International cooperative arrangements have long been a matter of course and an established feature at Freie Universität Berlin as an “International Network University.” After all, the university was first founded with substantial support from institutions outside Germany.
The university’s international networking goals are now also supported by its seven international liaison offices, located in Brussels, Cairo, Moscow, New York, New Delhi, Beijing and São Paulo. These offices provide support to scholars, scientists, and researchers affiliated with Freie Universität who wish to explore cooperative opportunities in these regions and serve as a point of contact for researchers, instructors, and students.
With more than 100 central university partnerships worldwide – especially in the regions of particular focus for the university: North America and Latin America, East and Southeast Asia, and Eastern Europe – and more than 300 agreements in place within the Erasmus lifelong learning program (LLP), Freie Universität offers its students a host of opportunities to experience life abroad. At the same time, the university is a sought-after destination for students from all over the world. The international character of Freie Universität is also evident in the FUBiS summer school program, the largest of its kind in Germany.
The university emphasizes international cooperation in its postgraduate education activities as well. Alongside exchanges of scholars and scientists within the central university partnerships and the many international summer schools and workshops offered, various graduate programs have built study or stay abroad phases into their doctoral courses. There are several dual degree programs offered jointly with selected universities.
The university’s current flagship programs in this regard are three international research training groups, in which doctoral candidates receive joint supervision between Freie Universität and other institutions: the University of Hyderabad (Veterinary Medicine), a consortium of Mexican universities (Institute for Latin American Studies), and the University of Copenhagen (Department of Philosophy and Humanities).
The global cooperative activities in which Freie Universität engages in the research sector are evident not only from the university’s many international projects receiving external funding, but also in its involvement in international networks. One good example of this is the German-Russian Interdisciplinary Science Center at Saint Petersburg State University, which is supported by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and whose work is coordinated by Freie Universität Berlin with the inclusion of other German and Russian higher education institutions.