In its 20th year of existence, Bucerius Law School is actively expanding its international academic network. Seven new contracts have already been signed in the past few months, two more potential co-operations are currently being negotiated and there is a good chance that the 100th partnership will be made official later this year.
A SPECIAL CHALLENGE IN 2020
The last few months have shown how essential international cooperation is, especially in difficult times. In late spring of this year, the International Office of Bucerius Law School was faced with an enormous task when the decision was made to postpone the obligatory semester abroad for the students who started their studies in 2018 and send them abroad one year later, together with their 2019 peers. Hence, by the fall of 2020, in order to meet the deadline for the annual allocation of study abroad locations, suitable international placements had to be acquired for approximately 220 students, almost double that of the previous year. In addition to the increase of places in already existing partnerships, a top priority was made to acquire new partners and expand existing international networks in order to be able to offer the accustomed diversity of target regions to a larger student body and to give new impetus to academic cooperation.
FOCUS ON EUROPE
The students of both classes had the opportunity to express their wishes in advance. "It became clear that especially destinationswithin Europe are in great demand", said Kasia Kwietniewska, Head of the International Office. "With the University of Oslo, we have added Norway as a new destination. The University of Glasgow in Scotland, Stockholm University and an additional institution in Sweden will also become Bucerius partners in the ERASMUS+ program. This means that those exchanges can be supported with grants." Concurrently, Bucerius Law School is in discussions with a few other potential future partners that will be announced in the near future.
CAREFUL SELECTION PROCESS
When selecting universities, our motto is "quality before quantity." The International Office uses carefully defined criteria to examine and evaluate the respective circumstances before a contract is finalized. "In addition to a high-quality range of curriculum and sufficient legal courses in English or other foreign languages taught at Bucerius Law School, the partner university must also be located in an attractive and safe location and have a correspondingly good infrastructure. The question of opportunities for academic cooperation, i.e. in the form of exchanges with academic staff or joint research projects, also plays an important role" explained Kasia Kwietniewska.
PARTNERSHIPS IN AMERICA AND ASIA
The USA remains one of the most popular destinations, chosen each year by around one-third of the students for their mandatory semester abroad. With the University of Notre Dame in Indiana, Bucerius Law School was able to partner with another top-ranked university in the United States for a comprehensive collaboration: Every year, not only students, but also faculty members should be participating in such exchanges. In addition, a biennial law conference is planned under the direction of Professor Dr. Thilo Kuntz, Chair of Private Law II.
There is also news coming from the Asian region, as the head of the International Office explained. "We were able to conclude another partnership in Hong Kong and will launch a cooperation with the City University of Hong Kong starting in 2021. We are also very pleased about the future student exchanges with the University of Georgia in Tbilisi. With Georgia, a historically, culturally and politically intriguing country has been added to our network.”
The International Office has thus mastered the great challenge of acquiring study abroad placements for two generations of students and will begin awarding over 250 placements this autumn.
NEW COOPERATIONS – NEW INSPIRATIONS
The valuable impressions and inspirations from the members of the university and a diversity of guests offer each institution the chance to further develop its own services and programs. "Whether academic, student or administrative: new co-operations always create the opportunity for exchange on several levels. They bring a breath of fresh air - and thus advance Bucerius Law School" concluded Kasia Kwietniewska.