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14 July 2004

Continuing Education: Intensive Mediation Training Course at the University of Heidelberg

Mediation a successful procedure for conflict settlement — Training begins September 2004

Over the last decade, mediation has established itself as a versatile and successful method of conflict settlement in very different areas of society. In all these areas mediation takes full account of the interests and needs of the conflict participants with a view to achieving a fair and future-oriented solution for the parties involved. Mediation training has been on offer at the University of Heidelberg since 1988. It takes the form of a continuing-education course that is practice-oriented and designed for working professionals in a variety of disciplines. The programme is designed as a flexible curriculum, where participants can choose courses and trainers in accordance with their respective fields of interest. The complete training course comprises 200 hours, divided into 150 hours of seminars and 50 hours of guided supervision for the participants' practical mediation activity. In addition, the participants have to complete 50 hours of independent practice-related studies. The University of Heidelberg awards a certificate for successful completion of the training course.

The design of the training course, its duration and preconditions for admission are in line with both the European and the German guidelines for mediation education. The course is organised in collaboration with the Heidelberg Institute for Mediation, a training institute recognised by the BAFM (German Federal Association for Family Mediation).

The training begins with a course on the basics of mediation from 8 to 12 September 2004. This provides an overview of the indication setting, structure and ongoing design of mediation procedures and also communicates the basic techniques and attitudes required of mediators. The basics course is conducted by Prof. Jack Himmelstein and lawyer Lis Ripke (Heidelberg).

Jack Himmelstein teaches at the Columbia Law School in New York and is co-founder and co-director of the Center for Mediation in Law (San Francisco/New York) established in 1980. He works extensively as a mediation trainer in the United States, Switzerland, Israel and Germany and has had a major impact on the development of mediation.

Lis Ripke is an attorney with a legal practice in Heidelberg (since 1976). She has been a mediator for BAFM since 1992, of which she is a founding member, and is founder and co-director of the Heidelberg Institute for Mediation. In 2003 she was awarded the Socrates Prize of the Central Mediation Agency for her services to the practice of mediation. At an international level she participates in mediation training courses at numerous different universities (Barcelona, Klagenfurt, Vienna, etc.).

This form of German-American course leadership is unique in the history of mediation training and guarantees an optimal learning effect. The American approach to leadership is personified by one of the key figures in present-day mediation practice, Jack Himmelstein, and adapted to European, and especially German, conditions by trainer Lis Ripke.

The course is a product of the new partnership between the University of Heidelberg and the SRH Hochschulen gGmbH in matters of continuing academic education. The University is responsible for the ongoing improvement of existing programmes and the development of new programmes. The programmes are thus subject to the academic responsibility of the University. SRH Hochschulen gGmbH contributes its organisation and management skills to the continuing education activities undertaken by the University.

Please address any inquiries to
Petra Nellen
Academy for Continuing University Education
Friedrich-Ebert-Anlage 22-24
D-69117 Heidelberg

(for journalists)
Dr. Michael Schwarz
Press Officer of the University of Heidelberg
phone: 06221/542310, fax: 54317

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