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A group of Stellenbosch University (SU) academic and support services staff visited Leipzig University, Germany, for a second contact seminar between the two universities from 23 to 29 June, following on the first hosted at SU in November 2018.
“Strategic partnerships such as this one between Leipzig and SU need face-to-face contact between people in order to grow, particularly in today’s digital world,” Dr Svend Poller, the head of Leipzig University’s International Office, told the SU delegation in his welcome remarks. Echoing this sentiment was Robert Kotzé, the senior director of SU International, who led the Stellenbosch delegation to Leipzig. Kotzé called the contact seminar a prime example of “knowledge diplomacy” and underlined the key role of the internationalisation of higher education in promoting understanding of other cultures and nations.
The weeklong session presented a wealth of opportunities for those attending. For instance, Dr Marina Joubert, senior science communication researcher at SU’s Centre for Research on Evaluation, Science and Technology (CREST), and Prof Alexander Godulla, professor of Empirical Communication and Media Research at Leipzig, are already planning a regular teaching exchange on communication science, especially digital storytelling, starting in 2020. They further intend co-developing a research project that will explore how young scientists can better communicate with the public about their research.
As part of their visit, SU staff also attended an Erasmus+ networking and information workshop on 26 June, in which 65 subject coordinators and other key players took part. At this event, the participants reviewed the project year and exchanged views on innovations in project implementation. Thirteen new coordinators were welcomed, while ten bid a fond farewell to the Erasmus+ community. SU is one of more than 100 Erasmus+ partners worldwide.
Author: Lina Hörügel
Picture: Swen Reichhold