Exemplary Alumni Work
27 October 2017
Alexander von Humboldt Foundation again supports concept of Universität Heidelberg – expansion of East Asia network planned
For a third time, the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation has rewarded the alumni efforts of Heidelberg University. Heidelberg Alumni International, Ruperto Carola's main alumni initiative, has received 40,000 euros to fund a Research Alumni meeting abroad. The meeting is intended to bolster networking in the East Asia region. The "Research as a Bridge to Internationalisation" alumni conference will be held in Kyoto, Japan next year. The conference targets former visiting researchers of Ruperto Carola to engage them as ambassadors and cooperation partners for the university abroad. In addition, an alumni club will be established in Japan to consolidate previous alumni activities in the country and to institutionalise networking efforts.
A delegation led by Prof. Dr Bernhard Eitel will participate in the alumni conference in Kyoto. "We want this conference to lay the foundation for a long-term affiliation between Heidelberg University and its Researcher Alumni in Japan, to engage them in ongoing collaboration, and to spark interest in continued research stays in Germany," explains Silke Rodenberg, Director of Heidelberg Alumni International. The conference also provides a forum for the attendees to discuss issues related to internationalisation, to develop new cooperation opportunities in research, teaching and study, and to learn about respective best practices. To promote networking, existing contacts in Japan will be leveraged and intensified. Heidelberg University maintains a liaison office at Kyoto University and also has partnerships with the universities in Osaka and Tohoku. The three Japanese universities are also members of the HeKKSaGOn German-Japanese University Consortium which is carried by Ruperto Carola, Göttingen and Karlsruhe.
In the current proposal round, the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation awarded funding to ten German research institutions for Research Alumni meetings abroad. Heidelberg University's concept of building and expanding its worldwide alumni network had already won the support of the Foundation in its two previous proposal rounds in 2011 and 2014. The funding helped to organize networking meetings in Germany and abroad as well as to finance the HAIreconnect programme, which allows former visiting international scholars to return to Heidelberg for a short research stay.