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Private excellence initiative: Jacobs Foundation
invests 200 million Euro in the education of young people
at International University Bremen

Print version
German version

[ Nov 01, 2006 Press material Downloads

The Swiss Jacobs Foundation, which is active worldwide in education and youth development, has invested 200 million Euro in IUB. Research and teaching at the campus university - unique in Europe - will be co-financed with 15 million Euro per year for the next five years. It is a joint goal to quickly and resolutely implement the future-concept of the IUB's new president Joachim Treusch. "We will introduce a stronger topical focus for IUB, increase scientific and economic networking and thus achieve the highest possible practical relevance", says Professor Treusch at today's press conference. These goals also represent IUB’s response to the recommendations made by its international expert panel on IUB perspectives in June of this year.

"The major contribution and commitment of the Jacobs Foundation confirms their trust in our chosen route", Treusch continues. After successful implementation of IUB’s refocused profile the fundation will make another 125 million Euro available in 2011, in order to lastingly ensure teaching and research at a highly competitive level. The reason for this to date unparalleled investment in the field of German higher education is the international and specifically intercultural as well as interdisciplinary orientation of the private university. This is an important step in the endeavours of the foundation to expand and support beacons of academic education and research in order to improve over all living and development conditions for young people.

Klaus J. Jacobs comments on the investment of his foundation as follows: "Particularly important for our co-operation is the fact that it is our joint goal to provide young people, regardless of their background, with an education, which has practical relevance and which has been developed with society’s future challenges in mind. At the same time I would like to set an example to show what private commitment can achieve. And of course I do hope that our support motivates other private initiatives for the promotion of science." In 2003, the Jacobs Foundation already supported IUB by enabling the establishment of the Jacobs Center for Lifelong Learning and Institutional Development with a donation of more than 10 million CHF. Alongside the School of Engineering and Science and the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, the center is the third academic unit of IUB.

Currently more than 1,000 young people from over 85 nations study at IUB, which started its academic operations in 2001. The cross-disciplinary collaboration at the English language campus university provides a new type of excellent academic education for young students in Europe. IUB prepares their graduates to responsibly contribute to finding solutions for the huge problems of our modern world and thereby opens up sound career opportunities in the globalized labour market of the 21st century. IUB President Treusch pointed out that the central scientific challenges of this century are defined by the solving global questions on energy supply, water and nutrition, education, communication, and conflict management in an increasingly hostile world. "If IUB succeeds in contributing to these solutions", Treusch continues, "it will have made optimal use of its specific research potential. Moreover, IUB will have seized the chance to set its educational course already at the undergraduate level towards "global citizen" and "worldwide responsibility" training, i.e. directed towards the future. IUB’s future program is committed to these goals."

Christian Jacobs, President of the Jacobs Foundation, expressed the foundation’s positive expectations regarding the successful implementation of the new IUB president’s future program. "We see a strong partner in International University Bremen, who shares our view, that the excellent academic education of young people, which at the same time has high practical relevance, is the key to prepare society for the future”.

The mayor of Bremen, Jens Böhrnsen, sees in the Jacobs Foundation’s private excellence initiative an exceptional opportunity to maintain and expand Bremen as an outstanding science and business location in Europe. "The German federal excellence initiative to support state-financed universities has most effectively been supplemented by the unique contribution of the Jacobs Foundation in terms of a public-private partnership", Böhrnsen says. He especially welcomes the fact that the IUB president’s future-concept includes a focus on the intensive co-operation between science and business in all of Bremen. "I can assure you that in future Bremen will provide all the support possible within its means, to further IUB as a beacon of Bremen’s higher education and science environment." He congratulates IUB on their successful development and thanks the Jacobs Foundation.

In appreciation of the benefactors and in order to further promote the university’s distinctive profile in international competition, the boards of IUB have decided to change the university’s name. The future brand of the university will be Jacobs University Bremen. "In view of the challenges the Jacobs University Bremen will face", the president of the university, Treusch, says, acknowledging the high commitment of the Jacobs Foundation, "we are at the beginning of a success story, not at the end."

Author: Corporate Communications & Media Relations

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