Global networking for education and research

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Report to the Federal Cabinet Global networking for education and research

The Federal Government seeks to get the most out of global networking and cooperation, especially in the areas of education, academia and research. The Federal Cabinet has adopted the report on international cooperation for 2021 and 2022.

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Five scientists are standing around a computer exchanging thoughts.

The Federal Government has been continuously expanding its European and international cooperation in education, academia and research in recent years.

Photo: Ute Grabowsky/photothek.net

Global challenges such as climate change, the impact of the digital transition and changes to the geo-political situation do not stop at national borders. The Russian offensive against Ukraine in particular has been forcing Germany and Europe to realign their strategies for international cooperation and safeguarding national security interests.

High-quality and readily accessible education is essential

Any solutions must therefore be found jointly, through cross-border collaboration in education, academia and research. This is reflected in the “Report on international cooperation in education, academia and research for 2021–2022” that has been adopted by the Federal Cabinet. To this end, the Federal Government has been continuously expanding its European and international cooperation in this area, as it is convinced that education, science and research are fundamental to ensuring sovereignty, resilience, competitiveness and prosperity in Germany and Europe. High-quality free education that is available to everyone forms the essential basis of this.

Funding provided by the Federal Government for promoting international cooperation has also been steadily increasing in recent years. The Federal Ministry of Education and Research alone provided around 1.3 billion euros in 2022.

Contribution to democracy, freedom and social cohesion

The Federal Government has no doubt that education, research and the academic sector contribute significantly to democracy, freedom and social cohesion, both in Germany and around the world. A key goal the Federal Government pursues in this context is to further strengthen international networking and bilateral education and research cooperation based on our values and interests.

Given the conflicting interests in this area, multilateral cooperation with involvement of states that do not share our values and interests can provide an opportunity to stand up for our values and principles on an international stage, and to communicate with those partners who do share our values. The current report shows that the Federal Government has come much closer to this goal with the help of academic and intermediary organisations.

Germany’s G7 Presidency and the COVID-19 pandemic

The German G7 Presidency is among the topics the report focuses on. At their meeting, the G7 Science Ministers, for example, agreed to intensify cooperation in the focus areas identified by Germany: promotion and protection of freedom, integrity and security of science and research, research for combating climate change and post-COVID-19 research.

It is also highlighted in the report that external factors can have a considerable impact on international cooperation. The coronavirus pandemic with its wide range of effects still persisted in 2021 and 2022. These challenges often require new approaches, also in education, academia and research. It is confirmed in the report that international cooperation on these issues is key when it comes to tackling global crises and challenges, as well as for safeguarding Germany’s innovative capability.

The Federal Ministry of Education and Research presents its report on international cooperation in education, academia and research to the Federal Government every two years. The latest report comprises information about the Federal Government’s European and international measures and activities in 2021 and 2022.