Notre Dame and Heidelberg University sign memorandum of understanding

by William G. Gilroy

Nick Entrikin poses with Bernhard Eitel, rector of Heidelberg University, Germany, and other representatives of Heidelberg University Nick Entrikin poses with Bernhard Eitel, rector of Heidelberg University, Germany, and other representatives of Heidelberg University

Representatives of the University of Notre Dame and Heidelberg University signed a general memorandum of understanding April 11 that will serve as the basis for an exploration of joint research, academic exchanges and other cooperative activities between the two institutions.

Heidelberg’s Rector Bernhard Eitel and Nicholas Entrikin, Notre Dame’s vice president and associate provost for internationalization, signed the memorandum. Notre Dame will be the first American partner of the University of Heidelberg.

The institutions will be exploring areas such as joint meetings and conferences; academic exchanges involving undergraduates, graduate students, professional students and faculty; and joint research activities.

The memorandum of understanding comes on the heels of ongoing cooperation between Notre Dame and Heidelberg, including a visit to Heidelberg by a Notre Dame delegation last year. “We are pleased to have a growing partnership with the Heidelberg, one of the leading universities in Germany,” said Entrikin. “This agreement represents the beginning of many new opportunities for our faculty and students to collaborate in research, international study programs, academic conferences and other exchange programs.”

Founded in 1386, Heidelberg University, a state university of Baden-Württemberg, is Germany’s oldest university. In addition to strong programs in the humanities, Heidelberg has many notable strengths, especially in the natural sciences. It has a leading medical school, and its German Cancer Research Center is one of the world’s leaders in the field.

Another strength of Heidelberg lies in its numerous collaborations and alliances with non-university research institutions and companies in Heidelberg and the Rhine-Neckar region and its strong involvement in two top-level clusters of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research. It also has a strong international network of partners in research and teaching and has demonstrated excellence in research through the German Research Foundation Excellence Initiative.