Strategy

Internationalization of Faculty 3: Mathematics and Sciences

Agreed upon by the Faculty Council, 16 July 2015

 

Table of Contents

Preface

International Networking

Establishing a Master’s Program in the English Language

Internationalization in Science for Education

Annual summer schools

English Language Courses for Technology and Office Communication

Our Goals towards Internationalization:

 

Preface

International cooperation in research is the driving force of our faculty.

Through partnerships and alliances, we can improve usage of resources and appliances, thus enabling us to equip our research sector "Material&Environment" as needed.

Domestic and international conflicts are primarily caused by an extreme disparity in distribution of life necessities, such as raw materials, energy, food and water; moreover, lack of education and access to knowledge aggravate the situation.

Therefore Faculty 3 considers it as one of its duties to deliver substantial contributions to overcoming these causes of conflict, through communicating at eye level with international partners, creating a liberal, non-profit exchange of scientific achievements among the international scientific community and conveying knowledge and education to international students at the University Koblenz-Landau, as well as to people directly in their home countries.

Another aspect of its efforts is to provide highly qualified personnel for our region, which is characterized by internationally competitive KMUs in the processing industry, especially metal, ceramics and plastics.

In its strategy for internationalization, Faculty 3 focusses on cooperation with universities and research centers, both in research and teaching. This comprises, on the one hand, a regular exchange between teachers and students, as well as capacity-building (Master, PhD programs) for foreign students in Koblenz, and on the other hand, establishing functional research cooperation projects.

With the aid of the Ruanda Center as a central scientific establishment of the University Koblenz-Landau, we wish to carry on the tradition of research and close cooperation in applied development themes (“grass-roots partnerships” in education and the agricultural sector). Since 1982 this takes place in the framework of a (state) partnership between Rhineland-Palatinate and Ruanda, since 1999 on the basis of a Memorandum of Understanding thus enabling third-party funded projects. Through these organizations, third-party projects have been made feasible; especially with the University of Rwanda, an exchange program for students and teachers has successfully been established.

International Networking

A productive, international network system for Faculty 3 can best be achieved by cooperation between scientists, through personal contacts, based on common interests in research and teaching. Thus create the basis of cooperative projects in science and teaching.

At the moment, seventeen such contacts exist in Faculty 3, which have been formalized by written MOUs (Memorandum of Understanding) or MOAs (Memorandum of Agreement). Furthermore there are numerous informal contacts between scientists in Koblenz and institutes for research and education abroad. In the future, these contacts will not only be restricted to exchange between teachers and researchers, but will increasingly be made available to students as well.

International networking in Faculty 3 also includes implementation and extension of strategic partnerships, especially of functioning research cooperation projects based on common interests of Koblenz’s professorships and the main focal points of Faculty 3.

A further aspect of international networking includes keeping contact with foreign alumni. In the past years, six doctorates in Biology were awarded to students from Africa and Southeast Asia; further international PhD candidates in all fields of Faculty 3 have found mentors. Through this, an alumni network is being created, easing contacts in their respective countries. The goal of the network is to plan and implement research projects and find qualified students for a master's programs, or master's or PhD theses. Scale and subject matter of these projects are within the jurisdiction of the individual institutes.

The Institute for Mathematics, for example, intends to establish itself as an international networking center, upholding a lively exchange among partners at all levels, that is, students, teachers and researchers, whether it be in scientific research or teaching.

Recruiting new students and PhDs will take place internationally, while bilateral student exchange programs will remain primarily within Europe.

Other factors of internationalization are as follows:

Firstly, publications and presentations of outstanding research results in renowned, international and recognized magazines and conferences;

Secondly, researchers of Faculty 3 acting as reviewers for journals, project managers and sponsors, or as editors of internationally renowned magazines;

Thirdly, organizing international workshops and conferences and assuming leading functions in international organizations.

Establishing a Master’s Program in the English Language

Strong personal contacts of individual teachers can be useful not only for exchange between researchers and faculty, but also for student exchange programs. This would, however, only be effective if an appropriate number of courses in English were made available.

In a scientific master’s program, the use of English as the generally recognized language of science offers a satisfactory basis for attaining the desired qualifications, without disregard for the native languages of the foreign students or loss of identity.

By launching “Mathematical Modeling of Complex Systems” in the coming winter semester 2015/2016 the Faculty 3 starts the Internationalization of the Master’s Program. Foreign students will be able to complete a master’s degree in an entirely English-language curriculum.

Faculty 3 is striving to achieve at least one master’s degree entirely in English in each of the fields of research, “Material Properties and Functional Surfaces”, “Modeling and Simulation”, and “Biodiversity and Ecological Systems”, by the winter semester of 2019/2020 at the latest.

Internationalization in Science for Education

Internationalization in the study program for education in natural sciences takes place through courses international exchange and contact with foreign students at Campus Koblenz, as these studies must be offered in German. Various electives held in the English language offered to date enrich teacher preparation programs and prepare for bilingualism in schools, especially regarding bilingual teaching and acquiring additional qualifications for the European workforce.

Annual summer schools

Faculty 3 understands summer schools as a possibility of increasing visibility and attractiveness of the university for foreign students.

Faculty 3 has first-time plans for a summer school in the field of mathematical modelling in May 2016. The field of “Biodiversity and Ecological Systems”, topic “Environmental Impact and Assessment” is projected for the summer semester 2017, with a capacity of 20 foreign students. Thereafter, a summer school project within the framework of its main focal topic “Material and Environment” will be offered annually.

English Language Courses for Technology and Office Communication

With an increasing number of non-German-speaking students at Campus Koblenz and the developing international networking of University and faculty, new challenges arise for all employees of Faculty 3.

Faculty 3 recognizes the need to reduce language barriers and improve English proficiency for both technical and non-technical employees and is planning to offer appropriate language courses.

Our Goals towards Internationalization:

  • We shall construct an international networking system in research and teaching; existing cooperation shall be maintained and intensified with new partnerships, and further international cooperation projects shall be established.
  • We shall extend existing strategic partnerships and wish to become members in strong international research alliances.
  • We shall confirm informal scientific cooperation projects with international partners, if mutually agreed, gradually through written documents (MOUs and MOAs). A list of current international cooperation projects is to be published on the faculty homepage.
  • We shall integrate our international alumni into our efforts as soon as possible.
  • We shall make our scientific master’s program internationally accessible and feasible.
  • We shall strive for internationally recognized certification of our courses of study, as far as possible.
  • We shall support the University Koblenz-Landau in all initiatives aiming to repeal the law of the state that guarantees prospective teachers an exclusively German-language curriculum.
  • We shall create contacts between domestic and international students here and abroad.
  • We shall offer courses in the basics of Scientific English for all interested prospective teachers, at the latest during their master’s program.
  • We shall prepare prospective teachers for jobs in the European and international workforce as well.
  • We shall hold an annual Summer School within the framework of our research leitmotif “Material and Environment” at Campus Koblenz.
  • We shall improve the English language level of all members of Faculty 3, as it is the internationally recognized language of science.
  • We shall also see that all our support personnel have sufficient command of the English language, as far as necessary to fulfill their tasks in an internationalized faculty.