Global networking is vital for Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz and is one of the primary requirements for ensuring competitiveness. As an international research and teaching hub, the university feels obliged in its mission statement and strategic concept to focus on removing barriers between nations and cultures. JGU sees internationalization as a task for all sections of the university – including all the academic and administrative institutions – and views it as something that needs to be promoted at all levels. The international work of the university's researchers and academics is backed by some 150 partnership agreements with other universities on all continents. In addition to this, there are nearly 700 cooperation projects with European universities within the ERASMUS program that organize exchanges of students, teaching staff and other employees. For many years, JGU has played a leading role in this program. The collaborative research and student exchange projects in Europe mainly take place in France and Poland; outside Europe, the USA, South Korea and China are most important.
Every degree program at JGU gives students the chance to spend one or two semesters abroad. JGU also has special degree programs and modules that are on offer in collaboration with foreign universities. With over 650 courses taught in languages other than German as well as numerous foreign language learning courses, JGU prepares students for the international job market.
Interculturality as Research Subject
The Faculty of Translation Studies, Linguistics and Cultural Studies is a unique feature of JGU due to its international character. Not only is it one of the leading European educational institutions for interpreters and translators, it also focuses more broadly on interculturality as a general subject for research. This is also the case at the Center for Intercultural Studies – an interdisciplinary research platform of JGU that provides an academic framework for the intercultural dialog on campus.
The following three factors characterize JGU's internationalization strategy:
- The promotion of top-level research: JGU reinforces its international partnerships by means of regular exchanges of researchers and academics, hereby enhancing its reputation and attractiveness for international students and researchers.
- Training students to be 'Global Citizens': JGU prepares its students for their future lives in a globalized context. JGU teaches young people to be enlightened, global citizens, able to cope in an internationally competitive environment.
- The consideration of internationality and interculturality: JGU deals with these subjects as topics for research and teaching.
The internationalization strategy is implemented by the International Office, the Research and Technology Transfer Staff Unit, those responsible for the partnerships with other institutions, the ERASMUS coordinators as well as more than 30 advice centers. JGU contributes funding to help its members in promoting internationalization and provides its international guests with a comprehensive 'Welcome Service'.