International Mobility and the Recognition of Study Credits: Experiences before and during the Corona Pandemic



  • Dr. Susanne Wilking, German Academic Exchange Service


Recognition is a decisive factor for successful international mobility. For the past fifteen years, the DAAD has been conducting surveys („Anerkennung – (k)ein Problem?“) on the experiences that students make in the course of their studies at foreign host universities. The surveys focus on the level of recognized achievements and on the factors that influence recognition.

As the results of the surveys show, recognition has steadily increased over the years. There are different answers to the question of its level. This is because recognition depends on the particular perspective and the facts to which one relates the number of credits recognised. For example, it is possible to calculate how many of the credit points that were achieved in total were recognised. Or how many of the credits that the students sought recognition for were recognised. The results of these individual observations are each expressed by a specially calculated parameter, the recognition rate, and are comparable with each other. Other factors that significantly influence recognition include, for example, the field of study, the type and size of the home university and the host region.

In its current student survey of 2021, the DAAD explores a new aspect that has received little attention so far in the context of recognition. Specifically, it is about the new forms of virtual and hybrid international mobility that are increasingly being practised by many students as a result of the Corona pandemic. The survey aims to measure the share of new virtual and hybrid forms of mobility as well as the use of virtual and hybrid learning formats offered at the host universities, in addition to traditional physical mobility. Further, the question of the influence of the new forms of mobility on recognition is investigated.

The session will present the approach to measuring recognition through the recognition rate parameter and illustrate it with selected results from the 2019 survey and, where already available, the 2021 survey.

Dr. Susanne Wilking

Senior Desk Officer, German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD)
Main activities and responsibilities:

  • Studies on Recognition of academic credits (Anerkennung – (k)ein Problem?)
  • Editorial of the Study Results on Recognition
  • Analysis of the Bologna Process and EU programmes in higher education

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