Pressemitteilung der Universität Duisburg-Essen

University Alliance Ruhr signs new agreement

Ten years of partnership

[29.03.2017] After ten years of successful cooperation, the three large universities in the Ruhr Area have resealed their partnership: the Ruhr-Universität Bochum, TU Dortmund University and the University of Duisburg-Essen have renewed their Framework Cooperation Agreement in order to reinforce their collaboration in the University Alliance Ruhr (UA Ruhr). The contract illustrates the extent of dynamic development the network has undertaken since its foundation on March 12, 2007.
Rectors signing the framework cooperation agreement

They have resealed their successful cooperation: (from left to right) Prof. Ulrich Radke, Dr. Rainer Ambrosy, Prof. Axel Schölmerich, Dr. Christina Reinhardt, Prof. Ursula Gather and Albrecht Ehlers. Photo: Roland Baege/TU Dortmund

As University Alliance Metropolis Ruhr (UAMR), the three universities had partnered ten years ago in order to cooperate more closely, while at the same time still preserving their autonomy. The network presented itself as “a new entity in the scientific landscape” with 89,000 students at that time. Today, the significance of the Ruhr Area as a scientific region has become even more visible: in the current funding atlas of the German Research Foundation, the UA Ruhr ranks nationwide at fifth place among scientific regions, behind Berlin, Munich, Heidelberg/Mannheim and Aachen. The number of students has risen to nearly 120,000.
A pioneer in university networks in Germany

The UA Ruhr is seen as a pioneer in university networks in Germany, and no other network has such a distinctive tradition. With the signing of the first cooperation agreement, the universities had already been operating a joint liaison office in New York for three years. Inspired by this success, it was decided to expand the collaboration “wherever it is appropriate”. The ten-year anniversary has now provided the impetus to trace the dynamic development and incorporate it into a new framework agreement. While the M for Metropolis has disappeared from the name through the years, diverse cooperations have been formed and solid structures have been established.

A high-level research council was for example founded in 2013 which identifies joint Flagship Programs in research. With “Ruhr explores solvation (RESOLV)” and “Materials Chain“, two joint Flagship Programs were established in which the UA Ruhr conducts international top-level research. Since 2010, the Mercator Research Center Ruhr has been supporting the collaboration of the three universities, especially through funding of bi- and tri-lateral research projects. The UA Ruhr places particular emphasis on offering development programs for junior scientists. Building on the existing programs ScienceCareerNet Ruhr and Global Young Faculty, the activities are bundled under the umbrella of the Research Academy Ruhr starting in 2017.
Together for visibility: New York, Moscow, São Paulo

The three universities established the study room RuhrCampus3 as early as 2009, so that students can receive, free of charge, visiting-student status at the partner universities. The first joint course of study, that is the Bachelor’s and Master’s degree program Medical Physics, had its startup in 2011, while the Master’s degree Program Biodiversity followed in 2013. Internationalization has been further developed as well: a joint liaison office in Moscow was opened in 2009, and a branch soon followed in Brazil in 2011.

Although internationalization provided the impulse for the partnership, the three universities particularly underscore their economic and social responsibility for the region. Thus, the UA Ruhr has also become a member, since last year, in the initiative circle Ruhr. Their strongest contribution to the regional economy lies in the training of highly-qualified specialists – 16,000 students graduate at the UA Ruhr every year.

The three universities would like to celebrate these and other successes together with partners and members in this year: The official ceremony “ten years of University Alliance Ruhr” will take place in the Jahrhunderthalle Bochum on July 13.
About the UA Ruhr

Since 2007, the three Ruhr Area universities have been collaborating, strategically and closely, under the umbrella of the UA Ruhr. By bundling their strengths, the achievements of the partner universities are being systematically expanded. Following the motto “three universities, one community, endless opportunities”, the Alliance has grown in the meantime to 100 cooperations in research, teaching and administration. With about 120,000 students and almost 1,300 professors, the UA Ruhr is among the largest and best-performing hubs for science and technology in Germany.

Contact regarding queries: Dr. Hans Stallmann, Coordinator UA Ruhr, Phone: +49 (0)234/32-27892