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Press release

International Relaunch

PM Internationaler Neustart

Weingarten – The world is moving closer together and Ravensburg-Weingarten University of Applied Sciences (RWU) is right in the middle of it. Sharpening the international profile is the declared goal of the university management and since 2008 the International Academy (IA) has been a cornerstone of this orientation. Now it has been relaunched. The programme has been updated and is explicitly aimed at all RWU students.

Sharpening the global profile

"The basic idea of the IA remains the same and has been expanded. We want to promote international contacts and competencies among students and connect academic knowledge with business practice," says Professor Dr Barbara Niersbach, Director of the International Academy. The study programme is now no longer aimed solely at exchange students, but at all those enrolled at RWU, regardless of the degree programme.

The IA has always played an important role for exchange students from all over the world, says Barbara Wildenhain, IA coordinator and staff member at RWU's International Office. "The practical relevance and the content of the courses, such as project management or the development of creative solutions, have always been in great demand."

The International Academy was originally founded in cooperation with SIIT in Bangkok. A double degree was offered jointly. "This degree no longer exists, however, and the International Academy has since lacked a bit of a goal," says Barbara Niersbach, who is responsible for the international networking of the Faculty of Technology and Management as Director of International Affairs.

International teaching and regional practice

How does one manage to win renowned universities all over the world as partners starting from the familiar campus in Upper Swabia? "By focusing on our own strengths: Our focus on practice," says Barbara Niersbach. "This sets us apart from the universities and convinces internationally."

To make use of this strength, the contents of the International Academy were redesigned and expanded. "We have brought well-known, regional industry partners on board. With them, projects can be implemented in practice," says the professor of International Business Management The companies, in turn, would benefit from the international expertise. "Such networking opportunities are particularly important to us." Guest lectures from industry are now also an integral part of IA, she adds.

The IA does not only gain international input from students from all over the world. The teaching too is global and diverse, says Nayan Kadam, coordinator of the Academy. "Lecturers from our key partner universities will teach online and hopefully soon also in presence." Among them are universities from Thailand, Spain and Hungary. Teaching will be in English consistently.

Open to all students

International teaching and courses in English - everyone at RWU should be able to benefit from this. "We need something like this for our own students," says Barbara Niersbach. In addition to teaching skills, the goal is to whet students' appetites for more internationality. "The students broaden their cultural horizons and improve their English skills. The next step may then be a semester abroad."

Exchange students and students of business-related subjects receive a "Letter of Attendance" after successful participation. For this, it is necessary to take modules with a total of 30 ECTS. However, the individual courses, as well as the language courses with a business focus, are open to students from all disciplines and can be taken as electives. Whether academically, economically, socially or culturally, the students should have the opportunity for versatile development, emphasises Nayan Kadam. "The range of modules is like a buffet. Students can choose what interests them."

Text: Michael Pfeiffer