№ 320/2010 from Oct 26, 2010
Freie Universität Berlin has opened a liaison office in South America. It is located in the Brazilian financial and economic metropolis of São Paulo. It is one of seven such offices. The others are in New York, Moscow, Beijing, New Delhi, Brussels, and Cairo. The liaison offices are part of Freie Universität’s “International Network University” strategy that was selected in the Excellence Initiative of the German federal and state governments.
The new office was set up with support from the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). In the long term it will be responsible not only for Brazil, but all of South America. The liaison office serves as the first point of contact for students and scholars in the region. It aims to initiate new research collaboration and to support exchange between Freie Universität and its partner institutions in South America.
“With the office in São Paulo we want to continue the success story of our liaison offices as already manifested by a strong increase in the number of graduate students and researchers from abroad as well as a distinct increase in the international awareness of Freie Universität,” said Prof. Dr. Peter-André Alt, president of Freie Universität Berlin. At the official opening ceremony in São Paulo, speeches were given by a vice president of Freie Universität, Prof. Dr. Werner Väth; the consul general of the Federal Republic of Germany in São Paulo, Matthias von Kummer; the chairperson of the Board of Trustees of Freie Universität, Prof. Dr. Hans-Uwe Erichsen; and the director of DAAD in Rio de Janeiro, Christian Müller. The guests included renowned representatives of Brazilian universities and research institutes as well as German institutions in the region. The keynote address was given by Prof. Dr. Sergio Costa, director of the Institute for Latin American Studies of Freie Universität.
“The decision to set up this liaison office was based on the conviction that Brazil’s financial and social success will be extended to the area of science and education,” said Prof. Dr. Philip Kunig, director of Freie Universität’s Center for International Cooperation. Immediately following the ceremonial opening of the new liaison office, an academic seminar for alumni took place. Its subject was the current reconfiguration of law in Latin America, and alumni from all over Latin America participated.
On November 3 Freie Universität will introduce its Center for Brazilian Studies with a panel discussion as part of the German-Brazilian Year of Science, Technology, and Innovation. The panel discussion will take place in the new office location in São Paulo and will be on “German-Brazilian Collaboration in the Social Sciences and Humanities: The Role of Area Studies.”
The new liaison office is headed by Claudio Struck, a graduate of Freie Universität in history. His office is located in the Deutsches Wissenschafts- und Innovationshaus (German Center for Research and Innovation, DWIH) that is just being established in São Paulo. DWIH is the focal point for research and innovation expertise from Germany.