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Directors of Saxony’s international offices hold their annual conference at Chemnitz University of Technology

It is the largest and most important networking event for international offices in Saxony: the annual conference of their directors, also referred to as the Working Group “International Affairs” This year, the event was hosted by Chemnitz University of Technology. On March 8 and 9, 2018, eleven  international office directors took part in the event and came together to discuss common issues. In his welcome address to open the conference, Prof. Dr. Maximilian Eibl, Vice President for Academic and International Affairs, emphasized that “networking among higher education institutions in Saxony is incredibly important” and that for this reason, “the University Management at Chemnitz University of Technology is very pleased to organize this important initiative of the international offices in Saxony.” He told the audience he hopes that the event will set a good example for other sectors and wished the attendees much success.

Content-related work began with a speech detailing the internationalization activities at Chemnitz University of Technology. The Head of the International Office, Dr. Wolfgang Lambrecht, told attendees about the measures for continued strategic internationalization at the university, such as the ongoing “Internationalization of Universities” Re-Audit conducted by the German Rectors’ Conference. Further topics included managing employees in international offices, TU Dresden’s presentation of an example of best practice to ensure academic success among German and international students, as well as a discussion of follow-up measures related to a conference held at University of Applied Sciences Zwickau in November 2017 focused on “Refugees as Students or Interested in Studies at Universities in Saxony.” On the second day of the conference, workshops were held to allow participants to discuss their experiences applying for the EU’s “Erasmus+ with Partner Countries” program (KA107) as well as the use of social media in the context of internationalization. A visit to the “Virtual Reality Center Production Engineering” on the Reichenhainer Straße campus site and the Kunstsammlungen Chemnitz art museum brought the event to a close. The conference guests appeared impressed by both.

Resulting from the conference, it was i.a. decided to prepare a joint statement of Saxony’s international offices with regard to safeguard the continuity of the advice and assistance services for refugees interested in studies, to intensify the networking related to the application within the EU-program “Erasmus+ with Partner Countries”, to organize joint further training workshops dealing with topics of common interest coordinated by Chemnitz University of Technology as well as to organize again a joint “Saxon booth” on the EAIE conference and expo at Geneva in September 2018.

“I was very pleased to have the opportunity to welcome my colleagues from other international offices to Chemnitz this year.  The intense discussions demonstrate that the topics of the speeches and workshops accurately addressed participants’ interests and questions. For me personally, I was able to take home many important insights and suggestions from this conference that will continue to help us in our future work. I would like to extend my heartfelt thanks to all directors who attended,” said Lambrecht in summary. The next conference of the Working Group “International Affairs” will be held in March 2019.

(Translation: Sarah Wilson/Dr. Wolfgang Lambrecht)

Matthias Fejes

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