Summer courses have a long tradition at the University of Heidelberg and so far the response from the students has always been gratifying. But from next year on, the existing format is to be fundamentally overhauled and the offerings greatly expanded. Restyled "The International Summer School of the University of Heidelberg", the summer courses will be given a new and strongly international profile. "We see the summer courses as a platform for making our University known to students from many different countries," says Professor A. Chaniotis, the Vice-Rector with special responsibility for international relations. "We extend a cordial invitation to them to come and sample the congenial atmosphere in Heidelberg for themselves." As of 2005, the summer courses will be offered in the form of a unified programme. As early as April of this year, the project will have a homepage of its own, where all the offerings can be looked at and booked. In the autumn, the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) will be issuing a brochure listing all the courses. The intention is not only to attract students to Heidelberg as a place very definitely worth studying at. During the summer courses, the University will be keeping an eye out for especially gifted young academics and researchers. "If the first impression a university makes on doctoral students is good, the general environment is frequently decisive for the long-term decision on where they want to do their dissertation. We have much to offer in this respect and we are very interested in attracting the best minds," Chaniotis continued.
To ensure that these minds are given food for thought, the University plans to provide a broad range of subjects. Courses on specialist topics that frequently cannot be offered in term time for lack of demand are ideally suited for summer courses. In addition, cooperation with partner universities is to intensified considerably. For example, the classical studies scholars are planning a joint seminar with the University of Tel Aviv entitled "Death and the Afterlife in the Eastern Mediterranean". Summer courses of this kind have been a fixture at American universities for quite some time. But unlike America, German universities are not allowed to charge fees for these additional offerings. Accordingly, the University of Heidelberg have chosen to evade this problem by asking for contributions towards defraying the costs, as the University itself cannot subsidise the courses.
All the courses at the "International Summer School of the University of Heidelberg" will be given in English. At the same time, students will have the opportunity to take accompanying courses in German grammar and usage. Then, if they decide to stay in Heidelberg, they can get themselves in shape for the term's work without any further delay. Experience in the last few years has shown that for many highly qualified students the German language is a factor that prevents them from signing up at the University of Heidelberg. But students already enrolled will also be given the opportunity to enrich their studies. At the International Summer School they can join the foreign students attending courses with the scope of a lecture or seminar and thus profit from the discussion of topics that figure either sporadically or not at all in the normal curriculum.
The summer courses are all designed by Heidelberg professors and conducted by academic members of the University. Lecturers from partner universities will also participate in the teaching. In this way, upcoming scientists and scholars can gain valuable teaching experience. There are also plans for the courses at the "International Summer School of the University of Heidelberg" to be taught elsewhere as well. "We want the Heidelberg House in Santiago de Chile and the outstations of the South East Asia Institute on the Indian subcontinent to join in too," said Chaniotis. "We see the Summer School as an important medium for presenting our University to the public all over the world. We want to draw attention to the fact that Heidelberg is a top-flight university location."
Please address any inquiries to
Dr. Michael Schwarz
Press Officer of the University of Heidelberg
phone: 06221/542310, fax: 54317
Prof. Dr. Angelos Chaniotis
Vice-Rector for International Relations
University of Heidelberg
phone: 06221/542315, 542316, fax: 542147