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Learning from each other -- growing together

This press release is available in German.

Kiel University and Dalhousie University in Halifax, Canada want to work more closely together in the future. With this benchmark partnership, which is part of Kiel's quality management and internationalisation strategy, the two universities are trying out a completely new form of international collaboration.

In order to explore the possibilities of a future cooperation, members of staff and scientists of both universities are meeting in Kiel. During business meetings they have exchanged ideas on Marine and Life Science and a modern university and science organization. The Canadian delegation consists of twelve members and is presided over by Vice President and Provost Carolyn Watters. On Thursday, September 13, Kiel University's Vice President Thomas Bosch, responsible for Science and Internationalization, and Vice President Carolyn Watters of Dalhousie University, signed a Memorandum of Understanding. The ceremony was attended by Canadian Counsellor for Science and Technology in Germany, Jennifer E. Decker. The Memorandum will lay down key points for the further development of the partnership between Dalhousie University and Kiel University.

Vice President Watters said: "The Joint Kiel-Dalhousie Workshop on management and administration was very successful and really exceeded our expectations. After a day of presentations and lively discussion we were able to identify six areas of common interest, ranging from human resources to facilities management. This collaboration on administrative issues is, I believe, unique in university partnerships. Our next step will be to focus on three or four of these areas at a second workshop at Dalhousie University in the spring. We are looking forward to welcoming our German colleagues to Dalhousie and I will be sure to include the art of table knocking at that event!"

Within Marine Science, the Workshop aims to expand existing contacts between Kiel and Halifax, and to establish new areas of collaboration. The Workshop has provided new impulses in the general areas of Marine Law and Economics for the sustainable use of the oceans. It has also proven productive on the issue of climate change in the North Atlantic, stressed Ralph Schneider, Vice Spokesperson of the Cluster "Future Ocean" and climate researcher at Kiel University. "These subject areas are already important cornerstones for integrative marine science in the cluster 'Future Ocean'", said Schneider. "In the future, we want to intensify the research beyond its subject boundaries and with international partners. The Workshop with participants from Kiel and Dalhousie University was an important start to this."

After the first day of the Workshop, Bosch described discussions with the Canadian colleagues as productive, constructive and educational. "In the Life Sciences Dalhousie has similar strengths to Kiel University: it, too, is concentrating on understanding the interaction between microbes and host organisms, with the focus on an evolutionary-biological approach to genome analysis", explained the Vice President. "Like Kiel, Dalhousie is concentrating on understanding the environment's role in health maintenance and the outbreak of diseases. The Workshop gave all participants valuable impulses for their future work and has helped to establish the new scientific field of 'Environmental Genomics'".

With this strategic partnership between Kiel and Dalhousie, the administrations of both universities will be incorporated into an international cooperation for the very first time. In the now widely globalized world of science, this new level of collaboration is seeking answers to the challenges of a modern scientific system, in various cultural and legal contexts. Chancellor Frank Eisoldt stressed that this will not only enrich the work of the staff within management and administration, it will also support Kiel University on its way towards true internationalisation. "The fact that leading staff members of both administration departments are discussing specific aspects of management has opened up completely new perspectives on our work", said Eisoldt. "It is fascinating to see how scientific institutions that operate successfully in different countries under different conditions are able to learn from each other."


Contact: Dr. Boris Pawlowski
Kiel University

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