31 Jul In conversations with Humboldt University of Berlin [Interview]
Humboldt University of Berlin is a 209 years old university in the central borough of Mitte in Berlin, Germany. The university has been associated with 55 Nobel Prize winners (including former students, faculty and researchers), and is considered one of the best universities in Europe as well as one of the most prestigious universities in the world for arts and humanities. With a large international exchange in research, teaching and students, The Humboldt University has developed close relationships with universities and research centers in all parts of the world.
“MoveON made our daily work much easier and enjoyable. It quickly became a real work facilitation which continuously improves and accelerates our working processes.”
Tell us more about you and your role at the Humboldt University of Berlin. How would you describe the international office at your university?
My name is Norbert Haß and I’m the Database Manager of the International Department at Humboldt University of Berlin. Our department is the central unit for international affairs. It governs all procedures related to academic partnerships between our university and international partners, provides comprehensive support services for incoming and outgoing students, researchers or academic staff and puts forward the internationalization agenda of Humboldt University.
Can you provide some key figures about Humboldt University of Berlin, such as average number of enrolled students, international students and partnerships?
Humboldt University of Berlin has been founded in 1810 and is situated in the central borough of Berlin. It comprises 9 faculties, offers 189 degree courses and has over 35.000 students (about 15.000 bachelor students, 8.000 master students and 12.000 students in other degree programmes – 5.000 of these students are international students).
What has been your institution’s international strategy/approach in the last 5 years?
During the last 5 years our university and particularly our international department focused on the expansion of our strategic partnerships (especially in North- and South America, Central, Eastern Asia and Africa), the internationalization of our higher education system and the digitisation of working and teaching procedures.
What is the International Office’s plan and objectives for the next 3 years at your institution?
One of the most important targets is to make Humboldt-University even more “European” in the upcoming years, by participating in the European University Initiative. Thereby, our entire university will be part of a project allowing it to promote common European values and identity, as well as to revolutionize the quality and competitiveness of European higher education. Additionally, our international department endeavors to make our educational offer globally more accessible by developing and eventually offering internationally oriented study courses and degree programmes.
What made you decide to adopt MoveON for your international partnerships and agreements management?
Before the implementation of MoveON it has been extremely difficult for our department to collect, find and assess data about our international activities. We wanted to introduce MoveON because we were firmly convinced that it would allow us to make this information more accessible, transparent and invaluable. With hindsight it can be ascertained that our hopes and requirements were met.
What is it about MoveON that you specially value?
I really like the customization features within the different sections of MoveON. In several cases, I’m required to make very specific configurations within the back-office and the custom fields and lists allow me to do so in a very convenient way.
How did you prepare for MoveON’s implementation?
We were in close contact with QS and asked several questions concerning the database system and we decided to gradually implement its functionalities at our university. Initially we started with entering our relationship entries and with creating several “how to” guidelines (e.g. how to add a network to MoveON). Only afterwards we slowly started to use the mobility management for outgoings and eventually for incomings.
Can you describe the impact MoveON has had on your department and institution?
The overall impact of MoveON is a very positive one. It quickly became a real work facilitator which continuously improves and accelerates our working processes (e.g. regarding the management of applications, projects or agreements and also concerning our communication with applicants and partner institutions). It also should be emphasized that MoveON already made a great contribution to the creation of a paperless office in our department and I have no doubt that it will make further ones in the future.
Would you recommend MoveON?
Yes, absolutely. MoveON made our daily work much easier and enjoyable and it still has quite a lot of potential we don’t even use yet (e.g. in the area of financial management). I’m sure that other universities could hugely benefit from this software as well.