Since 2019, the Centre for Innovative Energy Systems (ZIES) has been cooperating with four Ghanaian partner universities, Koforidua Technical University (KTU), Cape Coast Technical University (CCTU), University of Cape Coast (UCT) and Takoradi Technical University (TTU), in an ERASMUS project "Establishing a Centre for Renewable Energy". ERASMUS promotes individual mobility through scholarships for students from Ghana and travel and accommodation costs for teachers and staff to visit the respective partner country.
Since the beginning of the cooperation, a total of 12 students from Ghana have spent a semester studying renewable energies at the Department of Mechanical and Process Engineering. A third cohort is expected for the summer semester 2023. Likewise, a total of 12 lecturers and managers from International Offices visited the HSD in June 2022. Now it was time to pay a return visit and so Dr Monika Katz, Head of the International Office, Bliss Ayertey and Sophie Hamann, who supervise the students from Ghana, planned a delegation trip.
Parallel to the ERASMUS project, the cooperation was supported thanks to a BMBF-funded project entitled "REEF - Renewable Energy Education Framework". It enabled ZIES staff members, Dr Philipp Riegebauer, Fabian Ille, Rada Ille and Marius Wohlfahrtstätter, to spend longer research periods as well as to purchase material resources for the establishment of the Renewable Energy Centre and to equip the universities with teaching materials and experimental kits. Two students funded through the "ASA - Hochschule" programme of the "Engagement Global" organisation contributed in 2022.
The time for the trip, the last week in November, was well chosen, because on 30.11.2022 the "Summer School" took place in Koforidua, the preliminary highlight of the cooperation so far. A total of 60 students and teachers from the four partner universities, CCTU, UCC, TTU and, of course, the host KTU had gathered on campus. After a ceremony in the large auditorium of KTU, which was framed by a dance performance, teachers and students presented the results of joint workshops. After the lunch break, a market of opportunities was opened with information stands, where the HSD also presented itself. The day ended in a big celebration with Ghanaian specialities on the large square in front of the rectorate building.
The visits to the four partner universities focused on the continuation of the cooperation in the coming years, the preparation of the follow-up application in the ERASMUS programme, the signing of the contracts for the new ERASMUS round until 2027, changes in the ERASMUS programme, improvements in administrative procedures. The meetings were cordial and there was a lot to talk about - and not just business: Together with our colleagues, we supported the Ghanaian football team at the 2022 World Cup!