The MQ-FU-HAM trilateral strategic partnership is a pillar of Universität Hamburg’s internationalization strategy. By cultivating a partnership-based sustainable network between the Macquarie University, Fudan University, and Universität Hamburg, we contribute to the goal of strengthening and developing international cooperation in research and teaching.
The building blocks of their cooperation include supporting common research projects and student exchange programs as well as expanding upon double degree opportunities.
The network’s current infrastructure will be anchored in the departments and faculties to ensure a smooth transition into the postfunding phase. In this way, the 3 partner universities can successfully steer their close, rewarding cooperation in research and teaching in the long term.
About the network
- The foundation of the trilateral network in its current form is a decades-long history of university cooperation. Universität Hamburg has enjoyed its partnership with Macquarie University since the 1990s and with Fudan University since as far back as the 1980s. When it revised its international strategy in 2012, Universität Hamburg resolved to further develop its partnership activities with Macquarie University and Fudan University. By creating strategic partnerships, the universities strengthened their cooperation, especially in the area of research excellence.
- The 3 partners decided to expand upon their successful bilateral cooperation. They then jointly developed a concept for their trilateral strategic partnership during a matchmaking workshop in 2014. Their successful DAAD funding application ultimately laid the groundwork for the trilateral network.
- In 2015, the MQ-FU-HAM trilateral strategic partnership was founded as part of the DAAD’s Strategic Partnerships and Thematic Networks funding line with funds from the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). While the first funding phase (2015–2018) was dedicated to creating and establishing the network and subsidiary projects, the second and final funding phase (2019–2021) has focused on the transition from an externally funded network to one in which all 3 universities contribute equally to the funding of the strategic partnership.
- During the first 2015–2018 funding phase, the DAAD funded 12 bilateral and trilateral projects with a total of €840,000.
- Eight projects were taken over in the second and final DAAD funding phase from 2019 to 2021, with the DAAD providing a further €250,000.
- Moreover, in the last 5 years, there have been a number of project ideas outside the scope of DAAD funding. Over 10 bilateral and trilateral cooperation projects have been implemented or are still active.
- In 2019, we took important steps at the beginning of the final funding phase to cement the achievements of the last few years. For example, we set up a joint management board to steer the network after DAAD funding runs out. The board consists of up to 3 representatives from each university and meets once annually.
The trilateral network pursues the following goals for the current funding phase (2019–2021) and beyond:
- strong multidisciplinary research cooperation in the 3 universities’ research areas
- development and creation of certified double degrees
- recruitment of excellent doctoral and early career researchers for cotutelle (binational doctoral programs) and joint PhD programs
- introduction of innovative learning and teaching models and their continuous development
- ongoing evaluation to ensure quality and needs-based project development
- consolidation and development of the trilateral network infrastructure beyond the external funding phase
- strengthening cooperation at university level
Currently and looking ahead
The MQ-FU-HAM trilateral strategic partnership will continue after 2021, when DAAD funding runs out. All parties highly value their cooperation in the trilateral network and have expressed their commitment to the partnership.
The successful establishment of the management board in 2019 underscores that commitment and provides the structural conditions for the further development of the MQ-FU-HAM trilateral network.
A first joint call for applications for MQ-FU-HAM Funding 2020 was made in September 2019. In 2020, 6 projects will receive implementation funding from the partner universities. The projects will be coordinated in 3 faculties and include 2 bilateral (MQ-HAM) and 4 trilateral projects. Funding will be provided for a year.
The next application period is scheduled for Spring 2021. See the last application call for more information.
Results and milestones
Since 2015, the trilateral partnership has facilitated international exchange among countless academics, doctoral researchers, and students. Study and research trips abroad, joint courses and degrees, conferences, workshops, symposia, and public lecture series are the results of the lively cooperation in the MQ-FU-HAM trilateral network.
These activities are organized from both the top down and the bottom up: the university administrations provide the framework by creating general procedures and conditions, while individual researchers foster personal contacts and jointly establish research topics.
The organization and consolidation of bilateral and trilateral programs have also benefited from the introduction of the Joint Programs project. We would like to highlight a few of the results of this successful cooperation:
- the creation of joint PhD programs between the partner universities
- the introduction of innovative teaching models such as International Law Plus (IL+)
- deeper cooperation at the administrative level, for example, in risk management
- the establishment of a joint management board to steer the network
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Prof. Simon Handley
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Dr. LU Lian
WANG Ying (Iris)