Professor Hampe, what motivated you to run for this office?
To be honest, I did not have the office on my radar screen at all, as it were, but the Presidium persuaded me to consider the option very seriously. The final decision to run was certainly made easier by the fact that the office offers a varied range of responsibilities, due to its connections to both research and teaching. But I should mention at this point that another important point here was that we have a highly committed International Office. In addition, my own longer stays abroad in London, Oxford and Berkeley as a student and Ph.D. student (by now quite some time back…) have shaped me as a researcher and as a person. I thus view the vice-presidency primarily as a chance to give something back to the academic community, to support those on campus who do some of their research or teaching in international contexts or who establish and maintain international cooperations. With this, they do not only open up new perspectives for students and lecturers, they also contribute to making the university itself more visible, both nationally and internationally.
Where do you see the University of Erfurt in terms of internationalisation at the moment, where do you think there is still a need for action? Is there anything that is particularly close to your heart?
Above all, I find it important that Erfurt’s university remains visible in the city as a cosmopolitan place, an open-minded community valuing cooperation, diversity and tolerance. I see this as an important part of a ‘campus culture’ that can be experienced on an every-day basis and also reaches out into the city. In this sense, internationalisation begins right here, on campus. Last but not least, we need to actually live these ideas to show the next generations of academics that knowledge and science are discursive and cooperative - and depend on crossing borders (both literally and metaphorically) in many ways. I think that the climate crisis, or most recently the Corona pandemic, have made it very obvious that we all depend on this.
Who needs to come on board with you to further the internationalisation of the University of Erfurt? And what will be your first "official act" as VPI, do you already have an idea?
I don’t think a spectacular beginning of any sort is needed. Instead, I will focus on continuing the developments initiated by my predecessor Heike Grimm, i.e. the internationalisation strategy of the University of Erfurt, and ensure that things go on well. To this end, I will cooperate closely with the team of the International Office, which functions not only as a service point for international students but also as the first source of support for the entire spectrum of daily tasks in the area of internationalisation. I will furthermore get in touch with everyone who has been involved so far or wants to get involved in the future, i.e. all members of the Advisory Board for International Affairs, all winners of our Internationalisation Award and everyone who is planning new international projects. What is most important to me is that we continue to go on, to make progress. We are on a very good path as a small campus community and I am looking forward to go on this way together with all colleagues who share my commitment.