Julius-Maximilians-Universität of Würzburg (JMU) has been a centre for intensive, internationally renowned research on Africa and with African partners for many years. The Forum Africa Centre bundles these research cooperations – and helps to strengthen the Africa competence in Bavaria through the membership in the Bavarian Research Institute for African Studies (BRIAS). In addition, JMU is one of the universities with the highest proportion of African and Arab students. This reflects the University of Würzburg's long-standing commitment to this region.
The Forum Africa Centre (Forum Afrikazentrum, FAZ) is an association of JMU researchers who have been working closely with partners in Africa for many years. Our goal is to network this research and cooperation, and to make it better known to the public. In doing so, the Forum Africa Centre also provides an insight into the cultural and scientific landscapes of African countries. In addition to a lecture series in the Toscana Hall of the Würzburg Residence and the university tent at the Africa Festival, the work of the Centre takes place primarily on an institutional level: The organization of conferences as well as joint publications and project proposals are proof of the success of the association, which includes members from all ten faculties.
The working group Young Africa Centre (Junges Afrikazentrum, JAZ) within the Forum Africa Centre of the University of Würzburg serves as a platform for all students, doctoral students as well as members of faculty interested in Africa. The working group promotes interdisciplinary scientific exchange among young scholars through the publication of a paper series and other book publications. In addition, the JAZ also organizes scientific conferences, symposia, lectures, and discussion groups in order to integrate young scholars into the academic discourse on Africa.
The Forum Africa Centre is part of the Bavarian Research Institute for African Studies BRIAS. BRIAS was founded in 2014 following a resolution of the Bavarian Parliament. The institute emerged from a cooperation agreement between the University of Würzburg and the University of Bayreuth, the Ingolstadt University of Technology and the Neu-Ulm University of Applied Sciences. The aim of the multidisciplinary platform is to bundle competencies in Bavaria in the field of African research and to strengthen university cooperation with African partners. In addition, BRIAS aims to network the scientific locations in Würzburg, Bayreuth, Ingolstadt and Neu-Ulm more closely through the development of joint research projects, inter-university learning modules and the establishment of contacts with African universities.
The Service Centre InterNational Transfer (SINT) of Julius-Maximilians-Universität of Würzburg is responsible for the support of students from abroad. It is also the contact point for JMU students to go abroad for one to three semesters.
Support for African students
The SINT supports and advises students from Africa who either want to complete their entire studies in Würzburg or come to JMU for part of their studies in order to gain new professional experience. The SINT offers assistance in coping with the major challenges of a stay abroad. This includes offers for social integration or the mediation of professional as well as linguistic preparation offers.
About 50 trained students help as SIA tutors with formal challenges such as enrollment or dealing with authorities. The SINT also awards scholarships, some of them specifically for high-achieving African students and those in need. According to surveys by the German government, JMU is one of the universities with the highest proportion of African and Arab students in the country in the total percentage of its foreign students.
Würzburg Students in Egypt, South Africa or Tanzania
The SINT is also a contact point for JMU students to go abroad for one to three semesters. The venture of a stay abroad promotes numerous skills that are in demand on the job market, such as creativity, communication skills or independent work.
However, the most important aspect is in-depth academic studying – by getting to know other approaches, curricula or methods. Even though Europe and other countries with high educational and research standards are the main focus of activities, there are also numerous opportunities for students to deepen and broaden their educational focus through a stay in Africa. The SINT acquires funding programs from the Free State of Bavaria, the Federal Government and the EU in order to support the students financially. Most students go to selected partner universities in Egypt, South Africa and Tanzania.