Connecting Science & Society is the need of the hour
Established in the year 1831, Leibniz University Hannover is a Public University located at Germany. Part of the prestigious TU9 (Alliance of 9 leading technical Universities in Germany), Leibniz University Hannover is known for its strong research, academic delivery & diversity.
In a free-wheeling chat during his visit to VIT with S. Sudarshan, Prof. Dr. Volker Epping, the President of the prestigious Leibniz University Hannover shares his experience on topics ranging from internationalisation of education to the importance of inter-disciplinary learning in engineering education and finally leaves a message to our students.
Leibniz University Hannover is a renowned TU9 University. Can you tell more about the University?
We have a long tradition in Engineering, NaturalSciences & Humanities. We are strong in the areas of Engineering & technology, more so in Production Engineering, Mechanical Engineering and Physics. Study on Optics & Bio-Medical Engineering has been our speciality. We are constantly working on connecting Science & Society which is the needof the hour.
Internationalization of Education has been a huge challenge especially for Universities in India & Germany. VIT works with over 400 Universities across the globe on Student/Faculty Exchange Programmes. How importance is Internationalization of Education?
It is very essential because when you see the questions & challenges that the World is facing, theanswers come from the scientists who collaborate. When we collaborate, we learn about the cultureof other lands. With the view of science, we do something for the peace of the World. Therefore internationalization of education is very very important.
As a University, VIT is known for its interdisciplinary learning approach. Have the German Universities started to adopt inter-disciplinary learning as a part of the curriculum?
Yes, German Universities have taken up interdisciplinary learning seriously. On one hand, you have to be strong in your discipline (Core). However the solution to the problems that the society faces can be solved only when all the disciplines come together and therefore we must be open minded to adopt interdisciplinary education.
Often we have one methodology in one form of science and a different methodology in another formof Science. When you mix it and when see what each branch of Science can bring in, it is wonderful.
The researchers need to talk among themselves. If the problem in the society has to be solved, the researchers across disciplines talk among themselves and come together.
How strategic is your association with VIT?
VIT is a key strategic partner for Leibniz. Our association goes a long way and we have seen the students, researchers, faculty and the society benefitting immensely out of this association, mutually.
When our association started with VIT, the focus was on teaching. However, the focus has now diversified in to teaching & research. It is wonderful to see VIT doing very well in the World and it is possible only because of the Research and your visionary Chancellor Dr. G. Viswanathan.
VIT is a natural ally for Leibniz as I see a lot of synergy between both the institutions. It is necessary that we need to come together at all levels for the change that we aspire to make.
This is your maiden visit to VIT. Can you share your experiences about VIT?
First of all, I am very happy to be here at VIT. It is a wonderful green campus, full of life. The campus provides great platform for the researchers and students. Not to forget the hospitality. The hospitalityat VIT has been phenomenal. It showcased the hospitality of India.
Finally, what is the message that you would like to leave to our students?
Be Open Minded & Critical. Go out. The World is all yours