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Federal President Steinmeier visits Chemnitz University of Technology

From internationalisation to start-ups to teacher training: Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier spoke with several representatives from the university on 19 May 2019

Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier visited Chemnitz University of Technology on 19 May 2019. He was greeted by Chemnitz University of Technology President Prof. Dr. Gerd Strohmeier and welcomed into the “Old Senate Hall” of the Böttcher Building. There, the Federal President met with representatives of the university. The focus was on topics such as the internationalisation initiatives of Chemnitz University of Technology, the transfer of knowledge and technology into the region, and the primary school teacher training programme. Saxon Prime Minister Michael Kretschmer and Chemnitz Mayor Barbara Ludwig also took part in the conversation.

In his introductory statement, Strohmeier thanked the Federal President for his clear and open support after the terrible events of 26 August 2018, in which violent crime and assaults fueled by racism took place: “That was important for the citizens of Chemnitz and important for our university.” Strohmeier emphasised that these events should not be downplayed, relativised or ignored, but Chemnitz also should not be reduced to becoming defined by these events.

“Chemnitz is neither grey nor brown and it has a lot to offer, including a university that is open-minded, tolerant and very well-connected regionally, nationally and internationally,” said Strohmeier. In terms of the proportion of foreign students, Chemnitz University of Technology is the most international university in Saxony and is also one of the most international state universities in Germany. More than 25 percent of its students come from more than 90 countries. In this context, the President also pointed out that the “Student Buddy Program”  offered by the International Office of the university was recently voted as the best of its kind worldwide. The President also emphasised that Chemnitz University of Technology is in many ways an extremely innovative and transfer-oriented university.

The Federal President praised the university for being an institution of great importance to the city of Chemnitz, and for its success in working towards an urban landscape that should, and will, change for the better. “It is now important to continue to hear good news from the city, and the university will make their contributions,” said the Federal President. In the morning, Steinmeier emphasised the importance of an open-minded pursuit of science in Chemnitz when he honored the winners of the “Jugend forscht” (“Youth researches”) competition: “Chemnitz stands with the university in support of international exchange, for the unprejudiced environment that every researcher needs, and for a climate of freedom and tolerance. We should not forget that these values have a home here,” said the Federal President, who was already looking forward to, over the course of the afternoon, “the scouting for talent in this ‘talent factory’.” 

Multimedia: Reports of the Federal President’s visit are available in both image and sound as an Instastory on our Instagram channel (account required), on our Facebook channel, and on the Chemnitz University of Technology official YouTube channel.

(Author: Mario Steinebach, Translation: Jeffrey Karnitz)

Mario Steinebach

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