Welcome Centres - 3rd round
(initiative closed)

International researchers can feel welcome at German universities

The Universities of Bielefeld, Erlangen-Nuremberg, Göttingen, Heidelberg and Cologne and the Technical Universities of Chemnitz and Munich won the third round of the Welcome Centres competition.

The Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, the Deutsche Telekom Stiftung and the Stifterverband für die deutsche Wissenschaft initiated the third and final round of the ‘Welcome Centres for internationally mobile researchers’ competition. This time, they were looking for universities that had already independently developed professional service structures for the support of international guest researchers and wanted to further develop these.

A judging panel comprising representatives of the involved organisations, academics and experts in international academic exchange selected the Universities of Bielefeld, Erlangen Nuremberg, Göttingen, Heidelberg and Cologne and the Technical Universities of Chemnitz and Munich from the encouraging field of 17 applicants. Their successful concepts impressed the judging panel as auspicious best practice models.

The award ceremony for the successful universities took place on 20.01.2011 during the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation’s New Year’s Reception. Apart from their award certificates the winners received an award amount of 10,000 EUR to help put their ideas into practice. They are now also entitled to refer to themselves as “Welcome Centres” in the context of the competition.

Once again, a brochure was prepared in time for the award ceremony. It collates the experience gained in the course of the competition and includes, for example, a checklist covering the typical characteristics of a Welcome Centre.

The applications submitted in the third round of the competition have made it clear that a high level of services has now been established for international researchers and is being developed through new ideas. The best practice models from 2006 and 2008 set a precedent. The idea of making universities more competitive through ‘soft location factors’ in the form of efficient support structures and service-oriented offers has come to fruition.


Alexander von Humboldt Foundation
Strategic Planning Division
Dr. Barbara Sheldon
Jean-Paul-Str. 12
53173 Bonn

Phone: +49 (0)228-833 271
Fax: +49 (0)228-833 114

Further information