Penn State, Germany's University of Freiburg to celebrate partnership

April 27, 2011

University Park, Pa. — Penn State further expanded its Global Engagement Network with the University of Freiburg, Germany, on May 6 at a signing ceremony on Penn State’s University Park campus. The official agreement between Penn State and Freiburg formalizes the relationship between the two universities as mutual strategic partners in research, teaching and student education.

"Today, more than ever before, it is clear that education and research need to be done in the global context. We need to prepare our students for this new reality and our faculty need to have the opportunity to conduct their research in a global context," said Michael Adewumi, vice provost of Global Programs and leader of the Global Engagement Network (GEN) strategy. He concludes, "our strategic partnerships with University of Freiburg will further these objectives."

"Freiburg is a natural partner because there have already been a number of robust and successful partnerships between the two universities,” said Dennis Schmidt, professor of philosophy and chair of the Freiburg GEN committee. “For instance, in the College of the Liberal Arts, the departments of philosophy, comparative literature, and German have had active exchanges of both faculty and students. Those initiatives have generated job prospects for graduate students, grant opportunities and research projects."

Other ongoing partnerships include Penn State’s Institute for Energy and the Environment (PSIEE), the Center for Sustainability and the Rock Ethics Institute that are developing projects centered on sustainability and energy research. Forestry also has a long-standing relationship with Freiburg, which sits at the foot of the Black Forest. Other initiatives are taking form in the College of Engineering and in the Schreyer Honors College.

"In short, there are already significant developments that will form the first stage of what promises to be a long history of collaborative projects and exchanges between Penn State and the University of Freiburg," said Schmidt.

The University of Freiburg was founded in 1457 by the Habsburg dynasty and is the fifth oldest university in Germany. A public university, it was designated a “University of Excellence” by the German government in 2007.

Freiburg is sending a delegation to Penn State which includes their rector, Hans-Jochen Schiewer; Hans Zappe, dean of the technical faculty; Wilfried Weber, faculty of biology; Dieter Bauhus, faculty of forest and environmental sciences; and Katherina Aly, director of the international office.

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Last Updated May 20, 2011