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Coimbra Group

The Julius-Maximilians-University is an active member of the Coimbra Group.

The Coimbra Group is an association of long-established, comprehensive, multidisciplinary universities of high academic standard committed to creating special academic and cultural ties in order to promote, for the benefits of its members, internationalisation, academic collaboration, excellence in learning and research, and service to society. It is also the purpose of the Group to influence European education and research policy and to develop best practice through the mutual exchange of experience. The network currently consists of 39 elite universities in Europe.

The Coimbra Group also offers an exceptional exchange program for students of its university members. This exchange program has occasionally been described as the preceding model of Erasmus. For more information about the exchange program: Coimbra Group Student Exchange Network.

The University of Würzburg is the longest-standing university in Bavaria, and the only Bavarian member in the Coimbra-Group. We are an active participant in meetings and events. The University of Würzburg has representatives in each of the Coimbra-Group's 11 Working Groups.


Working Group Representatives at the University of Würzburg

1. Life Sciences
Dr. Alois Palmetshofer (Chair)
Dr. Joachim Nickel (Deputy)

This group aims to globalize study programs, develop strategies to promote scientific careers, increase awareness and interest in scientific research, and facilitate the exchange of students, teachers, infrastructure, equipment, and technologies in the life sciences.

2. Research Support Officers
Dr. Anne von Thun, Dr. Andreas Nöth
The Working Group focuses on sharing best practices of research management and research support, training on research-related programmes and policies, enhancing collaboration in research projects, exchanging information, and in informing and influencing policy debate on research-related matters and EU funding programmes.

3. Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)
Dr. Francesco de Anna
Raquel Steinhaus (Deputy)

The STEM Working Group promotes and supports an increased cooperation among Coimbra Group universities in STEM related fields in order to coordinate or set up highly competitive study programmes and research, to contribute to high-level policy seminars and joint events, to disseminate STEM research among wider audiences, to share good practices, especially attracting young people to STEM fields, to promote interdisciplinary research, etc.

4. Social Sciences and Humanities
Prof. Dr. Zeno Ackermann
This Working Group is determined to strengthen and promote the research possibilities of the member universities, reflect on the role of discipline-based education vs. interdisciplinary education, as well as lobby for the position of the group to attract public attention to the importance and usefulness of the Social Sciences and Humanities.

5. Academic Exchange and Mobility
Florian Evenbye
Susanne Hermann

The AEM strives to:

  • exchange experience among member institutions
  • increase level of academic exchange (students, scholars and administrative staff) amongst Coimbra Group universities
  • advise the Coimbra Group Executive Board on possible actions to be taken to influence the development of European educational programmes with mobility components
  • develop joint projects aimed at improving quality of mobility, assuring safety and security in mobility as well as implementation of new schemes and tools supporting mobility

6. Doctoral Studies
Dr. Stephan Schröder-Köhne
Christian Baumann (Deputy)

The main goal of the working group on Doctoral Studies is on an exchange of information, sharing of best and innovative practice and joint activities of Coimbra Group Universities in the organization of doctoral studies and of early research careers.

7. Education Innovation
Sabine Mewis
Christian Baumann (Deputy)

The working group has identified a central importance of developing Education Innovations in various forms in the pursuit of enhanced teaching and learning.  The group develops its actions around exchanges of experiences, best practices and also organises seminars on different issues pertaining to enhanced teaching and learning activities. In addition, the group proposes or contributes to policy documents on higher education issues.

8. Employability
Dr. Annette Retsch (Vice Chair)
There is increased concern in European universities – also expressed by stakeholders – that graduates should be well prepared for a rapidly changing and evolving society and employment market. Growing emphasis on the generic and entrepreneurial competences and lifelong learning abilities required of the highly qualified critical citizen of the 21st century have led our universities to include programmes for the acquisition of these skills during and alongside degree programmes in all three cycles.

9. Global Partnerships
Prof. Dr. Doris Fischer 
The global social responsibility of universities requires their active engagement with development issues and challenges. The working group aims to increase such engagements through the pooling of expertise and through the coordination of actions targeted towards a most effective response to major cooperation challenges and a fruitful relation with main the development agencies such as the EU and other international and national organizations.

10. Heritage
Dr. Marcus Holtz
This group aims to bring together researchers and practitioners working the area of cultural heritage across the Coimbra Group institutions to:

  • Better understand the unique role of heritage and the contribution it can make to the work and culture of Universities and the wider community
  • Identify where the membership of the Coimbra Group institutions can make a distinctive contribution to the wider discussion of heritage related issues

11. Latin America
Dr. Peter Mainka
Dr. Thomas Kestler (Deputy)

One of the main purposes of this working group is to increase the relevance of the CG in the EU-LAC cooperation, analyzing new trends and informing the CG universities about new opportunities.
Being conscious of the specificities of LA Higher Education institutions, the working group seeks to reinforce its cooperation with relevant networks in LA.

12. Equality and Diversity
Prof. Dr. Barış Kabak
Dr. Isabel Fraas (Deputy)

The Working Group, which was newly established in 2020, deals with topics such as equality, diversity, equal opportunities or integration and a welcoming culture.