Out of Bayreuth for all Bavarian students: „afriZert“ as a new certificate programme on Africa
In future, students at all Bavarian universities and colleges will be able to benefit from the University of Bayreuth’s (UBT) internationally acclaimed expertise in Africa. The Bavarian State Minister for Science and the Arts, Bernd Sibler, has given the go-ahead for the development of the new „afriZert“ programme of study by officially presenting the funding decision to University President Prof. Dr. Stefan Leible. Now the conceptualisation, development, and establishment of the subject-related „Africa-focused Certifcate Programme of Study “ („afriZert“) at the UBT’s Institute for African Studies (IAS) can begin.
The project aims to enable students of all disciplines at state universities and colleges in Bavaria to study Africa in depth, in parallel to their specialised studies, and largely independent of their own place of study. „We – as a university with many years of experience and great expertise in the field of African studies – wish to familiarise students with Africa as a field of discourse, lifeworlds, and political space in all its global interconnections, and at the same time provide them with application-oriented reflection, transfer, and implementation skills,“ says University President Prof. Dr. Stefan Leible, explaining the idea behind „afriZert“.
Bernd Sibler, the Bavarian Minister of Science, welcomes this: „With the new ‚AfriZert‘ certificate programme, we hope to open the door to the African continent for young people and strengthen intercultural exchange. In times of globalisation, Europe and Africa are moving ever closer together and are increasingly interconnected. Challenges of the most diverse kind need to be tackled together. For successful cooperation across continents on equal terms, knowledge about each other and understanding for each other are of fundamental importance. We are now expanding this even further.
The „afriZert“ degree programme includes not only lectures and seminars, but also an internship in Africa: this week, the Bavarian Council of Ministers decided on the concept for the new foundation for International Youth Exchange Bavaria and approved to include the funding of „afriZert“ through 50 scholarships as a start-up project. Which „afriZert“ events will take place online or on site in Bayreuth and how many modules the certificate will include is now being developed with financial support from the STMWK.Studies are scheduled to begin in the winter semester of 2022/2023. The certificate programme will be open to students from all Bavarian universities and colleges.
The „afriZert“ aims to prepare academic professionals of tomorrow for possible professional practice with a connection to Africa in Europe, Germany, Bavaria, and African states, and to make academic, Africa-focused, further or continuing education more attractive. In addition, networking between Bavaria and partners on the African continent is to be expanded and strengthened. This includes further developing inter-university, interdisciplinary, and translocal cooperation in Bavaria and with African partners, as well as supporting institutions, organisations, associations, and companies in their interaction with people and organisations in and from Africa. Thus, „afriZert“ will become a sound basis for positioning oneself more successfully in the labour market – in business, science, politics, and administration, everywhere where the increasing importance of the Africa and its key players is already being felt. In summary, Prof. Dr. Cyrus Samimi, spokesperson of IAS, says: „‚afriZert‘ represents an innovative educational initiative and is intended to be an impetus for integrating Africa-related knowledge and skills, as cross-sectional competencies, in a highly networked global community.“
Dr. Ron H. Herrmann
Academic Coordinator of the Institute of African Studies at the University of Bayreuth
Phone: +49 (0) 921 55-4516