World Politics on Campus: Launch of a New Event Format
Bonn-Rhein-Sieg University of Applied Sciences has launched a new event format, "World Politics on Campus". The online lecture series addresses topics that are highly topical and of global significance. The lecture series presents the views of outstanding international personalities, experts and decision-makers and seeks critical dialog. Professor Jürgen Bode, Vice President for International Affairs and Diversity, and Professor Claudia Warning, Honorary Professor for Development Cooperation, talk about the idea behind the project.
H-BRS: With the title of the series, you make a promise: We're bringing world politics to campus. Why does the H-BRS need such an event?
Jürgen Bode: As a university, we see ourselves as having a global responsibility. That's why internationalisation in teaching is so important for us. And that's why we want to sharpen students' awareness of geopolitical issues. After all, enormous tasks lie ahead of our societies that will have to be accomplished in the future. And last but not least, we are strengthening the reputation of the university: We are proving that we are capable of informing on issues of global significance.
H-BRS: One feature of the lecture series is the top-class speakers. How difficult or how easy is it to attract them to the series?
Claudia Warning: Our previous speakers gladly agreed to participate in the series. They appreciate the opportunity to exchange ideas with future specialists and managers and are happy to hear fresh and out-of-the-box views and reactions in the discussions. Our speakers know how important it is to exchange ideas with future leaders and are happy to help them broaden their view.
H-BRS: You are moderating the event, which has a "hot" topic in the form of the EU-Mercosur agreement* and where very different viewpoints can clash. How do you manage to make sure that everyone wins?
Claudia Warning: The culture of debate in our society is increasingly agitated and polarizing. But it's at university that students can learn open, fact-based discourse based on arguments. Part of the nature of science is to question and test one's own findings, to seek new perspectives, and to consider them. Most students enjoy this and like to participate. This also helps to avoid slipping into polemical debates.
H-BRS: A glimpse into the future: What awaits us at future events in the series?
Jürgen Bode: The demand for up-to-date and significant topics will remain. What will be new is that students might participate in the event as an elective course and earn credits for it.
Claudia Warning: It will be a good mix: we want to discuss relevant and topical issues with key figures who are themselves driving the issues forward and are also prepared to provide a look "behind the scenes". The Brazilian ambassador* is a good example of this.
Interviewer: Martin Schulz
* Martin Schulz and Prof. Warning are referring to the first event in July with HE Roberto Jaguaribe, Ambassador of Brazil, who talked about the Free Trade Agreement between EU and Mercosur countries.
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