German ambassador visits University today
Press release issued: 5 November 2009
Today [5 November], just four days before the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, the German ambassador to London, Georg Boomgaarden, will visit the University, where will be given a guided tour of the School of Modern Languages new state-of-the-art multi-media centre.
Today [5 November], just four days before the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, the German ambassador to London, Georg Boomgaarden, will visit the University.
He will be given a guided tour of the School of Modern Languages new state-of-the-art multi-media centre, meet students who are training to teach German in schools, and also meet German students who have come to study in Bristol under the Erasmus placement programme.
While in Bristol, the ambassador will also give a talk as guest of honour at the annual dinner of the Bristol Anglo-German Society (BAGS).
The Department of German offers single and joint honours degrees and is one of the most popular German departments in the country, with some 380 applications for 60 places. Good news given fears expressed in a recent review of modern-language provision by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) that concludes that England is in danger of becoming one of the most monolingual countries in the world, which has harmful implications for its place in the global economy and makes it less attractive to investors and academics as a research hub.
Recent German graduates from Bristol on the other hand have gone on to have careers in areas as diverse as banking and finance, national and international civil services, industry, journalism, policing and the armed forces, teaching, translating and interpreting, and travel and tourism.
Roz Thomson, who has just returned from her year abroad in Germany, working in an academic publishing house, then studying at Humboldt University, recounts her experiences:
'Berlin has to be one of the most exciting and progressive cities in Europe. With a turbulent yet fascinating history, dynamic cultural scene and a truly diverse population, I became really attached to its unique character. The creativity, spontaneity and sheer energy of the German capital instantly appealed to me, but it was the fact that I was there as an “insider”; as someone working, studying and living with the very people who form the soul of the city, that made my experience of Berlin so memorable. I would love to have the opportunity to go back there and do it all again!'The German theme continues apace with the University scooping a prestigious German award. It has just been awarded ‘excellence ranking’ by Germany’s Centre for Higher Education Development (CHE), an independent institution that reviews university departments in 20 European countries to find the best European university research facilities for postgraduate students.
Bristol was one of only 11 UK universities to achieve excellence in all three disciplines assessed this year (economics, politics and psychology), thanks to what CHE described as its ‘outstanding achievements in citations and publications’.
- 2009 is the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall and the 60th anniversary of the founding of the Federal Republic of Germany.
- Ambassador Georg Boomgaarden has been ambassador to London since July 2008. He previously held diplomatic posts in Russia, Spain and South America.