Friday, May 13, 2016

European Campus

Somewhat late and in the midst of European turmoil five universities on the Upper Rhine have signed a paper founding a European Campus.

The universities: Basel, Freiburg, Strasbourg, Haute-Alsace (Muhlhouse and Colmar), and the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology.

The motto: Think European, bundle the forces.

While Greek Prime Minister Tsipras is again asking for fresh European money to keep over-indebted Greece in the Euro zone, the deal with Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan to keep refugees out of Central Europe is tilting back, and British Prime Minister Cameron is sluggishly fighting the Brexit of the United Kingdom from the European Union the presidents of five universities in spite of the ongoing crisis plan an unbureaucratic European network without borders between their respective colleges.


Students of three countries will easily switch between various places of the European Campus with the help of a Trinational Regio Ticket using trains and buses. What is most important to Professor Hans-Jochen Schiewer, Rector of the Abertina-Ludovica: The end result of a bi- or trinational academic curriculum will be the European doctorate. The European Campus promoting a common infrastructure for research will become a magnet for the best young scholars and scientists, provided, as Red Baron likes to add, they speak French and German. Possibly the projected potential of 15,000 scholars and scientists, 11,000 doctoral students, and 115,000 students with a total budget of 2.3 billion euros will rather depend on how many of these speak English as lingua franca.

KIT Karlsruhe
For some of the participating universities and institutes the European Campus is just an experiment, for others it is a centennial project. Rector Schiewer again: We shall give ourselves a period of ten years. If it does not work we shall stop it.

This fall the first summer schools are scheduled at Freiburg University and Red Baron will participate in a well established one by the Frankreich-Institut in the beginning of September with this year's topic: De Tintin au Congo à Charlie Hebdo; Bandes dessinées et caricatures de langue française.

All photos are ©Der Sonntag, Freiburg

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