DIES-Partnership with Hawassa University and Adama University (Ethiopia)
DIES means “Dialogue on Innovative Higher Education Strategies”. This programme – jointly planned by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and the German Rector's Conference (HRK) – aims for an international exchange of experiences concerning questions of innovative higher education policies as well as for an increased cooperation in partnerships within the field of university management in industrialised and developing countries.
Project group: I.-U. Leonhäuser (ZEU), J. Volz (AAA of JLU), M. Höher, S. Hameso (IRO Hawassa), B. Tessema (IRO Adama)
Structural and administrative development of the International Relations Office (IRO) at Hawassa University started towards the beginning of 2007. The successful planning workshop "Bilateral Strategies for Creating an International Relations Office at the Hawassa University, Ethiopia" in Giessen was followed by the opening of the IRO one year later. The whole process was accompanied by Ethiopian as well as international experts – a fact which made the development of a north-south and south-south network considerably easier.
Since the beginning of 2009, Hawassa University has recourse to the services of Mr Seyoum Hameso as director of the IRO. Since then, the director has visited Justus Liebig University Giessen a number of times, in some instances accompanied by some of his staff. Those visits served to gain insight into the work and organisation of the International Office of Giessen university, to acquire the requisite know-how for the further development of the IRO, and to develop – in cooperation – PR-measures, e.g. the design of leaflets and websites. In May 2009, Ms Julia Volz, director of the International Office, made a return visit to support the IRO in the organisation of its different work areas.
In order to achieve the project's main aim, i.e. to support the internationalisation of Hawassa University, the development of networks constitutes an important influencing variable. The integration of experts from African countries as well as from Germany is meant to contribute to the exchange of experiences in the field of internationalisation in order to highlight perspectives from the African and German viewpoint. The aim to work out official partnership agreements with the universities which are part of the network and to plan joint courses of study and research projects within the cooperation. Another important aim of the cooperation between the universities is to develop joint project applications geared towards the raising of third-party funds.
In the summer of 2009, Mr Hameso and a member of his staff completed a tour of African partner universities (Stellenbosch University in South Africa and Makarere University in Uganda) which already have established their own IROs. At the end of 2009 – based on an initiative by the DAAD –, the whole project was augmented by an Ethiopian partner, Adama University.
In September 2010, a conference entitled "International Academic Collaboration and Mobility" was held in Hawassa, a workshop for the project evaluation with external evaluators took place in November 2010 in Giessen. The project will be concluded at the end of 2010.