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Oldenburg: 40 years of cooperation

University of Groningen and University of Oldenburg celebrate 40 years of collaboration.

On 29 October 2020 , during the 'Festakt', the University of Groningen (UG) and the Carl von Ossietzky University of Oldenburg (UOL) will officially renew the partnership that they started 40 years ago. The anniversary will be celebrated with a joint conference in Schloss Oldenburg (at 4 pm) and a variety of academic symposia, lectures and workshops. Due to the coronavirus measures, most of the events will take place online via livestreams.

The two universities started working together in 1980 and are currently collaborating in the areas of both teaching and research. The European Medical School Oldenburg-Groningen offers a cross-border medical degree programme, which is unique in Europe. In addition, academics from Groningen and Oldenburg also work together on research and create synergy in fields that are important to the future. Moreover, the two universities also collaborate in the area of healthcare, enabling patients in the region to benefit from the German-Dutch partnership too.

Message from Prof. Dr. Dr. Hans Michael Piper, President of the University of Oldenburg

Dear friends and colleagues,
Dear ladies and gentlemen:

In April 1980, the presidents of the Universities of Oldenburg and Groningen signed the first agreement on academic cooperation. They declared their universities would, from that moment forward, cooperate in the areas of research, study and further education. These intentions were put into practice in the following years. Over the decades, the relationship between the two universities grew closer and stronger. Partners became friends. Finally, in 2012, a major project was launched with the European Medical School Oldenburg-Groningen, which established a joint degree program in human medicine that was and still is unique throughout Europe.

Today the cooperation between Oldenburg and Groningen is not merely academic. Rather, the northwest region is diversely interconnected; the successes of the past now form the basis for the successes of the future.

We are pleased to be able to celebrate the long and fruitful cooperation between our universities on October 29 and to renew it for another ten years.


Prof. Dr. Dr. Hans Michael Piper
President of the University of Oldenburg

Message from Prof. dr. Jouke de Vries, Chairman of the Board of University Groningen

The cooperation between UOL and RUG goes back for four decades and has been a solid and successful cooperation in research, teaching and transfer. UOL and RUG are both universities in the northern part of our countries and literally close together. While our cooperation stands allready for 40 years, we have learned a lot from each other I would say. The exchange of students, teachers and researchers has contributed to the intercultural understanding between The Netherlands and Germany, and Groningen and Oldenburg in particular. I often hear from our students who have studied in Oldenburg that they have learned so much from a different cultural environment which is only 45 minutes away. I have started the plan for University of the North in 2019 and I consider UOL as an important partner in this plan. So for me UOL is not just one of many, but an old solid friend and neighbour. As we say in Dutch: A good neighbour is better than a friend far away.

Prof. dr. Jouke de Vries,
Chairman of the Board of University Groningen

Academic program

In the academic framework program, cooperation partners from Oldenburg and Groningen will use the occasion of the festive renewal of the cooperation between the universities to exchange views on various projects, topics and strategic fields of action.

Events on this day will mainly take place online. Some events open their digital doors to the public and invite you to temporarily become part of our cross-border cooperation. These events are marked with a *.

*Symposium: "Corona and the Law - Dutch-German Experiences"

Prof. Dr. Christine Godt (UOL) and Prof. Dr. Aurelia Colombi Ciacchi (RUG) are organizing an online symposium with various speakers dedicated to legal challenges in the times of coronavirus.

Date: October 29, 2020
Time: 10:15-12:45
Location: (video conference)

The event is open to the public.

*Symposium: "New Opportunities for Cross-Border Health Research between Oldenburg and Groningen"

Prof. Dr. Lena Ansmann (UOL) and Prof. Dr. Axel Hamprecht (UOL) as well as Prof. Dr. Jochen Mierau (RUG), Prof. Dr. Alexander Friedrich (RUG) and Dr. Adriana Pérez Fortis (RUG, UOL) will discuss the manifold research potentials of the Cross-Border Institute of Healthcare Systems and Preventioncurrently being established.

Date: October 29, 2020
Time: 14:00-15:30

The event is open to the public.

Research Meeting: "Strategic Collaborations and Future Perspectives in Popular Music Studies"

Prof. Dr. Mario Dunkel (UOL) and Dr. Melanie Schiller (RUG) talk with colleagues about the potential for cooperation in research on popular music.

Date: October 29, 2020
Time: 14:30-15:30
Location: Video conference

The event is not open to the public.

Round Table: "A Transfer Strategy for the Northwest"

Dr. Michaela Muylkens (UOL) and Peter van Kampen (RUG) talk with other university stakeholders about the potential for a joint regional transfer strategy.

Date: October 29, 2020
Time: t.b.a
Location: Video conference

The event is not open to the public

*Workshop: "Hot Topics in Hearing and Neuroscience"

Prof. Dr. Christine Köppl (UOL) and Prof. Dr. Pim van Dijk (RUG) will discuss current topics in hearing research and neuroscience with other participants.

You can find more information on the program here.

Date: October 29, 2020
Time: 9:00-14:30
Location: (video conference)

The event is open to the public.

*Workshop: "Fuel Cells & Hydrogen Research and Education Driving the Energy Transition in the North"

Prof. Dr. Robert Steinberger, Dr. Hans-Gerhard Holtorf (UOL) und Prof. Dr. P. V. Aravind (RUG) tauschen sich mit anderen Teilnehmenden über Lehr- und Forschungsaktivitäten zum Thema Wasserstoff aus und sondieren Möglichkeiten zur Kooperation.

Datum: 29. Oktober 2020
Uhrzeit: 14:30-16:00
Ort: (Videokonferenz)

Die Veranstaltung ist für die Öffentlichkeit freigegeben.

*Workshop: "Safety Critical Human-Cyper-Physical Systems"

Prof. Dr. Martin Fränzle, Prof. Dr. Jochem Rieger (UOL) and Prof. Dr. Dick de Waard (RUG) invite you to a workshop on the topic of Human-Cyber-Physical Systems. They will discuss questions of research and the future of digital change.

Date: October 29, 2020
Time: 9:00-15:00
Location: t.b.a. (video conference)

The event is open to the public.

Workshop: "Research Language und Study Success - Taalvaardigheid en studiesucces"

Dr. Maike Engelhardt (UOL) and Anje Dijk (RUG) will, in this workshop with colleagues, discuss the influence of language skills on the study success.

Date: October 29, 2020
Time: t.b.a.
Location: Video conference

The event is not open to the public.

Workshop: "Internationalizing Teacher Education - Experiences & Perspectives"

Tina Grummel, Jenka Schmidt (UOL) and Dr. Dik W. Maandag (RUG) talk with colleagues about differences, similarities and development potential for teacher training between Oldenburg and Groningen.

Date: October 29, 2020
Time: t.b.a.
Location Video conference

The event is not open to the public.

Workshop: "Grensgangers 2.0: Discussie over de intensivering van de samenwerking tussen Nederlands, Duits en hun regionale varianten"

Prof. Dr. Ralf Grüttemeier, Prof. Dr. Esther Ruigendijk (UOL) und Prof. Dr. Petra Hendriks, Prof. Dr. Mathijs Sanders (RUG) diskutieren mit Fachkolleg:innen über Möglichkeiten, die Kooperation zwischen den Universitäten in den Bereichen Niederländisch, Deutsch und ihren regionalen Varianten auszuweiten.

Datum: 29. Oktober 2020
Uhrzeit: 13:45-15:45 Uhr
Ort: Videokonferenz

Die Veranstaltung ist nicht für die Öffentlichkeit freigegeben.

Workshop: "Border Crossings in Eastern Frisia - Everyday Life and Culture in the Early Modern Period"

Prof. Dr. Andrea Strübind (UOL) and Prof. Dr. Raingard Esser, Prof. Dr. Bart Ramakers (RUG) hold a number of meetings in the context of a joint research project.

Date: October 1 and 2, 2020
Time: No declaration
Location: Groningen, Emden

The event is not open to the public.

Lecture Series: "Border Contacts: 30 Years of German-Dutch Cooperation"

Dr. Christiane Brokmann-Nooren (UOL, C3L) and Drs. Anja van Berkum (RUG, Senioren Academie) are inviting for the last time to the lecture series "Grenzkontakte" for senior students / guest auditors. The two have been organizing the series annually since 1989.

Date: November 3 and 11, 2020
Time: No declaration
Location: Groningen, Leer

Unfortunately, the events had to be canceled due to the pandemic.


Following the academic program, a ceremony will take place in Oldenburg Castle to mark 40 years of cooperation between the Carl von Ossietzky University of Oldenburg and the Rijksuniversiteit Groningen. Highlights of the ceremony will be the ceremonial continuation of the cooperation for another ten years by presidents Professor Hans Michael Piper and Professor Jouke de Vries as well as a speech by Rector of the University of Groningen, Professor Cisca Wijmenga. The ceremony will be broadcast live on the internet on October 29. You will then find the link to the live stream here.


Welcoming Remarks by Minister for Science and Culture Björn Thümler

Opening Address by the President of the University of Oldenburg Prof. Dr. Dr. Hans Michael Piper

Welcoming Remarks and Talk by the President of the Rijksuniversiteit Groningen: "University of the North" by Prof. Dr. Jouke de Vries

Presentation: "Roadmap for Future Cooperation" by Prof. Dr. Esther Ruigendijk (UOL) and Mervin Bakker (RUG)

Special Lecture by the Rector of the Rijksuniversiteit Groningen: "Of Man and Microbes: Diversity Matters" by Prof. Dr. Cisca Wijmenga

Last modified:04 December 2020 2.10 p.m.
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