Germany’s oldest and one of the strongest research institutions Heidelberg University announced New Programmes and Scholarships for Indian students at India International Centre in New Delhi. Prof. Beatrix Busse, Pro Vice Chancellor, Heidelberg University talked about degree programmes, funded Ph.D programmes, concept of free education and other recent achievements at Heidelberg followed by Prof. Axel Michaels, Head, Department of Classical Indology & Head Coordinator, Heidelberg Centre South Asia on the achievements of HCSA centers. Prof. Andreas Kruse, Director, Institute of Gerontology, Heidelberg University talked on the new subject Active Ageing: Vulnerability, Strengths and Developmental Potentials.
Speaking on the new programme, Prof Beatrix Busse, Pro Vice Chancellor, Heidelberg University says, “At Heidelberg we are offering more and more courses and degree programmes in English, especially at the master’s degree level. The doctoral studies are offered entirely in English and are usually funded. Being a government funded university, students normally don’t have to pay tuition fees, and if so, the fees are very low. Bachelor’s degree programmes are tuition-free.”
On scholarships, she further adds, “As an international student with outstanding academic achievement, Indian students stand good chances of receiving a scholarship to finance your studies in Germany. For instance there is an increase of 77.51% Indians with financial support from DAAD since the year 2008. Besides this there are also a number of concessions available to students. For example, the students pay subsidised fee at entertainment and other institutions.”
Germany and India have a long standing tradition of bilateral cooperation and Germany is the 2nd most productive partner in collaborative research with India in S&T research (NISTADS – DFG Report 2011). Germany is the third most popular country for international students after the USA and UK (OECD, Education at a glance, 2013) and International students constitute 11.5% of the total number of students in Germany (Federal Statistical Office - Statistisches Bundesamt).
The number of Indian students in Germany has more than doubled in the past five years and India ranks 3rd in the tally of the top countries of origin of international students, 2nd on the list of the top countries of origin of international students enrolled in Master’s degree programme and 2nd on the list of the top countries of origin of international students enrolled in PhD programmes.
Heidelberg University has a long standing presence in India (since 1962) as South Asia Institute and since 2010, as Heidelberg Centre South Asia (HCSA). By establishing the HCSA, the university seeks to enhance academic cooperation with South Asia beyond the regional studies context to include all faculties of the university. The HCSA coordinates existing research cooperation and exchange of students and faculty between Heidelberg University's faculties and centres and their numerous South Asian partner institutions, facilitates the initiation of new cooperative endeavours, joint events, councils students from South Asia and Heidelberg who plan to study abroad, assists faculty in the assessment and recruitment of applicants, showcases excellence in research and teaching at Heidelberg University, and builds sustainable networks. It is part of the network of European research institutions in South Asia.
HCSA is a Consortium Member of The German House for Research and Innovation (DWIH) New Delhi. DWIH is the result of increasing cooperation between German and Indian academic and scientific communities.
4th Heidelberg Lecture on Active Ageing by Prof Andreas Kruse
Every year Heidelberg University organises a ‘High Profile Scientific Lecture’- ‘The Heidelberg Lecture’ in India to showcase research areas and associated strengths at Heidelberg. The talk is delivered by an eminent scientist from Heidelberg and care is taken to maintain a balance by inviting social and natural scientists alternately. These events witness relatively strong turnouts of students, scientists, researchers from universities, research institutes, national research institutes, corporate world, decision makers, government bodies and professionals. The event attracts media attention and is covered in print and electronic media.
These scientific lectures are successful in creating a platform for ‘Indo-German’ dialogue and in identifying research collaboration and exchange areas between India and Germany. There is also a lot of industrial significance and potential for fruitful collaboration between Industry and Academia in this area. While the focus so far was more on academia, we feel that it will be very appropriate to engage the industrial partners and are very confident that there is a great scope for mutually rewarding collaborations between Industry and academia and therefore we are very much interested to expand and strengthen ties with industrial partners.
We do believe that the scientists at Heidelberg have outstanding domain expertise and their engagement with India may usher new collaborations of fundamental and commercial importance. Thus, we plan to have a brain storming session, involving academicians, industrial partners and experts.
In year 2015 the lecture is on ‘Active Ageing’ and would be delivered by the renowned scientist and researcher, Prof. Andreas Kruse. Active Ageing is a relevant topic in today’s world, especially in India with a sizable proportion of elderly population. With the increase in life expectancy, the ageing population is becoming a crucial challenge for the years to come. Building an inclusive society and improving quality of life of elderly population could be the key strategy for active ageing.
Contemporary Images of Age and Ageing: Vulnerability, Strengths and Developmental Potentials
Population ageing does not necessarily imply inevitable decreases in societies’ competitiveness or decreases in intergenerational solidarity. However, current demographic change contributes to an increasing societal (and also scientific) interest in possible contributions of older generations to development and cohesion of society. The respective question is approached from both an individual and a societal perspective, referring to actual and future resources and potentials of older people as well as to societal preconditions which have to be fulfilled for developing, expanding, and realizing potentials of older people. We elucidate a comprehensive understanding of old age considering increased vulnerability as well as specific strengths and developmental potentials as reflected e.g. in introversion, openness, and generatively. Moreover, we present evidence from different spheres of society for the hypothesis of a strong correlation between social images of old age and ageing which one-sidedly accentuate deficits and decline and a limited range of opportunities for older people to establish and maintain continuity and self-worth by engaging in meaningful roles, thereby realizing potentials to lead a life in self- and joint-responsibility to the benefit of both older people themselves and society as a whole.
· In 2000, the global population of people aged 60 and over was 600 million; by 2025 there will be 1.2 billion and, by 2050, almost 2 billion.
· The proportion of the global population aged 60 will double from 11% in 2006 to 22% by 2050.
· Older people play a crucial role in communities - in paid or volunteering work, transmitting experience and knowledge, or helping their families with caring responsibilities. These contributions can only be ensured if older persons enjoy good health and if societies address their needs.
· Making cities age-friendly is one of the most effective policy approaches for responding to demographic ageing.