University of Konstanz showed great interest in cooperation with University of Tartu
The 15th anniversary of signing the partnership agreement between the University of Tartu and the University of Konstanz was celebrated with the University of Tartu days on 14–17 October 2015 in Konstanz.
Dean of UT Faculty of Philosophy Professor Margit Sutrop who is the coordinator of cooperation between UT and University of Konstanz has an important role in initiating the successful cooperation. During this visit, Professor Sutrop had the honour of giving the opening presentation on 16 October at the formal opening ceremony of the autumn semester of the University of Konstanz—Dies Academicus.
Head of UT Centre for Ethics Margit Sutrop said that the visit demonstrated how we have become from receivers to givers. “15 years ago the University of Konstanz supported the establishment of the UT Centre for Ethics. Now we are giving back—helping them deal with the topic of ethics—we have contributed to establishing the guidelines of research ethics and at the conference we introduced the methodology of discussing value dilemmas. The University of Konstanz wishes us to continue cooperation in developing research ethics methodologies as well as in teaching ethics and research projects,” said Sutrop.
During the visit, the representatives of the University of Tartu’s Rector’s Office and academic units met with current and potential partners in Konstanz to plan cooperation. According to UT Vice Rector for Research Marco Kirm, the programme was packed: “With the Rector of the University of Konstanz we discussed the research cooperation options offered by the European Union supports. Although the university is relatively young, its high level is demonstrated by the fact that it has received the elite university status in both rounds of the Excellence Initiative of the Federal Republic of Germany and the federal states,” said Kirm.
The University of Tartu’s contribution was also visible in the celebration of the UT days in Konstanz. The University of Konstanz and the UT Centre for Ethics jointly prepared the research ethics conference „Limitations to the Freedom of Research and Responsibility of Researchers and Universities” which took place on 17 October. There were presentations by UT Honorary Doctor, Professor at the University of Konstanz Jürgen Mittelstrass, UT Professor of Practical Philosophy Margit Sutrop and UT Professor of European Law and judge of the European Court of Human Rights Julia Laffranque, UT Academic Secretary Andres Soosaar also participated in the panel discussion. The conference introduced the guidelines of good academic practice at the University of Konstanz, UT Professor Margit Sutrop also participated in compiling the guidelines. The senate of the University of Konstanz adopted the guidelines at their meeting of 12 October 2015.
The partnership agreement between the universities was signed in 2001 and as part of the agreement, 130 UT students have studied at the University of Konstanz and 42 Konstanz students have studied at UT. The closest research contacts are with the Faculty of Philosophy, Faculty of Economy and Business Administration, Faculty of Law and Faculty of Social Sciences and Education but also with the Faculty of Science and Technology in the fields of chemistry and biology.
In addition to the bilateral cooperation agreement, several UT faculties have a student exchange agreement with the corresponding faculties at the University of Konstanz as part of the Erasmus programme.
In the latest world university ranking by Times Higher Education, the University of Konstanz placed at 175, and with that they are the 17th German university. The strengths of the University of Konstanz are research work, they are the best German university when it comes to using external financing (per one professor). In research, the four focal areas of the University of Konstanz are cultural research and decision-making in the humanities and social sciences, chemical biology and ecology and nano- and material sciences in life and natural siences.
Additional information: Sirje Üprus, Head of International Protocol, tel 737 5615, sirje.uprus [ät] ut.ee