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Driving Force for Internationalization: The Association of Friends of TU Dort­mund University Celebrates it 60th Anniversary

  • Campus & Culture
Group photo in front of a red building © Oliver Schaper
Wulf-Christian Ehrich (managing director of GdF), Heinz-Herbert Dustmann (president of IHK), Prof. Dr. Ursula Gather (Rector of TU Dort­mund University), Guido Baranowski (Chairman of GdF), Dr. Andreas Lewandowski (GF Comnovo GmbH) and Johann Jaeger (GdF board member).

The Association of Friends of TU Dort­mund University (GdF) celebrated its 60th anniversary on October 9th with a ceremony in the International Meeting Center (IBZ). As one of the few funding associations that was founded before the actual existence of a university, the GdF contributed significantly to the creation of today’s university. The leading personalities from economics and science of the 1950s and 60s, such as Hoesch board member Dr. Willy Ochel, steel construction entrepreneur Günter Jucho or the later founding rector Professor Martin Schmeißer convinced the policymakers in the state government of the necessity for a technical university in Dort­mund.

“Of course, we appreciate this pioneering period and the many milestones up to the present day. However, the venue of our event was not chosen by chance. The construction of the IBZ nine years ago, which we initiated and supported to a large extent, was a prominent milestone, physical proof of TU Dort­mund University’s successful leap into internationality. We want to continue to drive this development forward in the future,” said Guido Baranowski, chairman of the Executive Board of the Association of Friends of TU Dort­mund University.

Over the past ten years, the number of foreign students and professors, guest researchers and in­ter­na­tio­nal events has risen steadily. The GdF participates in this process by actively supporting numerous projects with an in­ter­na­tio­nal, academic focus. Among other things, the GdF and its strong partners have launched the International Career Fair, which brings companies together with foreign students. “Business, science, politics and administration – the attractiveness of our location is close to the hearts of all those involved. We all want the highly qualified next generation to remain with us. It not only makes our companies more competitive, but also greatly enriches our society,” said Wulf-Christian Ehrich, chairman of the GdF. “This is why we must jointly maintain this momentum with our support. We can do this with future-oriented topics such as ‘artificial intelligence’. In many areas, we have to face up to in­ter­na­tio­nal competition. The key is to think ahead.”

Dr. Georg Kottmann, one of the longest-serving members of the GdF with 25 years of membership, is also aware of the increasing importance of internationality: “In the course of globalization, science and research also network worldwide. Therefore, in­ter­na­tio­nal contacts are of enormous importance for TU Dort­mund University in order to remain competitive and fit for the future.” Just as important is the networking of the university on a national level and in the region.

The GdF believes that it is well positioned for the challenges ahead. The many individual memberships are a decisive reason – they are extremely valuable. The structural change has also given society a multiple based economy with an extraordinarily well-situated middle class. “We are committed to fundamentally developing the network of members. In particular, we want to offer those who have studied here prospects in the region and bind them more closely to the GdF,” said Baranowski. This means bringing young people into entrepreneurship with targeted programs such as the innovation laboratory supported by the GdF.

Furthermore, the GdF Executive Board hopes that the state government will also provide greater support in this regard. In particular, the financial resources of the universities in general, but especially of TU Dort­mund University, should be better than they currently are. This is the only way to develop the full potential of Dort­mund/NRW as a top science and business location. After all, science is the source of value creation.

About the GdF:

The Association of Friends of TU Dort­mund University (GdF) was founded on February 10, 1958 by the Dort­mund Chamber of Industry and Commerce. Its aim was to promote the establishment of a “Technical University" in Dort­mund. Its first chairman was Dr. Friedrich Stiegler, president of the Chamber of Industry and Commerce (IHK) and former CEO of the energy supplier VEW. From a merger of initially 50 leading personalities from science, business and politics, a support association grew, which today has around 500 members. The GdF supports the projects and activities of TU Dort­mund University in a variety of ways. These include the operation of the guest house, the annual awarding of prizes to the best students, the construction of the International Meeting Center and the support of scientific congresses and in­ter­na­tio­nal exchange. Guido Baranowski has been chairman of the GdF since 2016. Honorary chairman is Professor Bodo Weidlich.

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Location & approach

The campus of TU Dort­mund University is located close to interstate junction Dort­mund West, where the Sauerlandlinie A 45 (Frankfurt-Dort­mund) crosses the Ruhrschnellweg B 1 / A 40. The best interstate exit to take from A 45 is "Dort­mund-Eichlinghofen" (closer to Campus Süd), and from B 1 / A 40 "Dort­mund-Dorstfeld" (closer to Campus Nord). Signs for the university are located at both exits. Also, there is a new exit before you pass over the B 1-bridge leading into Dort­mund.

To get from Campus Nord to Campus Süd by car, there is the connection via Vogelpothsweg/Baroper Straße. We recommend you leave your car on one of the parking lots at Campus Nord and use the H-Bahn (suspended monorail system), which conveniently connects the two campuses.

TU Dort­mund University has its own train station ("Dort­mund Universität"). From there, suburban trains (S-Bahn) leave for Dort­mund main station ("Dort­mund Hauptbahnhof") and Düsseldorf main station via the "Düsseldorf Airport Train Station" (take S-Bahn number 1, which leaves every 20 or 30 minutes). The university is easily reached from Bochum, Essen, Mülheim an der Ruhr and Duisburg.

You can also take the bus or subway train from Dort­mund city to the university: From Dort­mund main station, you can take any train bound for the Station "Stadtgarten", usually lines U41, U45, U 47 and U49. At "Stadtgarten" you switch trains and get on line U42 towards "Hombruch". Look out for the Station "An der Palmweide". From the bus stop just across the road, busses bound for TU Dort­mund University leave every ten minutes (445, 447 and 462). Another option is to take the subway routes U41, U45, U47 and U49 from Dort­mund main station to the stop "Dort­mund Kampstraße". From there, take U43 or U44 to the stop "Dort­mund Wittener Straße". Switch to bus line 447 and get off at "Dort­mund Universität S".

Dort­mund Airport offers flights to several destinations in Central Europe. There are regular connections to Katowice, Kraków, London and Munich. For the approximately 20km-trip from Dort­mund Airport to TU Dort­mund University, you can use a shuttle bus to the railway Station "Bahnhof Holzwickede", from which trains depart to Dort­mund main station (please visit Verkehrsverbund Rhein-Ruhr for more information). Normally, the fastest way is to catch a taxi at Dort­mund Airport.

The H-Bahn is one of the hallmarks of TU Dort­mund University. There are two stations on Campus Nord. One ("Dort­mund Universität S") is directly located at the suburban train stop, which connects the university directly with the city of Dort­mund and the rest of the Ruhr Area. Also from this station, there are connections to the "Technologiepark" and (via Campus Süd) Eichlinghofen. The other station is located at the dining hall at Campus Nord and offers a direct connection to Campus Süd every five minutes.