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AC21 - an active network of strong partners at the forefront of internationalization

5th AC21-Working Breakfast held on the occasion of the NAFSA Conference on 28 May 2013

It has become a recurring good tradition - the AC21-Working Breakfast organized by Chemnitz University of Technology and held annually on the occasion of the NAFSA Conference. Also this year, delegates of AC21-member universities who travelled to the NAFSA in Saint Louis (Missouri) have met on 28 May 2013 to discuss about the further development and deepening of their cooperation within the international network AC21.

After the welcome address of the Chancellor of Chemnitz University of Technology, Eberhard Alles, who expressed his great pleasure and delight that delegates from a considerable number of AC21-members universities - in addition to Chemnitz University of Technology also from i.a. Nagoya University, University of Minnesota, North Carolina State University, Shanghai Jiao Tong University - have accepted the invitation and found their way to the Hilton St. Louis at the Ballpark.

Subsequently the participants were going into medias res: At first, Prof. Wolfram Hardt, Vice-Dean for International Affairs and Professor for Computer Engineering at the Faculty of Computer Science at Chemnitz University of Technology approached the topic of "e-learning, e-learning systems and platforms” using the example of the "Center for IT-Enhanced Research & Education” established at Chemnitz University of Technology in cooperation with Cisco Systems aiming to develop demonstrators for modern scenarios of teaching and learning in order to eliminate spatial, temporal and socio-cultural barriers. As illustration Prof. Hardt chose an application of the software "Webex Social” which enables to create a "virtual classroom” by establishing a close teaching/ learning-relationship between students and professors regardless of geographical distances.

Then, Prof. Lothar Kroll, Dean of the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and Head of the Department of Lightweight Structures and Polymer Technology at Chemnitz University of Technology, presented the Federal Cluster of Excellence "Merge Technologies for Multifunctional Lightweight Structures” which - as the only one of that kind in Germany - has for objective to merge presently separated technologies together in order to allow resource-efficient mass-production of lightweight structures with high-performance and functional density. Within an integrated strategy the cluster offers a range of great career opportunities to attract scientific talents from all over the world - from an English-speaking Master program via funded PhD-positions to research stays for postdocs.

During the following discussion the participants agreed that both projects presented offer great opportunities to further enhance and deepen the collaboration between the AC21 member universities, f.e. they envisaged to launch a model project between AC21-members on different continents to establish a virtual platform based the Webex-Software for teaching and learning and furthermore they expressed their willingness to increasingly engage as international partners in the Federal Cluster of Excellence of Chemnitz University of Technology.

So in conclusion it has to be resumed that once more the AC21-Working Breakfast has proven that AC21 is an active network with strong partners at the forefront of internationalization.

Further information:

(Author: Dr. Wolfgang Lambrecht)

Katharina Thehos

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