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Bringing neighbours together: Joint course with University of West Bohemia in Pilsen

Covid19 brings together Hof University of Applied Sciences and the University of West Bohemia in Pilsen. Both educational institutions will offer a joint course for their students for the first time from October to January 2022. As part of a market research project, mixed German-Czech groups will investigate the perception of the impact of Covid-19 measures on life in the Czech-Bavarian border region. Intercultural skills are also on the curriculum.

The University of West Bohemia in Pilsen; source

The start of the winter semester, which is currently beginning, means that the two university lecturers from Hof, Tina Wiegand and Martin Lochmüller, are taking a deep breath: far more than half a year of preparation for the joint teaching units will then be behind them: “That was an extremely intensive phase with several project meetings with the Czech professors, which took place in Pilsen, Hof and Eger – a time in which many organizational and technical questions had to be clarified in countless telephone calls and e-mails,” says Martin Lochmüller, lecturer for marketing at Hof University. But the work was successful: For the first time, Hof University of Applied Sciences will offer its students from the master’s programs “Marketing Management” and “Human Resources and Work” a joint course with Czech students from the University of West Bohemia in Pilsen.

Current research topic

The topic is very topical

Our goal is to find out how the pandemic changed life in the Bavarian-Bohemian border region.”

Tina Wiegand

In mixed German-Czech teams, various individual aspects are being investigated – for example, the Corona impact on digitalization, human resources, logistics processes or marketing. And along the way, the students acquire intercultural skills, learn how their respective neighbors “tick” and what their respective attitudes are.

f.l.t.r.: Simon Steudtel (research associate), RNDr. Jiří Preis, Doc. PaedDr. Jaroslav Dokoupil, , Marcin Czaban (research associate) Tina Wiegand, Martin Lochmüller (both lecturers at Hof University of Applied Sciences). ; Image: Hof University of Applied Sciences

Czech language course in preparation

“Even if the common language in the course is English, it doesn’t hurt for the participants to acquire at least a little Czech,” is the tip of the two lecturers. In the run-up to the semester, Hof University of Applied Sciences therefore offers a crash course in “Czech for survival” for those involved. Finally, the kick-off meeting is already scheduled for the first week of the winter semester. For three days it goes on 6 October to Pilsen. There, the participants will get to know each other for the first time. After the formation of the working groups, they will immediately start working on their tasks.

Visiting program in Pilsen

Of course, there will be time to get to know the fourth largest city in the Czech Republic after the “work” is done. A visit to a coworking center and the “Plzeňský Prazdroj” – where the Pilsener Urquell is brewed – are on the extended program.

Company visits between Cheb and the Fichtel Mountains

A second excursion at the beginning of November will then take the students for four days to the border region between Cheb and the Fichtel Mountains. Several companies will be visited on both the Czech and German sides. Among other things, an exchange of experiences is planned with the German market leader in e-bikes, CUBE, and the Leupoldt/PEMA company in Weißenstadt, a manufacturer of whole grain specialties and gingerbread. The excursion will end with a workshop in the digital start-up center Einstein 1 at the university. The joint course will then be concluded in January 2022 with a plenary event at the “Centrum Bavaria Bohemia” in Schönsee near Weiden. There, the results will be presented and discussed.

Funding by Euregio Egrensis

The joint course is supported and promoted by the Euregio Egrensis with funds from the program ETZ Free State of Bavaria – Czech Republic and the European Fund for Regional Development.

Martin Lochmüller
Rainer Krauß

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