University Promotes Internationalization

[Translate to english:] Rektor Prof. Dr. Winfried Lieber (l.) und der neue Leiter des International Centers Dr. Alexander Burdumy (r.) vor einer Karte, die zeigt woher die internationalen Studierenden der Hochschule Offenburg kommen.

With Biotechnology, Communication and Media Engineering, Enterprise and IT-Security, International Business Consulting, Process Engineering, and Renewable Energy and Data Engineering, the Graduate School of the Offenburg University of Applied Sciences currently offers six international Master's programs. The new director of the International Center, Dr. Alexander Burdumy, would like to expand this range of English-taught programs. The same applies to the area of study programs with multiple degrees, such as the 3nat bachelor's degree program in Electrical Engineering/ Information Technology, whose graduates receive a German, a Swiss and two French degrees.

"Universities are a place of exchange for students, teachers and researchers, and our job as the International Center is to ensure that exchanges also take place across national borders and across cultural boundaries," explains Dr. Burdumy. The new director of the International Center grew up in the Rhineland (Germany) and in Pennsylvania (USA) and took over this position from Prof. Dr. Andreas Klasen. The way in which this exchange takes place, however, will become different and more diverse after and as a result of Corona, the 41-year-old continues. Digital teaching options and mixed forms of face-to-face and online events will remain, he said, because they fit in with two other major themes of our time - sustainability and inclusivity. "In the future, it may be possible to share courses with other institutions without students having to travel back and forth between institutions," Alexander Burdumy cites one example. In this respect, the new ERASMUS+ program generation 2021-2027 is basically a step in the right direction and also sets the right impulses for the future, but it is also ambitious and will still require a lot of commitment from everybody involved in the university's International Office. In addition, the new head of the International Center would also like to intensify cooperation with partner universities outside Europe - but perhaps in a more concentrated form than has usually been the case to date, for example through time-limited projects or partly virtually.

"The search for new scientific knowledge has not stopped at national borders in the past either. After all, it is in line with the intrinsic self-image of universities to orient themselves internationally and to support the mobility of teachers, students and researchers. For this reason, too, I am pleased that we have been able to win Dr. Alexander Burdumy, a proven expert, for the further development of our internationalization," explained Rector Prof. Dr. Winfried Lieber.

Burdumy completing his state exams in political science and languages at the University of Mannheim and then earned his doctorate in history at Aston University in the United Kingdom. With this background, the further development of the language center's offerings is also particularly important to him. In view of the fact that the 41-year-old has already gained a great deal of experience in this field in the UK in as coordinator of the "Language for all" program at the University of Essex and as Assistant Professor of German at Durham University, he is ideally prepared for that.

The married father of two children is particularly impressed by the International Center's services beyond education. According to Burdumy, a great deal of very good work is being done with the accommodation service, the cultural program, the Senior Service whicht fosters the integration of international students and the Buddy Program which promotes contacts between German and international students. He would also like to make these services to be even more widely known.