Capacity Building Working Group

  Globe showing Europe and Africa Copyright: Timo Merki

The need to address global challenges and collaborate with countries of the Global South is becoming increasingly important when it comes to issues that affect international university partnerships. This fact is also demonstrated by current strategies followed by various ministries and scientific organizations nationally and within the EU.

 

In its efforts to meet these responsibilities, RWTH is giving capacity building in international higher education collaboration a more central position within the University’s internationalization activities and is integrating it as a component of RWTH’s internationalization strategy. To this end, the Vice-Rector for International Affairs has established a cross-faculty working group that includes members from all across the academic spectrum – from student to professor.

The working group seeks to combine past individual activities with Global South countries and make these partnerships a more prominent topic across RWTH. While encouraging communication among various members of the university at different levels, it also invites external experts. The group has identified multiple target countries in two target regions – Africa and Eastern/Southeastern Europe – where university-wide collaborations are to be established and expanded.

RWTH aims to implement these activities in a highly coordinated manner and establish partnerships that provide all of its Faculties and Departments with points of contact and collaboration opportunities. The goal is also to obtain joint funding, thus expanding collaborations with partners from the Global South countries guided by mutual interests.

In particular, cooperation with student initiatives at RWTH is crucial, such as 3 E's 4 Africa, Aktion Sodis, or Ingenieure ohne Grenzen, which are an important part of the working group.

The six target countries identified by the initiative are:

 

Target Countries

Ethiopia

In order to explore common cooperation interests, RWTH is currently in talks with Addis Ababa University in Ethiopia. A virtual matchmaking workshop to deepen these talks and establish them on a broad scientific basis is scheduled to take place in the second half of 2021.

Ghana

A matchmaking meeting with the University of Ghana was organized by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) in the first quarter of 2021. A first cooperation on "Water-Energy-Food", initiated by RWTH's International Office, is planned and a joint summer school on the topic is to be organized with partners of the IDEA League.

Furthermore, RWTH is currently in talks with Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, and a joint virtual matchmaking workshop to establish cooperation is to be organized in the second half of 2021.

Namibia

In order to explore common cooperation interests, RWTH is currently in talks with Namibia University of Science and Technology. A virtual matchmaking workshop to deepen these talks and establish them on a broad scientific basis is scheduled to take place in May 2021.

Georgia

The Georgian-German Science Bridge, which was initiated by Forschungszentrum Jülich, has existed for more than ten years and includes, on the part of RWTH, cooperations in physics in particular.

In order to expand these subject-related collaborations, a total of three virtual matchmaking workshops were held from November 2020 to February 2021 with Tbilisi State University, Ilia State University, Free University, and Agricultural University

At these three events, more than 70 scientists from the participating universities were brought together, including professors from 6 of the 9 faculties at RWTH. Following these events, applications for various funding programs are planned, alongside an RWTH delegation to Georgia and the establishment of exchange programs between the RWTH and Georgian partners.

Ukraine

The establishment of cooperations with university partners in Ukraine is planned for 2022.

Republic of Moldova

The establishment of cooperations with university partners in the Republic of Moldova is planned for 2022.

 

Members of all RWTH Faculties and departments and from all across the academic spectrum are welcome to join the working group at any time. Please contact Dr. Daniel Holder, the working group coordinator, if you have any further questions.