40th Anniversary of Hamburg Partnership

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Indiana University and Universität Hamburg celebrate the fortieth anniversary of their joint researcher exchange program this year. The program provides academics from both universities at all career stages with the opportunity to undertake periods of research abroad. Researchers from the faculties, departments, and specialist research areas at both universities have taken part in the program, which enables them to broaden networks, establish new contacts, and initiate successful joint research both for the benefit of the partner universities and society more generally. Over the last few years in particular, interest in the program among researchers has grown.

Cooperation between Hamburg and Bloomington began in 1966, when Bloomington established an office on Hamburg’s campus to coordinate a study abroad program. The focus of the partnership has since shifted to various activities relating to researcher exchange.

Among Universität Hamburg scholars who visited IU to conduct research and present lectures were Heike Zinsmeister, professor of linguistics, who worked on a joint publication on experiments on morphologically and syntactically parsing texts by second language learners of German.  Hans-Christdoph Koller, professor of education and specialist in qualitative education research and theory worked with colleagues in IU's Education Leadership and Policy Studies program.  Gabriele Kaiser, professor of education, visited IU to conduct research on models and modeling in mathematics education.  Corinna Lüthje conducted research at IU on the role of mass media in intercultural communication and its influence on cultural identity. 

Indiana University experts who visited Universität Hamburg included Glenn Gass, specialist in rock in popular music at the Jacobs School of Music; Professor of English Ernest Bernhardt-Kabish who directed IU’s study abroad program in Hamburg; and most recently Sandra Kuebler, associate professor of linguistics, who worked with Professor Anke Strüver and her research collective at the Institute of Geography to interview refugees that have completed their journey to Germany in order to examine how and to what ends, they have used digital technologies in their journey across national borders.

Universität Hamburg’s President Lenzen attests to the partner universities’ fruitful forty-year cooperation: “We are very proud of having been able to establish not only a long-lasting, but also a sustainable and lively cooperation with Indiana University. We have celebrated research successes and enhanced research and teaching in our institutions through the continuous and fruitful exchange of students, researchers, and their ideas. It is with great pleasure that I notice the growing interest of researchers in participating in our joint program to experience academic life abroad, foster the goals of international cooperation, and chart a meaningful way for exchange and our partnership into the future.”

In a world that appears to be fragmenting and where breaking down rather than building borders seems to be the order of the day, IU and Universität Hamburg place particular value on connecting people and enhancing intercultural exchange. By allowing both ideas and people freedom of movement—a cornerstone of research and university life—our universities not only advance science and scholarship: finding solutions to the challenges facing our society and encouraging greater appreciation of diversity are broader goals that pave the way for harmonious coexistence in a more peaceful world.