Thompson Rivers University signed an agreement of transatlantic cooperation with the Faculty of Cultural Studies at the University of Bremen in Germany on Nov. 5. The partnership has great potential to help develop and expand research capacity at TRU in an international and collaborative setting.
The agreement of cooperation was signed in Bremen by TRU Provost and Vice-President Academic Dr. Ulrich Scheck and the Dean of the Faculty of Cultural Studies, Dr. Christoph Auffarth. Also representing TRU was tourism and communications faculty member Dr. Kathleen Scherf, the academic lead for TRU programs in Europe. Representatives from the University of Bremen included Dr. Friedrich Krotz and Ms. Christina Sanko of the Faculty of Cultural Studies, and Ms. Silke Prangemeyer from the International Office.
After the signing, representatives from both universities discussed future opportunities for collaboration in research and teaching.
“This agreement links the Faculty of Cultural Studies and the University of Bremen to our researchers, providing an excellent opportunity for research collaboration with a leading European university in the areas of communication, new media and cultural studies,” says Scheck. There are only 12 universities in Germany that have received the “excellence” designation, and Bremen is one of them. “This speaks to the profile TRU is developing in Europe.”
This partnership focuses on interdisciplinary approaches to cultural studies. Faculty members will be able to engage with colleagues who share their interests and research questions, as well as, where appropriate, to help supervise graduate and doctoral students.The partnership also expands opportunities for undergraduate students.
“TRU undergraduate students associated with our new Research Centre for Community and Cultural Engagement, for example, will have access to international research, internship, and study opportunities,” says Scherf. “Such activity could be of interest to students in geography, tourism, interdisciplinary studies, visual arts, communications and new media, environmental studies, modern languages, and many other areas.”
In an effort to provide increased international opportunities for TRU students and faculty, the university has explored partnerships with several institutions in Europe and Asia in the past year. TRU signed a similar agreement with Johannes Gutenberg University (University of Mainz) on Oct. 29, entered into a memorandum of understanding with Seoul National University of Education on Oct. 6, and began a comprehensive partnership with the International University Network (IUN) on Jan. 14.