№ 135/2012 from May 25, 2012
Freie Universität Berlin and Saint Petersburg State University have signed a strategic partnership agreement, expanding the cooperation between the two institutions. The agreement was signed as part of the official event marking the closure of the German-Russian Year of Education, Science, and Innovation at Freie Universität Berlin. The aim of the cooperation agreement is to create joint course offerings, further expand existing collaborative research initiatives, and support junior scholars and scientists. These kinds of close partnerships with selected universities outside Germany are part of the internationalization strategy of Freie Universität Berlin.
As part of the agreement, Freie Universität and Saint Petersburg State University will each offer twelve annual mobility scholarships for teaching and research activities. In addition, each university’s students now also have the opportunity to go abroad to the other university for a semester as part of an exchange program. The parties plan to ensure better compatibility between administrative processes, improving overall conditions.
The strategic partnership is based on cooperation among scholars and scientists from eight different departments at Freie Universität and researchers from Saint Petersburg State University, with various aspects: from small workshops to joint institutions such as the German-Russian Interdisciplinary Science Center, which is funded by the German Academic Exchange Service. The two universities have been cooperating since the 1960s, in one of the first official partnerships between a German university and a Soviet one – the former Leningrad State University. Today, Saint Petersburg State University is among the best higher education institutions in Russia and has a pronounced international focus.
Freie Universität also maintains strategic partnerships with Peking University, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and KoreaNet, a network of five universities in South Korea. All of the partnerships feature outstanding joint research activities across multiple departments.
Freie Universität participated in the Science Year organized by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) with the initiative “Partners in Science and Technology Dialogue.” Representatives of seven academic departments at Freie Universität have organized ten projects and other activities over the past twelve months, bringing together more than 400 German and Russian students along with young and established researchers and alumni.
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