In the last few years, UoC has made concerted efforts to step up its internationalization process. Since 2005, the Rectorate has been responsible for coordinating an integrated and unified approach towards increasing internationalization. As part of this new policy, the International Office and the UoC Welcome Centre for international staff and guests were both expanded significantly. Worthy of particular note: the Welcome Centre was awarded 4th place in a 2008 federal competition.
UoC has also been actively consolidating and expanding its international networks with selected partners, e.g. the Universities of Berkeley, British Columbia, Fudan and Keio, and is playing a leading role in the foundation of the German-Turkish University in Istanbul. UoC has also made great strides in Asia – a region of strategic importance for regional studies and megacities research. For example, UoC is currently setting up the Cologne Centre for Chinese Studies, a forum for Chinese guest academics. Moreover, UoC coordinates the China-NRW University Alliance, has recently opened offices in Beijing and Delhi, and has also established new cooperation agreements with leading universities in China, India and Japan.