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19. October 2020

On October 19, 2020, the University of Bonn opened Academic Year 2020/21 with its traditional academic celebrations around its founding day. The celebrations were, for the first time, held as a “hybrid” event: in addition to a small number of participants present in the auditorium, guests were able to follow the event live online.


The topic of internationality was at the heart of this year’s opening celebrations and was discussed with regard to the impact of the pandemic. With personal video greetings, our partner universities showed that academic exchange and university life can be upheld despite travel restrictions.


With his keynote speech titled “WE foster networks”, Vice Rector for International Affairs Prof. Dr. Stephan Conermann presented the University’s Internationalization Strategy 2020. In the subsequent panel discussion, Bonn-based English studies specialist Prof. Dr. Irina Dumitrescu, Dr. Dennis Lucy Avilés Irahola from the Center for Development Research and Sredeevi Raghu, student in the Neurosciences master’s degree programs, spoke about their experiences during the pandemic. The event was hosted by Maike Krebber and Florian Barnikel.


In his ceremonial speech, President of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) Prof. Dr. Joybrato Mukherjee talked about changing international relations between universities.


Sander Hartkamp, chairman of the General Students' Committee (AStA), gave insight into the students’ perspective, highlighting challenges posed by the pandemic.


Finally, Rector Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Michael Hoch addressed current developments and prospects for the future. For the coming winter semester, Rector Hoch considers gradually returning to conducting more on-site courses. Along with the faculties and the central administration, the University management has created the necessary conditions for this to happen, he said. But Rector Hoch also pointed to the results of student polls from the end of the summer semester: “A large majority recognizes the benefits of digital elements and the possibilities that they offer."

The excellence strategy

WE are a University of Excellence!

The University of Bonn Internationalization Strategy 2020

Internationalization as a foundational element for an excellent future


University partnerships throughout the world

Universitätsgesellschaft Bonn

friends, sponsors, alumni

The University of Bonn Alumni Network

Not registered yet? Join up!

The International Choir

the new CD “Zuhause”

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