The mathematics professor at the University of Bremen had previously been a member of the Academic Senate (AS) and Officer for Inclusive Studies for several years. “I would like to thank all members of the Academic Senate for their broad approval and their trust”, said Eva-Maria Feichtner shortly after the announcement of the results of the secret ballot in the university parliament. Out of 19 Academic Senate members, the academic received 17 votes in favor and two abstentions. The Vice President also thanked all employees and colleagues for the good cooperation so far. President Bernd Scholz-Reiter positively stated: “The entire university management is extremely happy with the work and outstanding commitment of Eva-Maria Feichtner. We are pleased that we can continue our joint work.” Eva-Maria Feichtner will begin her second term in office on October 1, 2019.
Furthering the Europeanization of Higher Education Institutes
From international affairs to diversity, the responsibilities of the Vice President encompass a wide range of topics: “Internationalization is an important cross-sectional task in a modern, globally oriented university”, according to the Vice President. In the times of Brexit and right wing populist currents in Europe, it is especially important to strengthen the European identity. This is one of the reasons why she supports the development of the cooperation with Cardiff University, which was founded in March 2019. On a pan-European level, the Vice President will continue to be active in accompanying the university on its path to a European university. Under the acronym YUFE – Young Universities for the Future of Europe – the University of Bremen, along with seven partner universities, has set out to realize the vision of a European university in the upcoming years – as the President of France Emmanuel Macron phrased it in a speech at the Sorbonne in 2017. “From the dynamics of a student journey, which is to include studying at several locations in at least two languages, we have created the vision of a staff journey”, stated Feichtner. Thus, new career paths are also to be opened for employees of the YUFE partners. “Our vision portrays a young, open-minded, research oriented and inclusive university, which offers self-designed studying and also the best conditions for innovative research, teaching and work.” The YUFE alliance comprises the universities Maastricht, Antwerp, Bremen, Carlos III Madrid, Eastern Finland, Essex, Roma Tor Vergata and Cyprus.
YUFE Initiative Unthinkable without YERUN
The YUFE initiative is unthinkable without YERUN, the Young European Research Universities Network. The network is a cooperation of 18 young, research-oriented universities, which for nearly 5 years now has pursued European research policies, laid the foundations for joint study programs and developed steps in order to find quick solutions for urgent university-based political questions. “YERUN is currently entering into a strategy debate, which I would like to closely accompany.”
The university fosters close contact to partner universities across Europe. One partner, with whom a lively and successful cooperation has been maintained for several years, is the University of Guelph in Canada. The country, alongside the USA, China and South Africa, currently forms one of the areas of focus in terms of cooperation with the University of Bremen outside of Europe. The Vice President wishes to support the further extension of worldwide cooperations and the development of joint study programs together with international partners. The attractiveness of the study programs on offer for international study-interested persons, their support towards a successful degree and a lived multilingualism in both teaching and day-to-day life on campus are of especial importance.
Using Diversity as Potential
Concerning her second focus, diversity, the Vice President clearly stands for further encouragement of diversity at the university: in research, studies and teaching and in personnel development. A special emphasis is placed on the three pillars of interculturality, equality and inclusion. “The current diversity at the University of Bremen holds immense potential”, according to the Vice President. Forming and handling this diversity in a sensitive manner is an important issue for her. The in 2017 reissued diversity strategy has now unfolded its strength. “In the frame of a workshop, we identified priorities and the relevant measures are being applied.” International partners are also crucial for this. “For example, we benefit greatly from the experience of the Canadian University of Guelph and the British University of Essex”, stated the Vice President. Intense communication takes place in these areas.
Gaining and Supporting Female Scientists
The further fostering of equality is an important matter for the Vice President. “The University of Bremen has celebrated its third success in the female professor program. Our expertise in this area is also recognized and requested internationally”, explained Feichtner. “I place a special focus on gaining and supporting female scientists at all career levels. The efforts made regarding the compatibility of family and career, not only for women but rather for all who carry responsibility in families, is closely connected to this.”
Prof. Dr. Eva-Maria Feichtner
Vice President for International and Diversity
University of Bremen
Phone: +49 421 218-60041
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