New Book Examines Academic Collaboration between the U.S. and Europe

News from Dec 17, 2009

Report Offers Firsthand Insights on Transatlantic Joint and Double Degree Programs

A new book released by the Freie Universität Berlin and the Institute of International Education (IIE) features practical recommendations for developing and delivering collaborative degree programs between U.S. and European universities. The publication, Joint and Double Degree Programs: An Emerging Model for Transatlantic Exchange, features articles and insights from higher education administrators and practitioners on both sides of the Atlantic.

As professional collaboration with colleagues and customers in other countries increases across sectors, colleges and universities around the world are looking to joint and double degree programs as a way to offer their students meaningful international experiences. The diverse language and cultural fluencies they obtain will help prepare them for successful careers, whether in business, government or academia.

The book seeks to provide practical recommendations on key challenges, such as communications, sustainability, curriculum design, and student recruitment. Articles are divided into six thematic sections that assess the development of collaborative degree programs from beginning to end. While the first two sections focus on the theories underpinning transatlantic degree programs and how to secure institutional support and buy-in, the third and fourth sections present perspectives on the beginning stages of a joint or double degree program and the issue of program sustainability. The last two sections focus on profiles of specific transatlantic degree programs and lessons learned from joint and double degree programs in the European context.

A survey conducted last year by IIE and the Freie Universität Berlin found that universities in both the U.S. and Europe are working to establish more international joint and double degree programs to internationalize their campuses and better prepare their students, with 87 % of respondents stating that they wanted to develop more joint and double degree programs. According to the survey, the most popular academic disciplines for collaborative degree programs are business and management and engineering. Respondents from both EU and U.S. institutions identified securing adequate funding and ensuring sustainability of programs as major challenges. To download the survey report, visit:

The survey and book are part of a project sponsored by the “European Union-United States Atlantis Program” jointly administered and funded by the U.S. Department of Education's Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE) and the European Commission's Directorate General for Education and Culture. The project was launched in cooperation with several leading U.S. and European institutions including IIE and the State University of New York in the U.S., and Freie Universität Berlin, the Franco-German University, and the Latvian Rectors' Council in the E.U.  

The book is available for purchase at:

More information about the Atlantis Program, including grant and funding opportunities, is available at: