University of Bayreuth opens Gateway Office in Bordeaux
Since its foundation, the University of Bayreuth (UBT) has been expanding its international relations in a targeted, strategic manner, among other things, with Gateway Offices in Oceania, Asia, and now also in Europe – even reaching out towards Africa. Since this week, UBT has been raising its profile in Bordeaux, an important research hub that is to gain even more significance thanks to scientific cooperation with partners in Southern Europe, the Mediterranean region, and North Africa. The partners are three local university and research institutions. This office coordinates the exchange of researchers and students, and aims to support both existing research cooperation and new projects.
“With this office, we are one step closer to our goal of being strategically represented at selected hubs worldwide”, says University President Prof. Dr. Stefan Leible. “Despite digital communication and all the options we have to make contact these days, the fact remains that research and teaching thrive on personal exchange, representation, and continuously responding to the local environment. We can guarantee this with our Gateway Offices.”
“Bordeaux is an important location insofar as it is a centre for cutting-edge research that often ties in with the focus areas of UBT”, adds Prof. Dr. Thomas Scheibel, Vice President for Internationalisation at the University of Bayreuth. The Université de Bordeaux, the Université Bordeaux Montaigne, and the Institut Sciences Po Bordeaux represent a large cluster of universities which are leaders in specialist areas included in the key focus areas of the University of Bayreuth: law, business and economics, chemistry, physics, materials science, and especially polymer research and African studies.
Dr. Arnim Heinemann, Director of the International Office of the University of Bayreuth, explains the purpose of the office in Bordeaux: “First of all, it is a point of contact and information to promote the exchange of French, South European, and North African students and lecturers with Bayreuth. Furthermore, it will assist and strengthen the existing cooperation in research and teaching. It will also establish and nurture new contacts with local and regional institutions in science and business, and become a permanent node in an international network that extends from southern Europe to the Mediterranean region.” Specific tasks include support in the acquisition of funding, and the selection of qualified French, South European, and North African students and doctoral candidates for joint study and doctoral programmes with the University of Bayreuth: “We are always mindful of making the Bayreuth campus more international through our Gateway Offices”, Heinemann explains.
In doing so, UBT can draw on a tradition of cooperation. Specifically, the (further) development of joint programmes is now in the pipeline: the Franco-German Bachelor of Law (LL.B) (sponsored by Université franco-allemande), the double degree ‘Development Studies (M.Sc.)’ and the Erasmus Mundus Joint Master’s Degree (EMJMD) EIMAS –
European Interdisciplinary Master of African Studies together with Université Bordeaux Montaigne and the University of Porto.
In April 2016, UBT opened its first Gateway Office in China on the Hong Kong campus of Shanghai International Studies University (SISU). Actually, the University of Bayreuth has been cooperating successfully with Chinese universities in research and teaching for decades. Indeed, the longest partnership with SISU in the academic fields of Intercultural German Studies and Economics dates back to 1986. The core of this strategic partnership is the consecutively coordinated German/Economic Sciences bachelor’s/master’s programme. Since 2012, SISU has also been the centre of our alumni network in China.
Meanwhile, the Gateway Office in Melbourne was opened in June 2018. The University of Bayreuth has been working intensively with universities in Australia for many years. The focus here is Melbourne with the University of Melbourne and Monash University, as well as La Trobe University, Deakin University and Swinburne University of Technology, and the Melbourne-based, non-university research institution CSIRO (Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation). However, there are also collaborations with Sydney (University of Sydney, University of New South Wales, University of Technology Sydney), Newcastle (University of Newcastle), Brisbane (Queensland University of Technology), the Sunshine Coast (University of the Sunshine Coast) and Perth (University of Western Australia, Murdoch University), as well as with Auckland in New Zealand (University of Auckland).
Looking forward, the opening of a UBT Gateway Office in Boston is planned for 2022.
Dr. Arnim Heinemann