Internationalization at a German University: The purpose and paradoxes of English Language Master’s and Doctoral Programs


  • Roger Geertz Gonzalez Walden University


internationalization, higher education, German graduate programs, English in higher education


One significant phenomenon regarding the internationalization of higher education around the world is the wider use of English as the “lingua franca” for research, scientific study, and graduate education. Germany has increased its English taught Master’s programs by 13 percent since 2011, second behind the Netherlands, with a total of 733 Master’s programs taught in English. The University of Hamburg in Hamburg, Germany, currently offers 18 English Master’s programs, 10 combined German/English Master’s programs, and one English doctoral program. This paper provides findings from interviews of faculty concerning the English programs. Three main themes emerged from the interviews: 1) faculty’s ambivalence concerning the use of English instead of German in graduate programs, 2) administration’s recent emphasis on the importance of faculty publishing in English for promotion and tenure, and 3) faculty interest in further increasing English programs in their graduate programs.






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