Claudius Werry

“The ENGAGE.EU campus will be a vivid example for digital teaching across higher education institutions.”

Current position at the University of Mannheim:
Co-director of the International Office

ENGAGE.EU focus:
Online Exchange Initiative and the common course catalog of all partner universities, for example

ENGAGE.EU team:
Engaged Learning

What are your current areas of responsibility?

I am part of the ENGAGED Learning team and work on the 13 tasks that have been defined in this area. I also represent the University of Mannheim in working groups with the six partner universities. In addition, I coordinate the Online Exchange Initiative at the University of Mannheim. Two years ago, we created this option to virtually study abroad and we will continue the program in the fall semester 2021. The experiences of the Online Exchange Initiative help to develop the common course catalog of the seven partner universities. We will define courses that all partner universities will offer as virtual courses from the fall semester 2022 on. These are the modules and signature courses. In this area, we still have a lot to discuss and to coordinate in order to identify suitable courses and to manage the virtual mobility of students as best as possible. I am looking forward to working on this!

In your opinion, what are the most important goals of ENGAGE.EU?

The partner universities aim at setting up a joint ENGAGE.EU campus that will bring 100,000 students, teachers and employees of seven partner universities under one roof. This is an enormous task that we try to tackle step by step. The Online Exchange Initiative has shown that a common course catalog does work! In just a few semesters, all students have the chance to integrate a virtual international experience into their studies, in addition to a traditional semester abroad. In the virtual courses, the students will be a part of intercultural learning groups and will be able to work on the core topics of ENGAGE.EU that are highly relevant to European societies.

What motivates you?

As of March of this year, I am spending half of my time working for the ENGAGED Learning team, together with committed colleagues of the Division for Student Affairs and the University IT. I am fascinated by coordinating the various stakeholders at the university and by filtering a joint statement from our discussions and working on pragmatic solutions. We are then discussing our solutions with the partner universities, before they are operationalized in the complex setting of seven universities, seven student management systems and cultures as well as IT systems.

What does it mean for the University of Mannheim to be a part of ENGAGE.EU?

The University of Mannheim is the coordinating institution that heads the ENGAGE.EU consortium. The university continuously works on internationalizing research and teaching. On the ENGAGE.EU campus, we will have a vast number of new cooperations in research and teaching that will advance our society and offer our students a strong “internationalization@home”, that means an international learning experience on the campus of the University of Mannheim. In the virtual modules and signature courses, students of all ENGAGE.EU partner universities work together. During the pandemic, the teachers, the University IT and the Department of Educational Development and eLearning have done an excellent job to enable the virtual transfer of knowledge. I am sure that there will be a high post-pandemic demand for virtual teaching after we have (cautiously) returned to in-person classes. The ENGAGE.EU campus will be a vivid example for digital teaching across higher education institutions.