Close Partnership – University Potsdam Expands Cooperation with Israel
A delegation from the University of Potsdam traveled to Israel this week to expand partnerships with universities there and to establish new ones. The delegation began its tour at the Tel Aviv University (TAU), with whom the University of Potsdam has a strategic partnership with exchange programs for students, PhD students as well as postdocs and employees; the two universities also cooperate in research as well as in knowledge and technology transfer. The delegation also visited the Technion and the University of Haifa, the Hebrew University and Birzeit University in the Palestinian Territories.
"After three years of the pandemic, during which our cooperative activities in Israel had to be cultivated digitally instead of face-to-face, we wanted to kick things off in person," says the President of the University of Potsdam, Prof. Oliver Günther, Ph.D. "The visit is nevertheless very much in the spirit of the current developments in Israel. Yesterday, Tuesday, the universities supported the general strike and clearly positioned themselves against the judicial reform under discussion. The president of Tel Aviv University (TAU), Prof. Ariel Porat, emphasized at our kick-off meeting that the planned reform would drastically call into question the foundations of a democratic university."
The Vice President for International Affairs and Fundraising, Prof. Dr. Florian J. Schweigert, added: "Our relations with Israel have developed excellently in recent years. This applies not only to our various exchange programs, but also to research and teaching collaborations in diverse disciplines."
Erasmus funding supports exchange programs with TAU and the University of Haifa, for example. In the past two years, a total of 24 students from Potsdam were guests at our Israeli partner universities, while 13 young Israelis came to study in Brandenburg’s state capital. Currently, two postdocs from Tel Aviv are also working in Potsdam's religious studies and philosophy departments.
Research collaborations exist primarily with TAU as well as Hebrew University and the University of Haifa. This year, for example, the university is funding courses at the Center for Languages and Key Competencies (Zessko) and a joint research project in cognitive neuroscience with TAU through its KoUP cooperation funding program. The number of joint publications has also risen sharply in recent years. With TAU, there should be collaborations in science management in the near future, doctoral student exchanges, and joint meetings of vice presidents on best practices. Both partners see each other as strategically important partners because of their many joint activities.
Miriam Rürup, Director of the Moses Mendelssohn Center and Professor of European-Jewish Studies, already maintains relations with the universities of Haifa, Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. This includes, for example, an archive exchange seminar for doctoral students that brings together a German-Israeli group every two years and is organized jointly with the Minerva Institute at Tel Aviv University. It also supports the establishment of the Archive for the History and Heritage of the German-speaking Jewry in Israel at the DAAD Center of the University of Haifa. Among other things, an internship program for Potsdam doctoral students is to be established there.
Administrative scientist Prof. Dr. Sabine Kuhlmann works intensively with Haifa and Jerusalem. There are further research collaborations in ecology and mathematics, for example.
Photo: The delegation from the University of Potsdam with President Prof. Oliver Günther, Ph.D. (fourth from left) and Vice President for International Affairs and Fundraising Prof. Dr. Florian J. Schweigert (third from left) at Tel Aviv University (TAU). Photo: University of Potsdam.
Dr. Silke Engel, Director of Press and Public Relations
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Media Information 29-03-2023 / No. 035