On May 2, 2014, Prof. Peter-André Alt, president of Freie Universität Berlin, and Prof. Stephen Toope, president of the University of British Columbia (UBC) signed a Strategic Partnership agreement, with the aim of expanding and deepening the already successful cooperation of the past years.
Faculty members at both universities have been engaged in joint projects for a number of years and in various fields: In the field of German philology, a vivid cooperation exists between Prof. Jutta Eming and her colleague at UBC, Prof. Gaby Pailer. At Freie Universität’s Environmental Policy Research Centre (FFU) under the direction of Prof. Miranda Schreurs, research on “Low Carbon Economies” is conducted together with colleagues of UBC. Further projects exist in the chemistry department (Prof. Haag), as well as in the media and communication studies department (Prof. Emmer), where joint research projects exist and joint teaching programs are being developed. Further research links and cooperation exist – among others – in mathematics, biology and Japanese studies.
A student exchange agreement was signed between the two universities in 2012. In addition to this agreement, the University of British Columbia has established a semester program at Freie Universität, providing up to 20 students and faculty with the opportunity to study and conduct research in Dahlem. Furthermore, in the last few years the Alexander-von-Humboldt-Fellowship framework supported several renowned UBC faculty in their research stays at Freie Universität Berlin. Last but not least, several alumni of Freie Universität are now members of the University of British Columbia, researching and teaching in Vancouver, among them Prof. Kurt Hübner, director at the Institute for European Studies.
To promote the strategic partnership, a fund has been established for the development of new projects through “seed money”. The call for applications is published semiannually and follows a competitive procedure.