„I'm enthusiastic about the university's work"
On July 21 Guido Wendt, State Secretary of the Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Culture in the new state cabinet, visited Europa-Universität Flensburg (EUF). During his first visit in his new function, Guido Wendt - together with Head of Department Sören Mahnk - learned more about Germany's northernmost university in a nearly 2-hour discussion with President Prof. Dr. Werner Reinhart and Chancellor Stephanie Brady. The talk was followed by a tour of the campus.
A very good and open exchange to get to know each other
"Wir haben heute einen sehr guten und offenen Austausch zum Kennenlernen durchführen können. Die Zukunftsthemen konnten wir beleuchten und sind guter Dinge, dass wir diese vertiefen und dann auch zu konkreten Ergebnissen kommen können" [We had a very good and open exchange today to get to know each other. We were able to shed light on the issues concerning the future and are confident that we will be able to deepen this knowledge and then achieve some concrete results] Guido Wendt said afterwards. "Ich bin begeistert von der Arbeit der Universität. Insbesondere, wie hier die Chancen genutzt wurden, um eine deutlich über die Landesgrenzen hinaus wirkende Lehrkräftebildung aufzustellen, ist schon beispielgebend. Und wenn ich dann höre, dass einige Bundesländer sich abschauen, wie die Ausbildung in Flensburg organisiert wird, dann erfüllt mich das mit Freude und auch mit Stolz." [I am enthusiastic about the work of the university. In particular, the way opportunities have been used here to set up a teacher training program that has an impact well beyond the state's borders is exemplary. And when I then hear that some federal states are looking to see how education is organized in Flensburg, it fills me with joy and also with pride" Guido Wendt explained.
Goals and challenges of teacher training
Topics of discussion at the first meeting included the goals and challenges of teacher education, EUF's three points of focus - education, Europe, and transformation/sustainability - the establishment of a center for digital learning in schools, and the international higher education alliance EMERGE ("European Margins Engaging for Regional and Global Empowerment"). In the latter, EUF is applying for EU funding as a European higher education alliance together with seven strategic partner universities from Ireland, France, Spain, Norway, Cyprus and Slovakia.
The lack of teachers will be a major issue
University President Werner Reinhart was very pleased with the first meeting with the State Secretary: "This was a wonderful start to a contact that will and must become very intensive, because the shortage of teachers will become a major issue and will also affect us as a university, which after all trains 50% of all teachers in the state," Reinhart emphasized. "We have been able to listen to each other and identify is important to each of us in light of our common goals, values and attitudes. As a university, we have once again emphasized how important it is to us to establish the third research center for transformation and sustainability. We were also able to address the fact that we will be informed as promptly as possible about how many study places we should maintain in the area of teacher education in the future. However, the most important point is not the quantity of study places, but their quality, because the decisive factor is not how many people take up studies with us, but how many complete their studies. In that respect, we also talked about resources."