Enlightened Europeans in the World
Hats were flying: Just in time for the 30th anniversary of the cross-border collaboration between the Syddansk University (SDU) and Europa-Universität Flensburg (EUF), management graduates of EUF could fling their black graduation caps high into the air today (October 7, 2022) at the traditional "cap throwing" ritual. The occasion was the graduation ceremony for all of the institute’s degree programs – the first such ceremony to take place in the Flensburg Audimax after the two-year break triggered by COVID-19.
Of the 114 graduates who received their degrees, 49 received their bachelor's degrees, 65 received their master's degrees, and 55 received degrees from both universities.
EUF president Prof. Dr. Werner Reinhart emphasized to the approximately 250 guests that the pandemic had made this year's degrees twice as hard to earn. "When things get really tough, civil courage, tolerance, courage and composure help," he told the graduates, as his parting words to carry with them. The president also celebrated the fact that the degree programs are now celebrating their 30th anniversary, despite the sometimes "bureaucratic fundamentalism" on both sides. Indeed, it was this collaboration between degree programs that provided the founding impulse for Europa-Universität Flensburg.
"Many of us took friendly borders in Europe for granted," explained Lars Grassmé Binderup, professor of philosophy and associate dean of the Faculty of Humanities at Syddansk Universitet. "We had to realize that this is an immature hope. We may have forgotten that friendly borders and international cooperation are a great achievement and are never guaranteed. For this reason, it is important to continue with our educational collaboration in the spirit of our ancestors, who chose to make the German-Danish border a peaceful one."
Accordingly, Danish program director Larissa Lueg, Professor of Corporate Communication at SDU, emphasized, "We are proud that we could not only provide you with an outstanding education in management, but that we are also sending you off into the world as enlightened Europeans whose studies have taught you to work and think across borders, to engage in linguistic and cultural exchange, and also to overcome challenges. It is with a very good feeling, therefore, that we now release you into the world!"
Susanne Royer, Professor of Strategic and International Management at EUF and Head of Studies for the German side, looked forward to the future of the internationally and interculturally well-trained graduates: "We're already looking forward to receiving your first success stories by email in the coming weeks, and to following on LinkedIn how you join and enrich the regional economy!"
On behalf of the students, Joke Maleen Nicolai, Louis Calvin Klein and Sina Soyke thanked family, friends, and all of those responsible for the degree program for their intensive support during the two-year "pandemic standstill." Music was provided by Flensburg singer-songwriter Rasmus Hoffmeister.
Funded by the EU back in 1992, a 68-student INTERREG project laid the foundation for today's successful cooperation between Europa-Universität Flensburg and Syddansk University (SDU). In addition to various joint research and teaching projects, joint degree programs in International Management form the core of the collaboration. Students in the program spend most of one semester at a foreign partner university, and participate in an integrated international course program which requires them to spend half of their week at EUF in Flensburg (Germany), and the other half at SDU in Sønderborg (Denmark) throughout their bachelor’s or master’s studies. Both of the International Management programs offer dual bachelor’s and master’s degree options. In terms of content, the programs combine business expertise with cultural, economic, and language skills.