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The questions to professor Tessa Flatten

„Science stands for peaceful cooperation“

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Portrait photo of Tessa Flatten © Benito Barajas​/​TU Dortmund
Tessa Flatten is Vice President International Affairs and Professor for Technology Management at TU Dortmund University.

German academia has reacted clearly and collectively to the attack on Ukraine: Universities and non-university research institutions have emphasized that they stand in full solidarity with Ukraine and that Putin's war cannot be justified by anything. As a result, aid programs for affected students and researchers were launched and scientific collaborations with Russian partners were suspended. Prof. Tessa Flatten, Vice President International Affairs, explains in an interview how TU Dortmund University is reacting to the war and what is important for students and researchers now.

Ms. Flatten, how does TU Dortmund University support its international students who come from the war zone?

Our community on campus does not only include 80 students from Ukraine, but also 150 students from the Russian Federation, who may be particularly affected by the war due to their family background. The staff of the International Office is already in direct personal contact with them. We would now like to offer them rapid assistance and support them in continuing their studies with us. To this end, the International Office is working closely with the relevant authorities. The Association of Friends of TU Dortmund University (Gesellschaft der Freunde, GdF) has set up an aid fund for Ukrainian and Russian students at short notice and is accepting donations for this purpose. Some students need financial help now - for example, to pay their rent and semester contribution when family support is no longer available. The Studierendenwerk Dortmund is also currently setting up special counseling and support services for Ukrainian and Russian students.

Can young people from Ukraine and Russia still come to TU Dortmund University for studies or semesters abroad?

Yes, we would like to welcome people fleeing from the war zone to Germany at our university and offer them prospects for the future. It is still unclear how Ukrainians can continue to come to Dortmund to study. It is questionable whether Ukrainian students who wanted to come to our university through the program Studienbrücke will even be able to complete their school leaving certificate in Ukraine. Here, the DAAD is already working on appropriate support programs. Beyond this, young men cannot leave the country at the moment. Therefore, in the near future, we expect to see mainly young women to whom we can offer a perspective here. Russian students who have already been selected for an exchange are of course welcome at TU Dortmund University. It is important to us that the campus of TU Dortmund University remains a cosmopolitan place where young people from all nations can learn together in peace.

What does it mean for researchers at TU Dortmund University that scientific cooperation with Russia has been suspended for the time being?

Unfortunately, this measure means a considerable restriction in German-Russian scientific cooperation. However, we consider it as unavoidable. The war launched by Putin is a blatant breach of international law. Politicians and science organizations have jointly decided that this cannot remain without consequences. Cooperation with Russian partner institutions has therefore been suspended until further notice. We deeply regret the consequences. At TU Dortmund University, for example, the measure explicitly hits the cooperation of the Department of Physics with its partners in St. Petersburg within the framework of the Collaborative Research Center / Transregio 160. Since 2015, German and Russian physicists have been conducting joint research on tailored semiconductors in this large-scale project. Not only ongoing research collaborations are frozen now, but joint publications of previous results are no longer possible in some cases. In addition to the Transregio, several other collaborations with Russian partners at our university are affected, too. We all hope that academic exchange can be revived in the future. In the sense of scientific diplomacy, it has helped in the past to strengthen international understanding and keep channels open. Therefore, we also encourage researchers from TU Dortmund University to stay in personal contact with their Russian partners and thus show solidarity with those who wish for peace and take a stand against war and disinformation. It was very courageous that hundreds of Russian scientists positioned themselves in an open letter against the war. They are no more part of the conflict than our international students on campus.


Donations are accepted by the Gesell­schaft der Freunde der TU Dort­mund e.V. (Association of Friends of TU Dort­mund Uni­ver­sity) to this account:

IBAN: DE24440400370323444000
Bank: Commerzbank AG
Purpose: Stu­die­ren­den in Ukrainekrise helfen (Helping students in Ukra­i­ne crisis)

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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 South Campus), and from B 1 / A 40 “Dort­mund-Dorstfeld” (closer to North Campus). 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 North Campus to South Campus by car, there is the connection via Vogelpothsweg/Baroper Straße. We recommend you leave your car on one of the parking lots at North Campus 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 15 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”.

The AirportExpress is a fast and convenient means of transport from Dortmund Airport (DTM) to Dortmund Central Station, taking you there in little more than 20 minutes. From Dortmund Central Station, you can continue to the university campus by interurban railway (S-Bahn). A larger range of international flight connections is offered at Düsseldorf Airport (DUS), which is about 60 kilometres away and can be directly reached by S-Bahn from the university station.

The H-Bahn is one of the hallmarks of TU Dort­mund University. There are two stations on North Campus. 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 South Campus) Eichlinghofen. The other station is located at the dining hall at North Campus and offers a direct connection to South Campus every five minutes.

The facilities of TU Dortmund University are spread over two campuses, the larger Campus North and the smaller Campus South. Additionally, some areas of the university are located in the adjacent “Technologiepark”.

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