Several pillars for successful cooperationProfessors of Aalen University visit partners in South Africa

Johann Landsberg vom bhive enteprenurial centre der NWU mit Prof. Dr. Härting, Prof. Dr. Holzbaur, Alexandra Stiefl, Prof. Dr. Flottmann und Prof. Dr. Stiefl (von hinten links nach vorne rechts).

We, 02. March 2016

For cooperation it is always good when it is based on the central protagonists, but also when it is based on several pillars. A broad basis for cooperation of Aalen University with South Africa has now been created by the visits of several professors of the university at various South African universities.

South Africa is one of the most interesting emerging markets and, for many years, an important partner of Aalen University. With the support of the International Relations Office, students from both universities participate in an exchange. . This includes the coordination of teaching and research projects with professors and staff on site. For this purpose the professors Dr. Ulrich Holzbaur, Dr. Ralf-Christian Härting, Dr. Jürgen Stiefl and Dr. Dirk Flottmann traveled to South Africa.

The Central University of Technology (CUT) in Bloemfontein is a longtime partner of Aalen University. Professor Dr. Ulrich Holzbaur, who is an honorary Professor there, planned the placement of students from Aalen University in the areas of management and engineering. Sabine Maier and Lisa Schneider of the study program Industrial Management will now start their project-based master's degree in Bloemfontein. For the next three semesters even more students are scheduled. In the area of management, the professors Dr. Ralf-Christian Härting and Dr. Jürgen Stiefl initiated research collaborations - on "digitization in SMEs" and "statistical analysis", among others. In addition, the professors talked about opening an exchange for part-time business students. Furthermore Holzbaur also works together with the Department of Management in the areas of sustainable tourism and business plan games, and with the engineers in the field of 3-D printing and artificial intelligence. Moreover, in the field of computer science, Professor Dr. Ulrich Klauck will travel to Bloemfontein for research collaboration.

Contacts were also strengthened with the Vaal University of Technology (VUT) in Vanderbijlpark. Jonathan Loew will continue his master program with projects for the recycling of electrical waste at VUT. The implementation of experience-orientated learning and researching could become a joint project of the universities of Aalen, Wismar, Windhoek and Vanderbijlpark.

On Campus Potchefstroom of Northwest University (NWU), the focus was on the fields of chemistry and economics. The equipment of the University in the chemical-analytical laboratories is very modern and provides a good basis for a student exchange and for joint research projects with the Department of Chemistry of Aalen University. A cooperation as part of the Bachelor Plus Program of the Aalen Department of Management and Business Sciences and potential research collaborations were considered, for example with the School of Accounting Sciences. On Vaal Triangle Campus of Northwest University the Professors visited the centers for business creation and for serious games (electronic games in education). Here there are strong synergies with the business game activities of Prof. Dr. Ulrich Holzbaur.

During a short stay in Johannesburg, the professors were invited by Gaby Ullmann, contact person of the Foundation for the German School Johannesburg, to discuss some information on the South African school system and possible cooperation.

At Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) in Cape Town the visit was used for a small symposium. In the area of Business Administration joint research activities in the field of SMEs and entrepreneurship were discussed. Participants also agreed that master level subjects will be adapted with the aim of mutual module recognition. The field of chemistry at the CPUT is also interesting because the state of the art facilities and the scientific staff is a good mix of young and experienced researchers. Prof. Dr. Holzbaur also discussed further cooperation in the field of sustainable tourism with Prof. Kamilla Swart.

At the end of the trip the professors visited one of the traditional and research intensive universities in the country: in Stellenbosch, Prof. Dr. Flottmann established a contact with Prof. Wim de Villiers, who is one of the most respected young analytical chemists in South Africa. In addition, the University of Stellenbosch (SUN) also has an active group in the area of sustainable development. The collaborations of Aalen University with its partners in South Africa should be further strengthened. Specific activities at the CUT in Bloemfontein are now, for example, promoted locally by the Professors Holzbaur and Klauck as well as from students from Aalen.