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Harvard Goes Freiburg

Harvard University Launches Pilot Project at University of Freiburg – First Partnership of its Kind

Freiburg, Nov 04, 2011

Harvard Goes Freiburg

Rector Hans-Jochen Schiewer (left), Jorge Dominguez, Vice-Provost for International Affairs der Harvard University. Photo: Beckert


At a ceremony this Monday at the Harvard Faculty Club in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Rector of the University of Freiburg Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Hans-Jochen Schiewer and Vice-Provost for International Affairs of Harvard University Prof. Dr. Jorge Dominguez signed a cooperation agreement that lays the foundation for the “Harvard College Europe Program.” Set to begin in January 2012, the pilot project will give 20 Harvard students the opportunity to study at the University of Freiburg for half a year, where they will investigate European responses to the problems of the modern world.
„In combination with our partnerships with the University of California at Berkeley and Penn State University, the new pilot project with Harvard University is a further indication that our university enjoys an excellent reputation around the world. The ‘Harvard College Europe Program 2012’ and the Freiburg visiting professorship in Harvard make it clear that the two universities have a lot of respect for each other,” said Rector Schiewer.
The visiting professorship at Harvard and the pilot project mean additional recognition for the University of Freiburg. The fact that Harvard has decided to establish a “European branch” in the Breisgau illustrates Freiburg’s central role in the American elite university’s internationalization strategy. The program is the first of its kind: The idea is to send a group of students and a Harvard professor to a partner university for an entire semester, where the students will also have the option of taking regular classes at the university.
After an orientation week, the American students will take two eight-week interdisciplinary courses on Europe at the University of Freiburg. The curriculum will also include eight-week language courses in German or French, study trips to Warsaw and Istanbul, and internships at various institutions in Freiburg and the region—from farms to the Federal Constitutional Court. In this way, the Harvard students will also gain practical insight into cultural and social life in Europe. The International Office of the University of Freiburg will be involved in the organization of the entire program.
The initial idea for the project came from the American historian Prof. Dr. Sven Beckert, a professor at Harvard who conducted research at the “Freiburg Institute for Advanced Studies” (FRIAS) as an external fellow. Beckert will come back to Freiburg with an assistant and two tutors in January 2012 to supervise the first 20 American students enrolled in the program. His post at Harvard will be filled during his absence by Prof. Dr. Dr. Franz-Josef Brüggemeier, professor for economic, social, and environmental history at the University of Freiburg. At the same time, Freiburg students will have the opportunity to participate in the special Harvard courses and the study trips to Warsaw and Istanbul. If the pilot phase is successful, the partners plan to intensify the cooperation in the future.


Read an article on the cooperation here

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