Ruhr-Universität Bochum

04/02/2024 | News release | Distributed by Public on 04/02/2024 02:32

Strengthening our Cooperation with Tongji University


Strengthening our Cooperation with Tongji University

Ruhr University Bochum and Tongji University in Shanghai have been cooperating for over 40 years. Existing agreements have now been renewed and a new one signed.

Tongji University is one of the most renowned universities in China - and one of Ruhr University Bochum's longest-standing partners. In late March 2024, eleven delegates including the president of the Chinese partner university visited Ruhr University Bochum to extend and expand cooperation in the fields of mechanical engineering and civil and environmental engineering.

Tongji University in Shanghai is one of the double first class universities of the Chinese Ministry of Education. As a Project 211 and Project 985 university, it reports directly to the Ministry of Education. The university is best known for its engineering sciences, economics and architecture degrees. It was founded in 1907 by the German government as a German medical school for Chinese students in Shanghai under the auspices of the German doctor Dr. Erich Paulun.

Following the signing of the contracts, Tongji University awarded Professor Günther Meschke the title of Advisory Professor. "I'm delighted about this honor. It is also an incentive for me to take scientific cooperation with Tongji in the field of civil and environmental engineering to a new level," says Meschke.

Partners since 1980

The universities have been collaborating since 1980. "Ruhr University Bochum was Tongji's first partner university abroad," says Monika Sprung, Head of the International Office. In the early years, the cooperation between the two universities was driven primarily by the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, with many more departments joining over the years, including Geography, German Studies, Medicine, East Asian Studies and German as a Foreign Language.

Initial contacts were established in the three engineering sciences, physics and chemistry. These were later followed by economics and German studies. On the tenth anniversary of the partnership in 1990, Tongji University donated the Chinese Garden to Ruhr University Bochum. In 2011, Ruhr University Bochum presented Tongji University with the "Pro Societate multorum annorum" award for the long-standing partnership.

"Today, we are delighted with the firm foundation that's underpinned by decades of intensive and trusting relationships with Tongji," says Monika Sprung. The two universities are currently cooperating primarily in the fields of mechanical engineering, economics and civil and environmental engineering.

Double master's agreement renewed

One of the main pillars of the partnership is the Chinese-German University College (CDHK) at Tongji University; it was co-founded in 1998 by Ruhr University Bochum, which was responsible for setting up and supervising the Department of Mechanical Engineering, including the German-language course. The structures have changed somewhat over the years: The CDHK Mechanical Engineering course is now run by the School of Mechanical Engineering (SME) at Tongji University and the Sino-German Center for Mechanical Engineering (CDZM), where Professor Michael Abramovici from Ruhr University Bochum is Vice Director on the Management Board. On March 20, the two universities renewed the double master's agreement in mechanical engineering, which was first signed in 2007.

The double master's degree program provides special qualifications for roles in Chinese-German collaborative projects.

- Michael Abramovici

The double master's degree program as well as an exchange program at the respective partner university qualifies students for future careers at international, particularly German-Chinese companies and research institutions. "In addition to specialist training at an international level, students have the opportunity to acquire knowledge and experience in the language, culture and working and living conditions of the respective partner country, thus qualifying in particular for careers in Sino-German cooperations in business, science and civil society," stresses Abramovici.

As well as numerous talks at the faculties, the program also included a visit to the Research Center for the Engineering of Smart Product-Service Systems (ZESS). "The Chinese delegation was very interested in our innovative training concepts for engineers and our research in the field of smart products, services and production," lists Abramovici.

New cooperation in civil engineering

What's new is the so-called Frame Cooperation Agreement. This agreement was signed between the College of Civil Engineering at Tongji University and the Faculty of Civil and Environmental Engineering. "The Ruhr University Bochum faculty was invited by Tongji College to join the Sino-D-A-CH Research Center of Smart Civil Engineering in order to strengthen our long-standing cooperation," explains Meschke. "Tongji is one of the world's leading universities in the field of civil engineering. An key objective of the center is to promote global efforts towards sustainable development in the construction industry," continues the Vice-Rector for Research and Transfer.

Studying in the partner country

It was equally important to the management of both universities to renew the university-wide agreement that enables student exchanges in all available disciplines. "Every year, ten students from each partner university have the opportunity to study at the respective partner university for one to two semesters," explains Monika Sprung.

A comprehensive contact network

During their visit, the delegation also discussed potential future collaborations with representatives from the Departments of Medicine, Philology and East Asian Studies. "Decades of cooperation with Tongjj University, which has resulted in a comprehensive network of contacts and collaborations, have created the best conditions from which both sides benefit today to expand cooperation to other strategically relevant fields," concludes Rector Professor Martin Paul.