The Rector’s Christmas Speech

Freitag, 31. Januar 2014 | 

Schlagwörter »  |  Thema: Allgemein, englisch

Rector Professor Hans-Jochen Schiewer thanks alumni for their support and wishes everyone a merry Christmas. Click here for a video of his Christmas message (german).rektor-teaser

Dear alumni,

Dear friends and patrons of the University of Freiburg,

The end of the year is a time to take stock. As rector of the University of Freiburg, I take advantage of the year’s end to review how far we have come in realizing our plans for the university in the past months: What improvements for students have we put into effect and what goals have we achieved in science and research? I am delighted to report that the year has been very positive. We have achieved much and have always been able to count on support from our alumni in our endeavors.

Accordingly, first of all I would like to thank all of our donors for their support in the year 2013! Many former students contributed to the funding project “Deutschlandstipendium” (Germany Scholarship) in 2013. This fall Alumni Freiburg was able to provide funding for a total of 30 scholarships with your help. It is a matter of great importance for me to reward highly motivated students for their achievement. The Deutschlandstipendium is an opportunity to further the academic development of talented young scholars. Eligible for funding are outstanding students from all fields of study with a grade point average of 1.3 or better. Other criteria include social involvement and individual obstacles the candidate has overcome in the course of his or her life or education. The students receive 300 euros per month – an amount that should enable them to devote their full concentration to their studies.

The national scholarship model was initiated by the German federal government. The way it works is that the universities raise half of the funding for the scholarships, e.g., through donations, and the government provides the other half. The more donations we raise, the more funding we receive from the federal government for our university.

The federal government plans to continue its support for this scholarship model. I would thus be very grateful if you would also support our students in the coming year.
In addition to the Deutschlandstipendium, we have realized another important project for the promotion of young scholars with the help of alumni in the past year: the newly opened doctoral candidate lounge on Erbprinzenstraße. The lounge gives doctoral candidates the opportunity to meet, socialize, and exchange ideas on their research. Several institutions providing information and advising for doctoral candidates have also moved into the building.

When one considers the key role science and research play in ensuring the continued prosperity of our society, the promotion of young academics is an investment that benefits us all.
Where is our research headed? The topic of sustainability will continue to gain relevance in all of its dimensions at the University of Freiburg and will be developed into a visible research profile. The conditions in Freiburg are ideal. We will continue to intensify our cooperation with the Fraunhofer Institutes located in Freiburg: With the establishment of a joint performance center for sustainability, we will bring our expertise on sustainability from a range of disciplines to bear.

Dear alumni, you can be proud of your university. We number among the top 4 German universities on all international rankings.

Freiburg is an ideal location for cooperation across national borders. The Universities of Freiburg and Strasbourg are currently developing a joint research strategy and are planning to create a science and research area on the Upper Rhine Plain without walls and borders and with international appeal and drawing power: a European campus.

We would also like to give you a direct impression of the innovative research being conducted here at the University of Freiburg. I would thus like to take this opportunity to invite you all to the 8th International Alumni Meeting, which will take place from 4 to 6 July 2014. The meeting will give you the chance to engage in scholarly exchange with the university’s research centers and to renew your personal contact with former classmates and teachers from your time at the university. In cooperation with the City of Freiburg and all faculties of the university, we are preparing an exciting weekend program for you. I would like to draw your attention to one point of the program in particular: The Academic Orchestra will be holding a special concert to celebrate the 50th anniversary of its founding.

Along with this invitation I send you my warmest greetings from your University of Freiburg and wish you and your families a merry Christmas and a happy and successful new year.
See you soon in Freiburg!

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