"Connecting worlds of knowledge" – a research and academic relations initiativeEnlarge image Discussion with undergraduate and PhD students from RWTH Aachen University (© AA)
Crossborder cooperation has never been more important in research. When it comes to finding answers to global questions such as climate change and the fight against dangerous infectious diseases, successful solutions can only be realized through international cooperation. Additionally, students who gain international experience early on are subsequently better able to assert their position on the global labour market. Research also makes an important contribution to intercultural understanding and building stability in crisis regions. Germany’s Federal Foreign Office is supporting the global knowledge network in 2009 with its Research and Academic Relations Initiative. “The goal is to increase the visibility of German universities and research institutions abroad. That is the only way we can hold our own in the international competition for young scholars, research contracts and prestigious prizes,” Federal Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier explains the objectives of the Research and Academic Relations Initiative.
The Initiative’s main elements include the new German Houses of Science and Innovation (DWIH) that are intended to showcase Germany as a centre of research. In five cities on four continents, they combine the competence and innovative strength of German universities, research institutions and businesses. Worldwide German research cooperation is also represented by four centres of excellence that are promoting interchange with German higher education as part of the Initiative. Russia, Columbia, Chile and Thailand are the four countries in which new beacons of academic excellence are being built. German universities are becoming involved in the partner institutions to develop joint study programmes, seminars and exchanges of students and staff.
If you would like to find out more about the 2009 Research and Academic Relations Initiative, the current issue of Deutschland magazine offers an overview of the international networking of German research, German higher education’s contribution to reconstruction in crisis regions and portraits of foreign scholars and academics who have put their trust in Germany as a centre of research. A PDF edition of the magazine is also available on the Internet at www.magazine-deutschland.de .