On Monday 28 March, the ambassador of Germany HE Cyrill Nunn visited the University of Groningen and UMCG. The visits were part of a 2-day programme organized by the City of Groningen. Besides UG and UMCG the ambassador was introduced to New Energy Coalition, EnTranCe, Rijnland Institute, Groningen museum and the political leadership of City and Province.
UG’s president, Prof. Jouke de Vries, welcomed the ambassador and first secretary economic affairs and presented the University’s strategy and the concept of the University of the North.
To illustrate the idea of the University of the North three highlights were pitched. Peter van Kampen presented Innolab Papenburg, a branch office of UG where new project initiatives are fostered with regional partners. Thanks to a donation of the Government of Lower Saxony, a new liaison officer position has been created to boost joint regional project proposals. A second pitch focused on cooperation in health in the cross border region of Ems Dollart. Prof. Jochen Mierau and Dr. Adriana Perez Fortis presented the Aletta Jacobs School of Public Health and the Cross Border Health Institute. Finally, Prof. Raingard Esser illustrated the regional cooperation in the Humanities by presenting two joint projects on “Grenzgänger”. These projects are implemented together with the University of Oldenburg and cultural institutions in Groningen and North Germany.
The ambassador was impressed by the Special Collections in the University Library, where Dr. Adrie van de Laan gave a brief introduction about ancient maps and special items, including the Erasmus Bible once owned and annotated by Martin Luther himself.
In the afternoon the ambassador was welcomed at the UMCG by the Dean, Prof. Marian Joëls, and the Vice Dean Research, Prof. Erik Boddeke. Following a site visit to the Proton Therapy Centre and introduction by Prof. Hans Langendijk, Dr. Anke van Trigt made a presentation about the European Medical School; a close cooperation in education and research between UMCG and the University of Oldenburg. Special attention was paid to the cooperation in patient care in the border region by Prof. Jochen Mierau and Prof. Bhanu Sinha.
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