Vice President for International Affairs and Diversity
On weekdays : According to prior agreement.
The economy and society are faced with a range of global challenges. Increasingly, companies are operating across national borders. Urgent societal issues, for example environmental protection, security, conflict resolution, technological development and sustainability, can only be dealt with internationally.
The German economy and society in particular are closely entwined with those of other countries. And even within our country, internationalism continues apace, with people from a multitude of global cultures making their home here, and multinational companies and organisations that have their headquarters here.
Breaking down borders
Universities play an important role in developing solutions for internationally networked economies and societies. Universities must plan for and take a proactive approach to global challenges if they are to fulfil their educational mandate. They have the obligation to put their students in a position to exploit international opportunities and overcome problems across national frontiers.
In the regional context too, this is an important duty. For Bonn-Rhein-Sieg University, regional ties and an international focus complement one another. With our principle of regional internationalism, we support, for example, our medium-sized cooperation partners from the regional economy in their efforts to hone and develop their international profile. A number of our business partners from the region are "global players", including world market leaders in their niches.
We see internationalism as the ability to think and act across national borders, and together with other cultures and traditions to gain new knowledge and experience. As a practical university we encourage and demand the fundamental ability and readiness to think and act internationally in all areas.
Growth markets of the future
Cooperation with emerging and developing nations is growing in importance for us. On the one hand they often represent the growth markets of the future, for which we must prepare our students. On the other hand, with what we have to offer in terms of developing practical scientific structures we are fulfilling our social responsibility to make a small contribution towards a more equitable distribution of wealth across the globe.
Diversity at Bonn-Rhein-Sieg University
The diversity of modern society, influenced by globalisation and demographic change also has an impact on Bonn-Rhein-Sieg University. Many different types of person study, live and work here, including young and old, men, women, Germans, migrants and foreigners, people from households with and without academic backgrounds, Christians, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists and atheists, trans- and intersexuals, hetero- and homosexuals, people with and without disabilities and many more.
This plurality is a gift that we welcome and value. Diversity leads to ideas, innovations and new opportunities. It expands horizons. Respecting others and other ways of being is a central value of our democratic society. Diversity is an opportunity for every single one of us and for our university as a whole to grow and improve ourselves.
However, diversity can also be uncomfortable, since it challenges us to engage with personalities, opinions and lifestyles that may be alien to us. It can be stressful and hard to approach strangers, to deal with them in person. Nevertheless, many of us find it enriching when we leave our comfort zone and engage with people who are different to us.
We welcome the various personalities at our university, be they students or employees, and aim to show them what a privilege it is to be able to study and work in such a diverse environment.