Through stays abroad during a course of study, budding academics can gain additional competence and develop their personality - and experience is become increasingly important in science and working life. The BMBF has therefore set the goal of having at least 50 per cent of students take a semester, a study-related internship, or a language course abroad; at least 20 per cent of German students are to complete one or more semesters in a foreign country. The Federal Ministry supports mobility through the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), other intermediary organizations, and through BAföG.
In the context of the Bologna Process, various instruments have been introduced to ensure transparency in academic achievements and their accreditation. Credit points according to the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS) provide quantitative measurements for student workloads in terms of the courses and examinations necessary for the successful completion of a particular degree.
Since 2005, all students are entitled to the Diploma Supplement, free of charge and without having to make a separate application. This supplement contains standardized information describing higher education degrees and the respective qualifications. The Diploma Supplement is attached to the official degree documents as supplementary information.
Germany has fulfilled an important criterion of the Bologna Process with regard to the recognition of studies abroad by ratifying the Lisbon Convention (Convention on the Recognition of Qualifications concerning Higher Education in the European Region developed by the Council of Europe and UNESCO). The Convention sets out to facilitate the recognition of qualifications gained in one of the states party to the Convention in another state party.
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