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MIL OSI Translation. Region: Germany / Deutschland –

Source: CDU CSU

Dear Mr President! Dear Ladies and Gentlemen! Dear Colleagues! Cross-border education is a cornerstone of Europe. As a Member of Parliament in a border region, I know only too well that this first sentence in the FDP application is basically correct. Today, young people are not only on the move in Europe but around the world. This is an important achievement for the EU. The fact that they can learn and study in other countries without major hurdles is also due to a united, peaceful Europe. Our country is one of the most internationally respected locations. Germany is the most popular non-English-speaking host country for international students.

(Applause from the CDU / CSU)

We are in fourth place behind the USA, Great Britain and Australia, directly followed by France.

A few facts and figures to help you understand. In the winter semester 2017/2018 there were 13.2 percent foreign students here with us. This was around 375,000 people, including around 42,000 international graduates. There are two decisive advantages for Germany.

First. There is a significant and ever growing potential here to cover our need for skilled workers.

Secondly. The many bright minds here have a positive impact on the research landscape in Germany. In the past ten years, the number of foreign academics at German universities has almost doubled. That means: Germany is attracting more and more students and researchers to our country from abroad. Our university science location is becoming more and more attractive internationally; we can be proud of that.

German students are also extremely mobile. Almost 150,000 Germans regularly aim to graduate from a university abroad. Around a third of all German students complete a study-related stay abroad during their studies. This international educational mobility is no accident. It was the core objective of the Bologna Process. International mobility was also the core of the Europe 2020 strategy adopted by the European education ministers. We see: Germany and Europe are on the right track. But of course we shouldn’t rest on our laurels and achievements.

(Applause from members of the FDP)

A European university for digitization, as proposed by the FDP, is, in my opinion, the wrong way to go; because it creates more bureaucracy, more administration and parallel structures.

(Shouts from the FDP)

The construct is therefore to be rejected.

(Applause from the CDU / CSU)

It would be better if we use the existing structures. We should further expand and revitalize the existing structures of international partnerships between universities. Concrete projects and initiatives on site are useful and necessary; that is precisely what we should promote. Furthermore, we should network our universities and colleges more closely internationally. This is exactly what happens to the European University Networks, which – and you were right – go back to an idea by Emmanuel Macron.

In his Sorbonne speech in September 2017, the French President proposed forming a network of universities from several European countries. For this he rightly received encouragement from the heads of state and government.

The first pilot tender was launched in October 2018. The result: 17 university networks are funded with 85 million euros. 15 universities from Germany are involved in 14 networks. The second pilot round took place this year. The result: 24 European university alliances in which 165 universities from 26 countries are involved. These include 20 universities from Germany that participate in 18 networks. There was great support for the initiative from the BMBF from the start: the ministry supports the participating German universities through the DAAD in addition to European funding.

These cross-border networks are exactly the way to go; because teaching and research must take place across borders; they cannot have any limits. So Germany is on the right track, on a very good track. We therefore reject your application and support the current networks that we have already initiated.

Many Thanks.

(Applause from the CDU / CSU and delegate René Röspel [SPD])


EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and / or sentence structure not be perfect.

MIL Translation OSI