Future-oriented and inclusive – German government supports Viadrina in the European university network InclusU
Inclusive and internationally equipped for the challenges of the future – with this goal in mind, the European University Viadrina Frankfurt (Oder) and six other European universities have joined forces to form the university network InclusU. As one of 25 German universities, Viadrina is now receiving funding from the Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (German Academic Exchange Service, DAAD) to support this network. Over the next three years, the DAAD will support the Viadrina within the framework of a national accompanying programme to the EU initiative „European Universities“ with 450,000 euros from funds of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research.
The aim of the InclusU network is to further internationalise research, teaching and administration and to make them more inclusive in order to be better equipped for the challenges of the 21st century. In addition to Viadrina, six other universities belong to the network: the University of Lille (France), the Babeș-Bolyai University (Romania), the University of Malmö (Sweden), Mykolas Romeris University (Lithuania), the University of Minho (Portugal) and the University of Wrocław (Poland).
In order to make universities more inclusive in research and teaching and as organisations, the InclusU network has developed a comprehensive approach: New didactic methods are to open up teaching to inclusive technologies and enable students, researchers and administrative staff to become more international. Challenge-based learning is intended to enable students to develop joint solutions for technological and social challenges in cooperation with industry, politics and society. The network universities jointly offer courses in a Student Challenge Hub, where students learn together physically and virtually and develop and implement their projects.
To manage the network and its activities efficiently and transparently, the participating universities are also developing a virtual three-dimensional campus. Rooms for teaching, counselling and a joint research office will be set up there. The virtual International Office, which organises the exchange and internationalisation measures, is also located on the campus. It will be set up in such a way that the cooperation of the partner universities in research and teaching, the cooperation with social players as well as the further education activities of employees can be designed as inclusively as possible.
As part of the national support programme for the EU initiative „European Universities“, the DAAD is funding 25 German universities that participated in the European Commission’s call for proposals for the promotion of European universities („Macron Initiative“) with various European networks. In addition to the networks selected at the EU level, support is also provided to those whose applications were narrowly rejected in the EU programme but were nevertheless deemed worthy of funding – among them the Viadrina European University. The Federal Ministry of Education and Research is making a total of 28 million euros available for this purpose until 2023.
The Viadrina has been a member of the InclusU network since 2019. The international network was founded in 2018.