The University of Bayreuth establishes new presence in Australia
Embedded in the current trend to pursue extended and intensified German-Australian cooperation in science and business, the University of Bayreuth opened the doors of its Gateway Office in the offices of the Australian-German Energy Transition Hub at the University of Melbourne on 26 June 2018.
“Our office in Melbourne will enable us to provide better support for our researchers and students during their time Down Under”, explained University President Prof. Dr. Stefan Leible. The office will not only assist with issues relating to studies, but also, for example, with visa-related matters or in searching for internships or apartments.
“But this also applies vice versa: The establishment of our Gateway Office may even bring our university to the attention of Australian students for the very first time. Our office in Melbourne will also be a great help to anyone planning to visit us in Bayreuth”, added Prof. Dr. Thomas Scheibel, Vice President of International Affairs at the University of Bayreuth. “I believe that our presence in Australia will also further increase the number of excellent international students and researchers on our campus in Bayreuth”, said Prof. Leible.
Responsibilities of Bayreuth’s Gateway Office
Following the launch of its first Gateway Office in Shanghai in April 2016, the new office in Melbourne is now the University of Bayreuth’s second Gateway Office. The responsibilities of the office in Melbourne are as follows:
- point of contact and information to facilitate the exchange of students and instructors between Bayreuth and Australia
- strengthening collaboration in research and teaching
- establishing and maintaining contact with institutions in business and science
- assisting in recruiting and selecting qualified Australian students and doctoral researchers to come to Bayreuth
- establishing and maintaining contact with the University of Bayreuth’s regional networks in Oceania
- alumni services
Australia is a strategic location for the internationalization of the University of Bayreuth. According to the Director of the University of Bayreuth’s International Office Dr. Arnim Heinemann: “The University of Bayreuth’s international visibility and attractiveness have increased considerably as a result of cooperation with two of Australia’s leading universities, Melbourne and Monash. This is illustrated by the notable increase in international applications that have been received by the University of Bayreuth since the start of the project ‘Bayreuth-Melbourne Polymer/Colloid Network’. Distinguishing features of the cooperation with our Australian partners include a concentration of joint research projects such as the ARC Centre of Excellence - operating with multinational funding, intensive scientific exchange, and a commitment to mutual mobility. This is illustrated, for example, by the numerous research visits carried out by scholars and students as well as the joint courses offered in the Bayreuth International Summer School.”
The University of Bayreuth has been engaged in intensive collaboration with universities in Australia for many years. The focus is on Melbourne: the University of Melbourne, Monash University, La Trobe University, and the Swinburne University of Technology. However, the University also partners with Sydney (University of Technology Sydney), Newcastle (University of Newcastle), Brisbane (Queensland University of Technology), the Sunshine Coast (University of the Sunshine Coast), and Perth (University of Western Australia). The emphasis of cooperation is on student and staff mobility in addition to research collaboration. The subject areas involved in the cooperation include sport science, law, economics, energy and environmental research, the natural sciences, materials science, and engineering.
The cooperation between scholars in Bayreuth and researchers in Australia and New Zealand (in a number of different fields) has a long tradition. Successful individual scientific collaboration even led to some of the first formalized institutional partnerships. As of 2013, the strategic focus of cooperation has been on chemistry and polymer science, especially with the University of Melbourne and Monash University. Cooperation between the University of Bayreuth and these two Australian partners was extended to include agreements governing the supervision of joint doctoral work.
The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) has supported this cooperation since 2015 in the scope of its programme ‘Strategic Partnerships and Thematic Networks’. In this context, the emphasis is on developing innovative materials for applications in the energy sector (for example, efficient solar cells and LEDs) and in medicine (for example, 3D biomaterials). The network brings together the University of Bayreuth and German and international research institutes that are also leaders in polymer and colloid science (e.g. the Leibniz Institute for New Materials in Saarbrücken, IPF Dresden, the Forschungszentrum Jülich, the University of Melbourne, Monash University, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), and industrial partners such as the Chemistry Cluster Bavaria).