Claim Hochschule Weihenstephan-Triesdorf - University of Applied Sciences

'HSWT goes international: Internationalising Best Practices' (HAW.International – Module B)

Weihenstephan-Triesdorf University of Applied Sciences (HSWT) has unique expertise in the field of applied life sciences, which are in high demand across the globe. Previous internationalisation activities include a wide range of international Master’s degree programmes, numerous international university partnerships, participation in the Erasmus programme, enhanced networking, collaboration in international development and research, digitalisation in international teaching, the creation of international structures at the university, as well as the international export of best practice models for developing international study courses. As part of the 'HAW.International' (Module B) programme run by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), the project 'HSWT goes international: Internationalising Best Practices' is sponsored by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and draws on the university’s successful existing internationalisation activities and examples of international best practice. In line with the 'HSWT goes international' internationalisation strategy, the project aims to enhance skills in the area of international study programme development at HSWT and at partner universities through training and exchange formats and the joint development of international best practice study programmes. The project will also strengthen the university’s international appeal through its new range of English language courses. In addition, the project aims to consistently consolidate relationships with partner universities and industry partners and to improve the structural and institutional framework for internationalisation at HSWT. The creation of a wide range of English-language study programmes in applied life sciences in the long term can also serve as a global contribution to achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

The project will feature three components. Components 1 and 2 will illustratively implement five independent international study programmes in the areas of 'Innovations and Start-ups in Food Value Chains' (Component 1) and 'Sustainable Regional Development' (Component 2). The overarching aim of component 3 is to boost university members’ skills in developing international study programmes. The following section will outline the measures of each individual component.

Component 1 will create an international further education programme for business founders and entrepreneurs in the area of 'Start-ups – from the idea to the enterprise' alongside Khon Kaen University (KKU) in Thailand and South Eastern Kenya University (SEKU). The focus of the programme will be to develop students’ own start-up ideas in the agriculture and food sector. Students completing the further education course can attain up to 30 ECTS. From this basis, an English-language Master’s degree in 'Innovations and Start-ups in Food Value Chains' (dual qualification system) will be developed with KKU and SEKU.

Component 2 will initially offer a lecture series on 'Sustainable Regional Development' as a low-threshold introduction to the development of international degree programmes. Then, together with Debre Markos University (DMU) in Ethiopia and The Evergreen State College (TESC) in the USA, a single-semester 'Village Semester' in English worth 30 ECTS credits will be designed and trialled. The Village Semester will offer both international and German students on site in Triesdorf the opportunity to learn about regional management and rural development in a rural setting. The Village Semester is a step towards the planned new Master’s degree course in ‘Sustainable Regional Development’. It may be incorporated into the new Master’s degree course or may firstly be used as a semester abroad for international students. Building on this, the Master’s degree course in 'Sustainable Regional Development' (conducted in English) will be developed in collaboration with DMU and TESC.

Component 3 will boost the international skills development of university members through a needs-oriented series of digital events on 'International exchange on the design, implementation and execution of best practice examples of international (Master’s) degree programmes'. It will also provide support for the development of international degree programmes. This component will also include organising and carrying out trips to facilitate knowledge-sharing, professional cooperation and networking with partner universities for staff at HSWT, such as those involved in degree programme administration and development. Finally, component 3 aims to strengthen a network across all three components and university-wide.

The partner universities in Ethiopia, Kenya, the USA and Thailand focus on applied academic teaching and regard themselves as members of a partner network of north-north, north-south and south-south knowledge-sharing. The partner universities offer a similar range of subjects across their degree programmes as those offered by HSWT, creating potential for long-term, close collaboration and an exchange between students and university members in other areas as well. Four industry partners are also involved in the project, e.g. by giving guest lectures to teach practical elements to prepare students for the world of work or by mentoring interns and thesis students. In addition, by acting as expert consultants they help design a range of courses which are practically relevant and equip students for their future professions. These include the Yunus Environment Hub, Ansbach District Administration Office (Landratsamt Ansbach), Agralis GmbH and an HSWT alumnus from the Regional Management Master’s degree programme.

Virtual meeting with the partner universities in Thailand and Kenya in component 1 to introduce the project measures and discuss the joint approach
Interdisciplinary digital networking meeting across the three components to jointly plan the project and identify interfaces and synergies

Project management

Prof. Carsten Lorz

Project coordination

Eva Zech

Component 1

Prof. Ralf Schlauderer (coordination)

Prof. Thomas Lötzbeyer (international certificate)

Prof. Peter Breunig (international master's degree course)

Prof. Özlem Özmutlu

Prof. Iryna Smetanska

Component 3

Eva Zech (coordination)

Project duration

01 January 2022 - 31 Decemberr 2025

Partner universities

Khon Kaen University (KKU):

Assoc. Prof. Pensri Jaroenwanit

South Eastern Kenya University (SEKU):

Dr Julius K. Kilungo

Debre Markos University (DMU):

Dr Sayeh Kassaw

The Evergreen State College (TESC):

Prof. Karen Gaul

Industry partners

Yunus Environment Hub:

Luise Wunner

Ansbach District Administration Office (Landratsamt Ansbach):

Thomas Merkel

Agralis GmbH:

Ulrich Pingel

Alumnus Regional Management Master’s degree programme:

Barbara Wunder