German Ministry for Education and Research grants 250,000 EUR in funding for transatlantic "UAS7 Virtual Academy"
Due to the corona pandemic, not only in Germany has the university system predominantly gone virtual, universities have significantly expanded their digital teaching and learning offerings. This increase in digitalization is also to be anchored in international university cooperation projects. To this end, the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) will fund the joint project "UAS7 Virtual Academy" led by Bremen City University of Applied Sciences. The total grant amount is 250,000 euros.
UAS7 e. V. is an alliance of seven large research-oriented universities of applied sciences in Berlin, Bremen, Hamburg, Cologne, Munich, Münster and Osnabrück with a strong international orientation.
The "UAS7 Virtual Academy" will be rolled out in cooperation with the long-standing US consortium partner SUNY (State University of New York). It will reorganize international university cooperation across all fields of study and establish new networks for the development and application of innovative teaching and learning forms. This includes teaching cooperation projects in blended mobility formats, which strengthen the German-American exchange between the UAS7 and SUNY member universities in the long term and promote application-oriented academic cooperation. UAS7 can rely on the US partner's many years of experience in the area of Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL).
The Rector of Bremen City University of Applied Sciences, Prof. Dr. Karin Luckey, sees the grant approval as "an opportunity to redesign international university cooperation, even under the current difficult conditions". Virtualizing the cooperation will enable an even broader group of students from the universities on both sides of the Atlantic to participate in exchange opportunities and international learning formats. "In this way, we are overcoming disciplinary and cultural boundaries, but it is currently also the only way to maintain and expand international connections and to offer lecturers and students an international experience," says Prof. Dr. Andreas Zaby, Chairman of the Board of UAS7.
A total of 48 projects have been selected for the "International Virtual Academic Collaboration (IVAC)" program, which the Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF) is funding with approximately 5.5 million Euros until the end of 2021.