Code of Conduct for international student affairs
More than 100 German universities nationwide have agreed to adopt a new Code of Conduct for International Student Affairs at Institutions of Higher Education. LMU Munich is among the signatories to the document, which was recently published by the Conference of University Rectors (Hochschulrektorenkonferenz). The purpose of the Code is to standardize the structure and improve the quality of services for foreign students at German universities. The document sets out agreed program guidelines in the areas of Information, Advisory Services and Advertising, as well as criteria for Academic Assessment and Enrolment. It also defines standards for language courses and competence, and for the academic supervision and social support of students from abroad. These are issues to which LMU Munich has always paid particular attention. “The catalogue of rights and duties which the Code contains does not in any sense constitute a new departure for LMU. It simply gives formal expression to our daily challenges in maintaining and expanding the international character of the institution”, says Professor Reinhard Putz, Vice-President for International Affairs at LMU. Some 7000 young people from abroad, who represent 125 countries, are members of the student body at LMU. Indeed, no other university in Germany attracts so many international students. Three-quarters of them come from other European countries, 15% from Asia and 6% from the Americas.
An Intercultural Advisory Office at LMU was set up at the Institute for Intercultural Communication in 2008. It is staffed by highly qualified professionals, who provide a wide range of advice and assistance to help foreign students meet the challenges of living and learning in Munich. In practice, the Office has always acted as an ombudsman, where necessary. Under the terms of the new Code, it will be formally responsible for handling complaints and appeals lodged by foreign students. Its experienced staff will be able to suggest ways of resolving conflicts that would not be admissible within the structured process followed by the administrative organs of the university.
The Code was drawn up on the initiative of the Conference of University Rectors, and will be administered by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD).