A total of six projects were submitted for the Internationalization Award this time. Prof. Dr. Beate Hampe, Vice President for International Affairs, emphasizes: "The number and high quality of the applications in this round of competition show that there is a broad commitment and many good ideas on campus in line with our internationalization strategy. I am all the more pleased that we are able to award two prizes this year."
The first prize of 2,500 euros goes to Dr. Amelie Abarca Heidemann in the Faculty of Education Science for the project "Ecuador3: Students in Inclusive Education Support, Teaching and Research". This is a cooperation initiated and coordinated by the award winner of the local research area "Inclusive Educational Processes with Impairments of Language and Communication" with the Faculty of Education of the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Ecuador (PUCE) in Quito and the "Center for the Promotion and Rehabilitation of Children with Disabilities (CERLECO)" in San Pedro, Ecuador. In joint seminars with the PUCE, more than 100 Erfurt and Ecuadorian students came together to work together, i.e. also in a culturally comparative and multilingual manner, on impairments and their promotion in the context of inclusive educational processes. For example, materials created in Erfurt were further developed in a seminar using methods such as sign language or Braille. In the area of the promotion of people with impairments, eight mostly voluntary student projects with a duration of between three months and two years have already been implemented at CERLECO with a total of around 30 students from the University of Erfurt. These included a wide range of activities, such as making music together, creating comics, illustrating short stories, producing videos, designing a mourning tree or creating a book. Two master's theses and one bachelor's thesis have resulted from the projects to date. Important project results have also been incorporated into research projects and presented by students and scientists at conferences and at the respective partner institution.
With the second award, endowed with 1,500 euros, the university honored Dr. Hasnain Bokhari, an employee at the Willy Brandt School of Public Policy (WBS), for his commitment to the project "Internationalization and Digitization of Teaching". Not least against the background of global crises such as the Corona pandemic and climate change, innovative and sustainable ways of cooperation between teachers and students with partners around the world are in demand. The possibilities of digitization play a decisive role in the expansion of global networks and international interconnections down to the level of joint teaching. The project, which was awarded 2nd prize, has therefore set itself the goal of harnessing the experience gained from the pandemic-related use of digitized forms of teaching and learning in these contexts, improving them further, testing them in academic teaching, and also gaining new international partners for this purpose.
The Senate Committee for International Affairs, which acted as the jury, found that the two award-winning projects fulfilled the criteria of the call for proposals in an outstanding manner: They contribute in very different ways to the sustainable implementation of essential goals of the internationalization strategy in the areas of research and teaching. They have an impact beyond the immediate project participants into the university public and thus also strengthen the university's visibility on a national and international level.
Congratulations to Dr. Amelie Abarca Heidemann and Dr. Hasnain Bokhari!
The award ceremony will take place digitally on Thursday, April 20, at 10:30 a.m. as part of the uni-internal diversity workshop. Those who would like to attend can apply informally to the International Office (email: firstname.lastname@example.org) to register. After registration, the link to the event will be sent to you by mail.