Two UNU partner universities are among eleven recognised for their excellence in research and education in Germany. Technische Universität Dresden, partner university of UNU-FLORES, and the University of Bonn, partner university of UNU-EHS, have been recognised by the German Council of Science and Humanities as “Universities of Excellence”.
“Universities of Excellence” are recognised under the Excellence Initiative, passed by the German government in 2005 to make Germany a more attractive research location, more internationally competitive, and to spotlight the many achievements of universities and the scientific community in the country. In total, the initiative will allocate more than 500 million euros a year to elite universities and research clusters in Germany. Technische Universität Dresden has been funded as a “University of Excellence” for seven years.
“I was delighted, but not surprised, to learn that two UNU partner universities earned this very important award,” said UNU Rector David M. Malone. “This will give them access to significant new research funding, which the quality of their work fully justifies. UNU has benefited greatly from all aspects of TU Dresden and the University of Bonn’s enviable institutional capacities through their partnership with our two institutes in Germany. We look forward to much continued collaboration.”
Prof. Dirk Messner, Director of UNU-EHS in Bonn, joined in congratulating their partner for its achievements, “We’re proud to be part of the partnership structure of the University of Bonn, working together to build the Innovation Campus on sustainable futures, which will create one of the most attractive locations for sustainability research worldwide. We also have a Joint Master’s Programme, cooperating with many young scientists around the world, with an emphasis on young scholars from developing countries.” Since its launch in October 2013, more than 143 students from 42 different countries have studied in the programme.
UNU-EHS and the University of Bonn are also part of the Bonn Alliance for Sustainability Research, an association of six well-established institutions based in Bonn. The Alliance is a platform for society-wide work on a sustainable future and powers the Innovation Campus Bonn (ICB), which aims to aggregate the existing top scientific expertise on sustainability research in Bonn and to develop it into a unique global science centre with new components.
Prof. Hans Müller-Steinhagen, the Rector of TU Dresden stated that TU Dresden has been utilising the additional funding to attract top national and international scientists to the university since 2012, to optimise structures and processes, and to further intensify cooperation with extramural research institutions within the DRESDEN-concept research alliance. “Building on this strategy, we have submitted our new proposal for the years until 2028 and our efforts have paid off. We were again awarded the “University of Excellence” status.”
“One objective of our overall strategy is synergetic collaborations within the framework of international cooperation. UNU-FLORES is an excellent example of this. Our joint research projects are focused on various aspects of sustainability and contribute to solving worldwide challenges regarding sustainable use and the integrated management of environmental resources such as water, soil, and waste.”
–Prof. Hans Müller-Steinhagen, Rector of TU Dresden
As part of their efforts to cooperate in research, postgraduate education, and capacity development with a view to furthering the sustainable use and management of environmental resources, UNU-FLORES and TU Dresden offer a Joint PhD Programme in Integrated Management of Water, Soil, and Waste. The first of its kind, the programme is embedded within UNU-FLORES’s nexus-oriented research agenda and the corresponding research interests at TU Dresden. During the semester, UNU-FLORES, in collaboration with TU Dresden’s PRISMA – Centre for Sustainability Assessment and Policy, holds the Nexus Seminar Series. UNU-FLORES Director Edeltraud Guenther is founder of PRISMA. A public event, the joint seminar series serves not only as a platform for scientific exchange and cooperation between UNU-FLORES and TU Dresden but also a medium for the partner institutions to discuss their research with a broader audience.