Heidelberg University

Network Conference Japan 2018

At the fourth Research Alumni Network Conference of Heidelberg University on 14 and 15 April 2018 HAI welcomed participants from Japan, Germany, Taiwan, South Korea and China to the University of Kyoto, one of the partner universities of Ruperto Carola in Japan. This network conference provided new impulses for the Heidelberg Research Alumni Network in East Asia.

The heart of the event was a Panel Discussion followed by a plenary exchange on the conference topic "Research as a Bridge to Internationalization". Scientists and representatives of funding organizations from Germany and Japan discussed the topic of internationalization with regard to its ambiguity concerning the goals of university policy and the interests of researchers. The role of science funding organizations, financial resources as well as intensifying competition were other topics of the lively debate.


Panelists from left to right:
Prof. Dr Yuko Nishitani, Prof. Dr Masahiro Yamashita, Prof. Dr Katja Mombaur, Prof. Dr Dr h.c. Bernhard Eitel, Dorothea Mahnke, Prof. Dr Peter Comba, Dr Mariko Kobayashi, Dr Jörg Schneider

The interdisciplinary conference theme was complemented by subject related topics as well as by reports on experiences regarding research in Germany and international Best Practices. Representing the HeKKSaGOn network Prof. Dr Motomu Tanaka (Heidelberg University and Kyoto University) highlighted outstanding international cooperation in research and science. As shining example for successesful international teaching Prof. Dr Harald Fuess (Heidelberg University) together with Björn-Ole Kamm (University of Kyoto) reported on experiences of the Joint Degree Master of Arts Program.

Opening the conference Prof. Dr Dr h.c. Bernhard Eitel, President of Heidelberg University, illustrated the current development of the university as well as of the related research institutions in Heidelberg. Long-term structural developments in the research landscape Germany and Heidelberg were as much a focus as global cooperation and the internationalization strategy of the university.

With the title "2 Alumni - 2 Experiences" Prof. em. Dr med. Kazuhiro Hara and Dr Takashi Fujii provided insights into their research stays in Heidelberg - as a visiting scholar or doctoral student. They emphasized the significance of Heidelberg University for their further academic career.

Already in his Opening Lecture on developments at Heidelberg University and related research institutions, president Prof. Dr Bernhard Eitel gave the participating Research Alumni a current picture of their former host institutions. This as well as the update on Research and Research Funding Opportunities in Germany by Dr Jörg Schneider (DFG) was well received by the scientists and sparked strong interest in another research stay at the Neckar among some participants.

Along with this the Open Space format encouraged further discussions about specialist topics and options for cooperation. Future projects could be initiated and personal exchange was intensified.

In his Conclusion, Prof. Dr Bernhard Eitel emphasized the importance of international and interdisciplinary cooperation in research and teaching. The participants of the conference were the best example for a long-standing, intergenerational and forward-looking cooperation. From now on the already good connections between Heidelberg and Japan would be extended with a further aspect by the Research Alumni Network.


Next to the professional and international exchange two further highlights added to the value of the Research Alumni Network Conference:

Kick-off to the lecture series "Heidelberg Lecture" - which has already beenestablished in other countries - followed by a discussion of Heidelberg gerontologist Prof. Dr Dr h.c. Andreas Kruse on "Creative aging in different countries and cultures - what biology, medicine and cultural anthropology teach us" and the festive foundation of Heidelberg Alumni Japan (HAJP) in the HAI network. Following the president, Prof. Dr Dr h.c. Bernhard Eitel, and the two senior alumni, Ms. Tomomi Spennemann-Oshima and Mr. Kyoshiro Yajima, all attendees of the evening event signed the founding charter and expressed their affiliation to Heidelberg University and HAJP.


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Requests concerning this page to: Philippe Bayer, Jella Friedrich
28 June 2018
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