Searching for a Greener Inspiration
Four executive board members from University College South Denmark (UC SYD) visited Europa-Universität Flensburg on Friday, February 11. Their goal: to learn about sustainability from neighboring Flensburg. "We're facing the big question: how can we organize our whole institution in a greener and more sustainable way? We'd like to become a role model for our students. Technical issues like building renovation aren't really the problem; our thorniest challenge is how to integrate sustainability into our degree programs, including our teaching programs." explains UC Syd Rector Alexander von Oettingen. "In this area, our neighbor and institutional partner EUF has more experience and very nice offerings. We're here today looking for inspiration."
A discussion amongst leaders
Accompanying Alexander von Oettingen were UC Syd executive board members Morten Kallestrup, Director of Education, Research and Internationalization, Anette Nicolaisen, Director of Health Sciences, Social Sciences and Continuing Education, and Stine Bilstrup Rask, Director of Resources. Joining the delegation on the Flensburg side were EUF President Prof. Dr. Werner Reinhart and EUF Vice President for Studies, Teaching and Digitalization Prof. Dr. Karin-Iulia Patrut.
EUF climate protection concept and specific measures to date
Simon Laros, EUF’s climate protection manager, presented the campus climate protection concept and some of the measures already implemented. "In the area of mobility, we’ve gained experience with car sharing and electric charging stations. We have a semester ticket and a job ticket, a weekly bicycle workshop, and service e-bikes. The campus is close to nature and offers garden projects, flowering meadows, solar and wind power plants. And the conversion to LED lighting in the buildings is well underway."
How can unsustainable societies be transformed?
EUF's Transformation Studies program sparked particular interest. Program director Dr. Michaela Christ presented the master's program, which is unique in Germany and adopts a social science perspective in addressing how to transform unsustainable societies. The visit from Denmark was very interested in a student exchange.
A positive outcome
EUF President Prof. Dr. Werner Reinhart summed up the visit positively: "We already have a ten-year partnership with UC Syd. Their new impetus in the field of sustainability fits in very well with our goals, such as that of founding a third research center in the area of transformation/sustainability. Additional areas of cooperation have also emerged from the discussions. On the one hand, there is the field of early childhood education, which has long been the subject of academic study in Denmark. Denmark is also much more advanced than we are when it comes to the digitization of schools and learning materials. On the other hand, we are already quite well positioned in the practical aspects of teacher training. In this respect, all the prerequisites are in place for a collaborative partnership in which both sides can win."