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NTNU Visits Six German Universities, Solidifies International Presence

National Taiwan Normal University President Cheng-Chih Wu led a four-member delegation on a visit to Germany from 4-15 July, meeting with six of Germany's top institutions, including Ruhr University Bochum, Georg-August-University Göttingen, University of Münster, Goethe University Frankfurt, and Free University Berlin which are all partner institutions with NTNU. Meanwhile, the NTNU delegation has reached a memorandum of understanding for university-wide cooperation with Technical University of Darmstadt.

7/5 Ruhr University Bochum. RUB’s relationship with NTNU started with agreements of academic memorandum and student exchange between RUB and NTNU’s College of Liberal Arts and College of International Studies and Social Sciences in 2015. During this visit, the delegation met with RUB administrators including Rector Martin Paul and Vice Rector Kornelia Freitag. The two universities reached a consensus to extend their existing cooperation to the university level, and Vice Rector Freitag proceeded to share about strategies employed and obstacles faced by German universities regarding bilingual education. The delegates also learned about the structure and collaboration of UA Ruhr, the university alliance between RUB, TU Dortmund, and the University of Duisburg-Essen.

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7/6 University of Göttingen. Founded in 1734, the University of Göttingen has a total so far of 47 professors and alumni who were awarded the Nobel Prize, the fifth highest number of recipients in Europe after Cambridge, Oxford, Humboldt University of Berlin, and the University of Paris. The University of Göttingen first began cooperating with NTNU through the latter’s Department of Chinese as a Second Language. During this visit, President Metin Tolan and President Wu signed a university-wide cooperation agreement to deepen their institutions’ bilateral partnership. University of Göttingen representatives also shared about the university’s strategies and achievements in campus sustainability and demonstrated how this German establishment integrates its history, people, and stories into the campus tours.

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7/7 University of Münster. Cooperation with the University of Münster began with NTNU’s College of Liberal Arts and the Department of Chinese as a Second Language. During this visit, the delegation met with Rector Johannes Wessels, Vice Rector for Teaching and Studies Ulrike Weyland, Vice Rector for Internationalization Stefan Klein, and representatives from the Faculties of Education, Management, and East Asian Studies. In the morning, the two universities exchanged views on internationalization strategies, student exchange, bilingual education, and teacher training. In the afternoon, the delegation split up to meet separately with the Faculty of Education and School of Business and Economics to discuss possibilities such as dual degrees for teacher training and business, respectively. Finally, the delegation was invited to the Institute of Sinology and East Asian Studies, where a third-year master student from NTNU’s Department of Chinese as a Second Language shared about her recent one-year internship experience at WWU. The visit concluded in the evening with WWU's annual Schlossgartenfest, where the delegates witnessed how faculty and students can come together through campus activities.

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7/10 Goethe University Frankfurt. The relationship between NTNU and Goethe University Frankfurt began in 2016 with close cooperation in the field of Sinology and frequent exchanges of students and faculty. Based upon this foundation, the two institutions signed a university-wide student exchange agreement during this visit. The delegation met with Rector Enrico Schleiff, Vice Rector Michael Huth, China Office Director Frank Stiller, and professors from Goethe University’s Department of Sinology. Additionally, the delegates met separately with the Director and Head of the Frankfurt Bureau of the Taipei Representative Office in Germany.

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7/11 Technical University of Darmstadt. One of the oldest and leading technical universities in Germany, TU Darmstadt is where the world's first Department of Electrical Engineering was founded in 1883. This institution is also a current member of TU9, a German consortium of nine outstanding technical universities. Accompanied by Dr. Jacky Baltes of NTNU’s Department of Electrical Engineering, the delegation met with TUD representatives led by Rector Tanja Brühl and Vice Rector Thomas Walther. The two universities agreed upon a university-wide cooperation, exchanged ideas in areas such as teacher training, and visited TUD’s AI robotics laboratory.

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7/13 Free University of Berlin. The NTNU delegation met with President Günter Ziegler of Free University of Berlin and learned of its internationalization strategy through a presentation by Executive Vice Rector Verena Blechinger-Talcott. This university has partnered with NTNU since 2008 and a university-wide student exchange agreement between the two schools has thus far resulted in 25 NTNU outbound and 17 inbound students. This visit further strengthened the friendship between the two universities.

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Through this visit, NTNU reached a number of cooperation agreements with six top German institutions, including the expansion of academic cooperation and student exchanges from faculty to university level. The delegation also extensively exchanged ideas and learned benchmarking practices in a wide range of areas, such as university governance, university alliances, internationalization, faculty and student exchanges, bilingual policy, faculty development, Chinese language study and Sinology, and STEM. This will undoubtedly open up more collaboration opportunities for NTNU in academic research, educational innovation, and sustainable development. In addition, NTNU’s participation in the Taiwanese-German Higher Education Policy Forum further deepened its relationship within German academia and strengthened the influence of NTNU in the international network of higher education.

Note: Coverage of the Taiwanese-German Higher Education Policy Forum can be found here.

NTNU: https://pr.ntnu.edu.tw/ntnunews/index.php?mode=data&id=21754

China Times: https://www.chinatimes.com/realtimenews/20230715002131-260405

China News Agency: https://www.cna.com.tw/news/ahel/202307140086.aspx

Liberty Times: https://news.ltn.com.tw/news/life/breakingnews/4363825

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