The impact of COVID-19 has been clearly felt at German universities in teaching and also in international student mobility. A recent survey of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) on the pandemic impact on German universities shows: As expected, worldwide travel restrictions have had a strong impact on exchange, but digitalisation measures have been successfully implemented by almost all universities. Unlike in the USA, it was also possible to largely avoid dormitory closures.

Together with prominent European scholars, and presidents of higher education institutions and organisations, the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) call on universities and politicians to strengthen the European Higher Education Area. Shortly before the anniversary of the Bologna Declaration, with the Eberbach Statement the signatories appeal to stand for fundamental academic and societal values. The appeal is also supported by the Alliance of Science Organisations in Germany.

The first meeting to mark the launch of the Fellowship Programme on Climate, Energy and Earth System Research will unite all selected international researchers and their German partners on 11 and 12 October in Königswinter, Germany, in a display of world-class expertise. Over the next four years, they will carry out research at renowned German higher education and research institutions within the framework of the Franco-German programme “Make Our Planet Great Again – German Research Initiative”, funded by the Federal German Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).

The number of refugees wishing to study in Germany is increasing. This poses new challenges for universities and associations for student affairs. Despite many years of experience in the integration of international students, specific questions naturally arise with regard to refugees.