While some institutions have characterized these international degree programs as too complex and too expensive to implement, analyses in the book show that—when done right—the benefits can outweigh the costs. Like many revolutionary ideas before, the pioneering joint and double degree programs were seen as avant-garde by some and completely impractical by others. Indeed, it took more than a decade since the early programs began in the 1990s, primarily in Europe, for a broader section of the international higher education community to come around to the idea and begin to initiate new collaborative degree programs at their own institutions.
Today, cross-border collaborative degree programs are continuing to gain traction around the world, because they offer opportunities for colleges and universities to build strong institutional partnerships and provide particularly deep and meaningful international experiences to students. Students are beginning to seek out the international competency currency that such collaborative degrees have to offer beyond the benefits of a degree from a single institution.
“As they seek new ways to prepare global citizens and perform cutting-edge research across borders, higher education institutions are increasingly looking to innovations like joint and double degree programs as a promising path into the future,” says Allan Goodman, IIE’s President and CEO.
Margret Wintermantel, President of the DAAD, commented that, “Joint and double degree programs are an important contribution to the internationalization of higher education and to the strengthening of international exchange among students and academia. Since these programs open up new opportunities to develop strategic partnerships and networks between institutions of higher education worldwide, the number of projects has steadily increased within the last years."
Colleges and universities can use these degree programs to broaden their educational offerings, strengthen research collaboration, advance internationalization, and raise the institution’s international visibility and prestige. In some cases, they might even result in increased revenue. On a global level, collaborative degrees provide a chance to build particularly strong strategic academic partnerships between higher education networks around the world, and they have become an increasingly important element of the educational exchange relationship between countries.
Global Perspectives on International Joint and Double Degree Programs is edited by Matthias Kuder of Freie Universität Berlin, Nina Lemmens of DAAD, and Daniel Obst of IIE. Obst and Kuder are co-authors of the IIE international survey report “Joint and Double Degree Programs in the Global Context” (2011). Global Perspectives on International Joint and Double Degree Programs is the first in a new “Global Perspectives” series of joint publications by IIE and DAAD that will explore pressing issues in international higher education. It can be ordered from IIEBooks for $39.95.
About the Global Perspectives Series
The “Global Perspectives” series is a joint effort by the Institute of International Education (IIE) and the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) to explore current international education policy issues from a global lens.
IIE and DAAD
DAAD and IIE have a long and fruitful shared history. IIE was established in 1919 in the aftermath of World War I to catalyze educational exchange. The Institute met the need for a central point of contact and source of information for both U.S. higher education and foreign nations interested in developing educational ties with the United States. In the early 1920s, Carl Joachim Friedrich, a student of political science at the University of Heidelberg in Germany, came to study in the United States. He persuaded IIE to create fellowships for 13 other German students of social and political science. In 1925, this vision was greatly expanded with the founding in Germany of the Akademische Austauschdienst (AAD), which has expanded to become what is now DAAD. Today, DAAD and IIE provide international exchange opportunities for nearly 100,000 students, scholars and professionals each year. Both organizations are at the forefront of supporting and promoting the development of closer institutional ties between colleges and universities on all continents.
Learn more about DAAD