Internationalization Strategy (IntS) and European Policy Statement (EPS)


In 2013, the IPU Berlin was granted the Erasmus Charter for Higher Education (ECHE) and has participated in the EU program for general and professional education Erasmus+ ever since. The ECHE is the general framework for the quality of European and international cooperation among higher education institutions. Thereby, the IPU Berlin commits itself to comply with the European principles on international mobility of students and university staff. The individual elements are embedded in the internationalization strategy (IntS) and the European Policy Statement (EPS) (in German) of the IPU Berlin.

Internationalization Strategy (IntS) of the IPU Berlin

a) Policy

Since its foundation in 2009, the IPU Berlin sees itself as a new type of Bologna University, actively implementing the political goals of the European Higher Education Agenda, Erasmus+, and the new Erasmus Program 2021-2027. This intention is implemented via the modular enrollment and recognition system, the compliance with the general ECTS principle, the transparent use of transferable and recognizible credit points as well as the issuance of Learning Agreements before mobilities and Transcripts of Records and Diploma Supplements awarded afterwards.


Mobility measures are only implemented within the framework of pre-established inter-insitutional agreements. These define the respective roles and responsibilities of each party, their obligations, and the language requirements for the exchange. In this way, common quality criteria are applied in the preparation, reception, and integration of mobile students.

The organization and implementation of all international collaboration projects at the IPU is based on the principles of transparency, equality, efficiency, focus on success, evaluation of the results, inclusion, and sustainability for all groups involved in the educational process. IPU Berlin and its personnel oppose all discrimination, for example, on the basis of ethnic background, social situation, religion, gender, sexual preference, or age. Persons with special needs are actively supported a the IPU. The participation in civil society of all will be particularly ensured through the promotion of social competencies and reflections on conscious/unconscious prejudices. The IPU will continue and deepen its longstanding reflection on obstacles of unconscious communication in international teaching and research projects.

Because of its international orientation and presence, the IPU understands itself as an ambassador for a sustainable economic system, a democratic future, and an open society in the field of international university education.


b) Concept
In its principal understanding, the IPU Berlin is concerned with intrapsychic, social, and cultural contexts. This implies subject-oriented, interactive, and international research and teaching, which, along with conscious determinants, also consider unconscious determinants of human behavior, especially in the context of groups, organizations, and whole societies. Psychoanalysis, along with other scientific currents, is an important reference for this. The result is a reflexive teaching and research methodology aimed at promoting young researchers in a professional practice that is increasingly concerned with international issues and requires a scientific basis for the development of research.

Teaching and research at the IPU have an international orientation and predominantly deal with topics of psychology and psychoanalysis. They claim an interdisciplinary dialogue in cooperation with related disciplines such as sociology, political science, philosophy, cultural sciences, or neurosciences. The application and further development of intercultural and transcultural approaches contribute to broaden the knowledge in various psychological subdisciplines and in psychoanalysis as an applied social science and cultural theory.

c) Areas of work
The abovementioned principles are reflected in research, teaching, and scientific exchange at the IPU. The following points will outline the areas of work which is particularly important for the IPU’s internationalization strategy. Some are already established and elaborated, others are new and still have to be implemented:

  • Scientifically based international trauma research with a particular focus on social trauma: The research and teaching practice in the area of social trauma, which was established in 2013, continues in cooperation with international partner organizations and universities, intertwined with projects on migration, integration, and inclusion. The project results will be published internationally.
  • At the IPU, a strong focus on psychotherapy research (process and outcome research) exists, which is integrated into international research contexts, incorporates cross-cultural aspects, and is well-received worldwide.
  • Supervision and training research in clinical and institutional fields of application increasingly deals with intercultural issues and provides international comparisons. This will be presented and received internationally.
  • Discourse critique and conceptual research are important research foci for the IPU, which are addressed within international and transdisciplinary cooperations. In this context, questions of the history of science, such as the reconstruction of central psychoanalytic concepts, are equally important as the critique of contemporary social and cultural manifestations.
  • Organizational research reflects on the meaning of organizations for society, especially how they (could) contribute to its formation and change. Collaboration with European and non-European partners is of central importance in order to systematically comprehend diverse cultures and the significance of varying social parameters.
  • Since 2006, the Erich Fromm Study Center, supported by the Karl Schlecht Foundation, has been dedicated to social-psychoanalytic matters. One of its central pillars is the networking and promotion of young international researchers, for example in the form of an annual multi-day doctoral and post-doctoral seminar.
  • Questions concerning the psychosocial consequences of globalization with its processes of acceleration and dissolution of boundaries as well as the associated ideologies are central to various international collaborations, for example with Brazilian scholars, but also with researchers from European countries.
  • Cultural Studies at the IPU address international aspects in teaching, e.g. in the context of postcolonial studies or with regard to social relations. In a genuine cultural studies approach - as explicitly taught, for example, in the seminar "Concept of Culture/Transculturality" - the focus is never solely on one's "own" culture. International exchange takes place in research (e.g. “Heil versprechen” research network) and teaching contexts via lecturer exchange or co-teaching (i.e. in the fields of “sexual difference” or “visual culture”).
  • Migration, integration, and inclusion are research topics which encompass crucial international and intercultural aspects. At the IPU Berlin, research is carried out, taught, and published in large, multicultural and international projects.
  • Interdisciplinary conflict and peace research focuses on social conflict dynamics, collective and individual experiences, consequences of violence, and possibilities of psychosocial conflict management. The regional focus is on the Balkans and the Near and Middle East. International cooperation in social science research, psychosocial intervention, and policy advice is fundamental to this, for example with the International Dialogue Initiative (IDI).

  • Psychoanalytic sexuality and gender research take on questions of masculinity, femininity, trans- and intersexuality, as well as changes in sexuality (e.g. in the areas of heterosexuality, homosexuality, paraphilias, pornography) in transdisciplinary, international research contexts.

  • In transcultural religious criticism, belief systems are understood as contingent, complex cultural productions, which are researched in their rich materiality or as narratives.

d) Partner Selection

d.a) fundamental criteria

  • The teaching and research profile of the partner university
  • Apparent academic and international excellence in teaching and research
  • The shared desire to expand the teaching content with new offers in accordance with research foci of both partners
  • Acknowledgement of the Erasmus policies
  • Courses in German and/or English language, possibly in French or Spanish

d.b) specific criteria

  • Particular alignment with the teaching and research opportunities at the IPU
  • Openness towards transdisciplinary dialogue and reflection on prejudices in an international and intercultural dialogue
  • Academic excellence, particularly in the psychoanalytic/psychodynamic field or with a focus on the integration of socio-theoretical and psychological issues
  • Collaboration in the area of Capacity Building partnerships
  • Partners in regions affected by social trauma
  • The intention to develop joint study programs and degrees
  • The intention to develop (or continue developing) teaching and research networks

f) Regions
The IPU selects its regional focal points according to the importance of the respective region for the development of its academic excellence, particularly in the psychoanalytic/psychodynamic field or with a focus on the integration of socio-theoretical and psychological issues and according to the requirements of practical cooperation, e.g. in the context of Capacity Building cooperation.

  • Centers of excellence in psychoanalytic teaching and research as well as those who wish to pursue this approach in Europe such as: Belgium, Bulgaria, France, UK, Greece, Ireland, Israel, Italy, the Netherlands, Austria, Switzerland, Scandinavia, Spain, Turkey; Overseas: Japan, Canada, USA, as well as in South America, especially Brazil, Chile, and Colombia
  • Regions marked by social trauma, for example, post-war countries; Balkan states, including Bulgaria, Turkey, Greece (migration route), as well as Israel, Palestine, Sudan
  • Universities in countries with teaching and research interests corresponding to those of the IPU lecturers and with which networking is expected to be successful, e.g. D-A-CH, Taiwan, South Korea, Russia/Moscow, and Ukraine
  • Universities in various countries requesting professional support in the field of Capacity Building, e.g., China, Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Sudan

a) Primary Goals of the IPU Berlin

  • National as well as international health promotion in the field of mental health, psychiatry, psychotherapy, counseling and prevention with special consideration of transnational and transcultural issues, with special regard to the conceptualization of mental disorders as well as the challenges of global digitalization.

b) Internationalization of Studying & Teaching 

  • Expansion and further development of organizational and institutional analysis as well as supervision and psychodynamic coaching in fields of action shaped by globalization and digitalization
  • Increased international focus in teaching. Mediation of an internationalized learning experience for students in all disciplines
  • Internationalization of the newly developed master’s program in psychology/psychotherapy science as part of the new psychotherapy training legislation
  • Implementation of the newly developed master’s program in Work, Society & Environment, which attends to global issues from an expanded environmental perspective and deals with the consequences of the digital transformation of work environments
  • Enhancement and internationalization of the training capacities in psychotherapy (depth psychology-based, analytical adult, child and adolescent psychotherapy "WIPU")
  • Creation of an international advanced teacher training program (e.g. for teachers at German schools abroad) in the area of psychology
  • Implementation of transcultural criticism of religion in the Studium Generale

c) Internationalization of Research 

  • Expansion of personal and institutional international research collaborations through increased third-party funding
  • Reinforcement of the international orientation of cultural and social sciences, for example, with regards to the comparative analysis of ethnically, culturally, and religiously marked dynamics of conflicts and globalized challenges due to climate change and environmental protection
  • Development of internationally oriented comparative psychoanalysis
  • Higher-profile international orientation of political psychology, which is firmly anchored and well-renowned at the IPU (on topics such as: Construction of belonging in international comparison, international rise of authoritarianism, research on prejudice, climate and environment in global perspective).

d) Structural Anchoring of Internationalization

  • Increased outgoing and incoming mobility on all levels
  • Increase the number of international students at the IPU
  • Implementation of policies of nondiscrimination, transparency, inclusion, and participation from students and personnel in international projects
  • Expanded digitalization in all projects and contexts
  • Promotion of environment and climate friendly behavior in all activities
  • Promotion of active civic engagement in all relevant activities
  • Internationalization of the psychotherapeutic outpatient clinic

a) Implemented Measures

The International Office (IO) of the IPU Berlin was established in July 2012, three years after the university was founded. Over the past decade and counting, the IO has successfully organized more than 1,500 grants and mobility exchanges within the framework of international cooperation projects. Moreover, the IO has successfully applied for and implemented a large number of different funding programs. Since 2014, the IPU has been participating in the Erasmus+ program to promote mobility for all university employees, initially within the funding program of “KA103” and since 2015 within “KA107” as well. During the previous years, an extensive network of Erasmus+ partner universities has been established. 18 of the partner universities belong to the so called “program countries”, while the remaining 5 are known as “partner countries”. In 2019, our first cooperation with an Argentinian university was established. Further collaborations with universities in Colombia and Chile have also been established.
The IPU hast participated in the DAAD funded program PROMOS since 2013. This program supports internships and study trips to countries outside of Europe. In 2014, the STIBET program was introduced to support socially engaged international IPU students.
Another focal point for the IO is the establishment and continuous expansion of an international network on the subject of “social trauma”, containing a regional focus on the Balkan states. With financial support from the DAAD, annual projects have been implemented by the ten member universities of the framework since 2014. Alongside eight international Summer/Dialogue Schools, with more than 500 participants in total, several publications with contributions from international high-profile researchers have been produced.
In addition to this, the IPU has actively been supporting students and researchers with refugee status for several years and is a member of the international network Scholars at Risk. The IPU helped establish the German section of this network and has already submitted two successful applications for persecuted scientists within the Phillip Schwartz Initiative. Since 2016, the IPU participates in the DAAD program “Welcome” and thus actively supports the student initiative “Students helping Refugees (StuFen)”; an initiative promoting university integration for people possessing a refugee background.
Since its establishment in 2009, the IPU has been a member of the International Colloquium of Doctoral Students for Psychoanalytic Research, in association with German and Austrian universities.


b) Planned Measures

The following descriptions correspond to the status of the discussions as of May 2020. The implementation of individual measures may require the approval of the Supervisory Board of IPU Berlin gGmbH.

b.a) Internationalization of Studying & Teaching
b.a.a) short-term (until 2023)

  • Expansion of the partner university network within the EU according to qualitative criteria (see point 1.d) in the IPU-specific target countries (see point 1.e)
  • Establishment of a network consisting of universities outside of the EU offering psychodynamic/psychoanalytic courses; foremost priority: USA, UK, Switzerland, as well as Latin America (esp. Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia), Russia
  • Increase the implementation of Erasmus lecturers within the BSc Psychology and MA Psychoanalytic Culture Studies programs
  • Expansion of opportunities for short-term exchanges for students, such as international excursions, e.g. to the Institute of Asian and Oriental Studies (UZH) in Switzerland
  • Implementation of a first set of digital online courses (test phase) within an international context, e.g. as part of the international summer school within the project framework of “Social Trauma in Changing Societies”
  • Establishment of joint courses within the areas of political psychology/peace and conflict studies with universities in Israel
  • Close collaboration with universities in Austria and Switzerland within the framework of the new master’s program in psychology focusing on work, society, and environment

b.a.b) intermediate (until 2025)

  • Integration of at least one English-taught course per module and semester in all psychology programs at the IPU
  • Establishment of a Double Degree master’s program in psychology / psychotherapy with DAAD or DFH funding, prospectively together with France, Belgium or Bulgaria
  • Support for outgoing teaching exchanges, e.g. granting academic staff participation in teaching assignments abroad - including during an ongoing semester - provided that the teaching positions at the IPU are covered
  • Establishment of a binational study program in Political Psychology in cooperation with other universities in Germany and abroad. A national master’s program with international orientation or a more compact 1-year master’s program with 60 ECTS are under discussion
  • Annual or biennial summer schools abroad in collaboration with a local university in one of the primary target countries, serving to attract new students
  • Creation of an online course (BA and/or MA Psychology) in cooperation with a higher education institution in Afghanistan; supervision of Afghan students through peer systems in which IPU students act as tutors; financed through the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the German Corporation for International Cooperation (GIZ) as a contribution to combating the causes resulting in seeking refuge
  • Establishment of an international DAAD guest lectureship for one or two semesters; to be assigned to internationally distinguished representatives of the field
  • Expansion of the collaboration with universities in Argentina and Colombia in the area of psychoanalytic study programs
  • Expansions of the collaboration with universities in Israel/Palestine in the area of political psychology as well as peace and conflict research
  • Development of an international graduate school in the fields of psychoanalytic research, social trauma, political psychoanalysis
  • Establishment of a structured, bilateral lecturer-exchange program

b.a.c) long-term (until 2027)

  • Establishment of an English-taught master’s program in Work, Society, & Environment, together with the development of an international collaboration with a partner university for a Double Degree
  • Internationalization of the newly implemented master’s program in Psychology and Psychotherapy through subject-specific language modules in the respective native tongues of the students, building on the already existing MA Psychology program (English Track)
  • Creation of an international clinic within the frames of the university and training institute outpatient clinic (WIPU): therapeutic offers for the international population in Berlin and the implementation of a setting in which international students of the IPU can acquire practical diagnostic, counseling, and psychotherapeutic competencies
  • Establishment of joint degree/double degree master’s programs with universities in Latin America, with a particular focus on Argentina
  • Supplementation of the advanced training capacities through an international branch, which is to be planned in close cooperation with international university training institutes

b.b) Internationalization of Research
b.b.a) short-term (until 2023)

  • Review of already existing international research collaborations
  • Expansion of the collaboration with Israel regarding workshops within the area of psychodynamic peace and conflict research
  • Expansion of the pre-existing international research networks and groups at the IPU, and integration into new networks, such as the Asociación Internacional para el Estudio y Desarrollo de la Mentalisación (AIEDEM) and the International Association of Neuroscience (IAN)
  • Linking of the IPU research networks with the websites of the respective partners as well as the publication of students’ qualification works developed within the framework of these projects

b.b.b) intermediate (until 2025)

  • Conceptualization and realization of international explorative workshops as well as exhibitions with international artists based in Berlin
  • Expansion of the social trauma research network, e.g. to the MENA region or Israel/Palestine
  • Increase the number of international research associates and professors
  • Expansion of the binational supervision of international PhDs and postdocs
  • Bundling of a number of the international research collaborations with the aim of developing a comparative psychoanalysis; comparisons of theories and concepts as well as psychotherapeutic methods in the three central regions of psychoanalytic theory formation, North and South America as well as Europe (England, France, Germany)

b.b.c) long-term (until 2027)

  • Establishment of a structured dissertation program with Austria and Switzerland
  • Establishment of a structured PhD program with international partner universities, e.g. Chile, Austria, Belgium, France
  • Establishment of a structured English-language PhD program building on the already existing PSAID doctoral program, while further supplementing additional focus areas and research methodologies
  • Creation of an international clinic within the framework of the university and training institute outpatient clinic, especially in the areas of refuge, migration, and (social) trauma

b.c) Structural Anchoring
b.c.a) short-term (until 2023)

  • Continuation of the buddy program for international students with the aim of facilitating the students’ entry phase
  • Continuation of the mentoring program for international students to ensure a successful completion of the studies
  • Introduce the allocation of ECTS for voluntary mentors/recognition of the work as a (compulsory) internship, provided that supervision by a psychologist is given
  • IPU students who apply for an Erasmus+ exchange will be encouraged and advised to use the Erasmus+ app
  • Recognition of work-related travel costs solely for rail travel and when the travel time is less than 6 hours, as part of the IPU’s sustainability goals
  • Elaboration and publication of the diversity concept
  • Adaption of the UNESCO Declaration on Cultural Diversity into the concerns and purposes of the IPU with a focus on interculturally inclusive education
  • Project-related support by the International Office for issues related to integration, inclusion, and protection of minorities that arise in the course of teacher and student exchanges
  • Termination of cooperations with partner organizations in the event that difficulties fail to subside
  • Implementation of non-discrimination, transparency, and inclusion of students and staff as binding criteria in all admission procedures of Erasmus+ program activities
  • University-wide presentation and discussion of options offered by EramusSocial across all status groups
  • Participation in a certified program offered by ClimatePartner to compensate for CO2 emissions with the aim of achieving climate neutrality
  • Expansion of the initiative “Green IPU” – an initiative by students and employees of the university in response to the ongoing international climate protests on the topic of sustainability – by, for example, reducing paper usage and electricity consumption
  • Conversion of all Inter-Institutional Agreements (IIAs) into digital IIAs via the Erasmus+ Dashboard
  • Utilization of Online Learning Agreements (OLA) for all student exchanges
  • Increase the English language proficiency of administrative staff with student contact to a level corresponding to at least A2
  • Covering the costs for language courses/crediting language course participation to working hours
  • Promotion of appropriate qualification measures for campus internationalization on the part of the university management through specific professional trainings for the administrative staff
  • Implementation of/access to secure digital infrastructure for data transfer (including large amounts of data) between IPU and partner universities in the context of teaching- and research-related exchange (Digitalization & Data Protection)

b.c.b) intermediate (until 2025)

  • Increase the English language proficiency of administrative staff with student contact to a level corresponding to at least B2
  • Inquire about basic English language skills as a requirement while hiring new administrative staff
  • Implementation of the European Student Card (ESC)
  • Implementation of the Erasmus+ App for all student exchanges
  • Implementation of a credit-based system awarding ECTS credits for social engagement activities, which moreover can be recognized for the studies

b.c.c) long-term (until 2027)

  • Development of a joint postgraduate psychotherapeutic training in cooperation with partner universities
  • Establishment of a network of individual IPU representatives abroad, e.g. alumni, IPU ambassadors with special privileges
  • Increase the English language competencies of the IPU teaching staff to at least B2/C1, e.g. by promoting external and internal language courses
  • Complete digital processing of all exchange measures within the framework of Erasmus+, automatic recognition via the Erasmus+ Dashboard and the Online Learning Agreement

Erasmus Charta for Higher Education (ECHE) of IPU Berlin

The IPU Berlin has been awarded with the European Union's Erasmus Charter for Higher Education (ECHE) 2021-2027.

The IPU Berlin's ECHE 2021-2027 can be found here:

The Erasmus Charter for Higher Education (ECHE) provides the general quality framework for cooperation activities of higher education institutions at both the European and the international level under the Erasmus+ program. All higher education institutions applying for funding under Erasmus+ must hold a current ECHE.

The IPU Berlin's current European Policy Statement (EPS) can be found here (in German):

The IPU Berlin's statement for the implemenation of the basic principles of the Erasmus program can be found here:

Erasmus Student Charta

You can find the Erasmus student charter (version 2022) here.

This project was funded with support of the European Commission. The responsibility for the content of this publication [communication] lies solely with the author; the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained.