­
                                                            Deutschlands Rolle in der globalen Wissensgesell­
tion (idw) report from March 31, 2010:
                                                            schaft stärken. Strategie der Bundesregierung zur In­                          ternationalisierung von Wissenschaft und Forschung
Elisabeth Lack, Christoph Markschies (publisher):           (presented in February 2008)
What the hell is quality? Qualitätsstandards in den         This document is available at:
Geisteswissenschaften. Frankfurt/New York (Campus)
research conditions

Kerstin Janson, Harald Schomburg, Ulrich Teichler:
Wege zur Professur. Qualifizierung und Beschäfti­
gung an Hochschulen in Deutschland und den USA.
Münster (Waxmann) 2007

Reinhard Kreckel: Zwischen Promotion und Profes­
sur. Das wissenschaftliche Personal in Deutschland
im Vergleich mit Frankreich, Großbritannien, USA,
Schweden, den Niederlanden, Österreich und der
Schweiz. Leipzig (Akademische Verlagsanstalt) 2008

young academics and junior researchers

Since autumn 2010, the DAAD has made a database
available to the public called “PhDGermany” This is
tailored to the needs of qualified foreign graduate
students who are interested in acquiring a PhD in

Kolja Briedis, Gregor Fabian, Christian Kerst, Hilde­
gard Schaeper: Berufsverbleib von Geisteswissen­
schaftlerinnen und Geisteswissenschaftlern (HIS:
Forum Hochschule 11/2008)
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