Four Universities – Similar Historical, Societal and Economic Settings
The content of the Summer School on “Communication of Change and Development in Intercultural Contexts” rests to a large degree on the crucial changes that have taken place in the four countries participating. It is also based on various attempts by private and public organizations to adjust to these social, economic, and political changes. To a certain extent, the four countries, respectively the regions in which the universities are located, share a similar background. All regions are confronted with enormous societal changes accompanied with structural transformation processes, Among others, the causes for theses processes are the German reunification in the 1990s, the migration problem on the border between the USA and Mexico, and the declaration of national unity in South Africa by the first democratic government. These events opened new societal dimensions, the most central ones probably being im-/migration and diversity, an (increasing) multicultural population, or the mere location close to the border. The first two issues affected the border cities El Paso, Durban and Chemnitz to a varying extent. Of course, the aforementioned changes left their marks in the economic field, too. With regard to Chemnitz, the eastern European expansion of the EU is of special interest in this context. It is also connected to the problem with the black market that concerns El Paso and Chemnitz. Durban has to cope with the challenges of the Black Empowerment Act and the associated transformation of the South African economy and society. All these aspects do not only unite the involved universities, but they will also be central topics of the AAE Summer School. What is of special interest for the students are the questions how the responsible administrations and respective public spheres handle such problem areas, which programs have been created to solve them, and which effects were achieved with regard to society, economy and economic organizations. In this context, the students will examine how the regions can learn from each other. What are general principles to be generalized and adopted and what are context based factors to be taken into consideration?
Objectives of the AAE Summer School
The overall goal of the AAE Summer School program is to provide the students with the opportunity to study organizational management and intercultural communication both at their home campus and in an international setting. The Summer School will also serve as a pilot study to determine the extent of students’ interest in studying at either host institution. The program will offer students access to an international learning experience. The schedule is manifold so that the guests will have an excellent insight into studying, working, social life, and the political system in Germany. One long-term objective of the AAE Summer School is to enlarge and foster an exchange of both students and guest lecturers from all universities against the background of strengthening the international research cooperation in the fields of organizational and intercultural communication. Since the participants are predominantly master students with a varying degree of work experience (see list of participants), the Summer School involves certain ‘brain gain’ aspects, as well. The AAE Summer School has been serving as a platform of discourse and development of shared understandings and objectives. Due to this ongoing process the collaboration has developed from discourse and exchange towards collective research and creation. As a consequence, we will have our guests participate in the process of establishing networks between university, economy and politics. (see site visits/ field trips in the attached schedule). Within the framework of the program we strive to enable an intensive exchange with the Chemnitz students. Especially with respect to the standardization of university degrees due to the Bologna Process the participants can share valuable information about their experiences with different study programs and institutional implementations.
Together with the accompanying lecturers from UTEP, Wits and UKZN, the CUT Faculty of Economics and Business Administration provides the teaching staff. Courses are held mainly on the CUT campus. Teaching will be highly interactive and is combined with group work. Apart from lectures, business games and seminars, we will try a new form of teaching as a result of past Summer School evaluations. The schedule is organized as follows: In the first week, lecturers will impart knowledge to the students in different fields of change and development. In the second week, the students will work together interactively in smaller project groups under the guidance of the participating lecturers. The students will develop trilateral projects on topics of the Summer School. New media will play a crucial role in the course of the Summer School. Additionally, the theoretical work will be accompanied by attractive social and leisure programs, including a welcoming speech by the dean of the Faculty, field trips to cultural and industrial places in the Chemnitz region on the one hand, and to Dresden (Parliament, city tour), Leipzig (historical sight walk) and Berlin and Prague. The Summer School will be completed by a farewell party and submission of results and certificates to the participants.