h_da expands its engagement in the USA with the help of DAAD

In March of 2016, Professor Dr. Ralph Stengler, president of Hochschule Darmstadt (h_da), welcomed presidents and deans of US partner universities to the “President´s Event” in Darmstadt. The event marked the official commencement of the sponsorship program “Strategic Partnerships” of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). Until 2019, DAAD will support the collaboration of h_da with its five most important US partner universities with a total amount of up to 800,000 Euros.

The “President´s Event”, organized as a two-day conference in Darmstadt, was attended by the presidents and deans of the University of Wisconsin (Platteville and Stout), of Purdue University West Lafayette (Indiana), of Pennsylvania State University (Harrisburg) and of the University of Massachusetts (Lowell). Among others, the program included a discussion on the German and US science systems or on exchange options offered by Hochschule Darmstadt.

At present, h_da is significantly increasing its engagement in the USA with the help of the funds from the DAAD sponsorship program. The aim is to create a transatlantic network with the five strategic partners by means of various measures in the field of research and teaching. On account of the DAAD funding, more students and lecturers can be sent to the USA. Furthermore, grants and travel budgets are available for stays in Darmstadt.

“Thanks to the DAAD’s support, we will be able to take our long-standing collaboration with our most important US partners to a higher level. This means that international research projects in engineering can be developed even better and teaching activities interlinked even more. I am looking forward to cooperating with our colleagues,” says Prof. Dr. Ralph Stengler, president of h_da.

h_da has maintained close partnerships with the five other universities for more than a decade. In 2000, Hochschule Darmstadt started a partnership with the University of Wisconsin-Platteville which originated from the cooperation between the land of Hesse and the US states of Wisconsin and Massachusetts. Purdue University in West-Lafayette, Indiana, and Pennsylvania State University in Harrisburg joined in 2008, followed by the University of Wisconsin-Stout and the University of Massachusetts-Lowell. While all of the partnerships focus on engineering, they remain open for other fields as well.

Besides traditional offers such as exchanges for students and lecturers, the new strategic partnerships also enable funding for summer universities, group visits, joint degree programs, online courses, attendance of conferences and joint scientific publications. When visiting Hochschule Darmstadt, American lecturers can gather insights about its application-oriented design of degree programs and teaching methods. German lecturers can gain international teaching practice and initiate joint research projects in the framework of “short-term lectureships”. In addition, company visits, internships and field trips are planned in cooperation with industry partners. Furthermore, the universities will be able to exchange staff with their partner universities.

Hochschule Darmstadt maintains regular exchange with around 130 universities in more than forty countries, expands its programs on a continuous basis and enabled stays abroad for an increasing number of students in the course of the past years.