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University President Prof. Lehmann visits Oman and the Emirates

Time and again, Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Jürgen Lehmann regularly accompanies official delegation visits from the Free State of Bavaria. The most recent destinations were Oman and the United Arab Emirates. “Campuls-digital” was able to speak briefly with the university president about this.

Extensive talks with business representatives and politicians were on the agenda of the Bavarian business delegation in the United Arab Emirates; picture: Lena Beutlrock;

Mr. President, you regularly accompany delegations from the Free State of Bavaria to economically emerging countries. What are the main benefits for the university – especially with regard to our development prospects?

“The delegation trips with the Ministry of Economic Affairs are particularly interesting for our university because they often deal with topics that are of interest for research projects – both with the fellow travelers and with local companies. At the same time, universities are always visited with which cooperation can be explored. Participation consists above all in the opportunities to network further internationally and thus also to make the relationships of both the university and the economy more diverse.”

The last trip was to Oman and the United Arab Emirates. What topics were the focus of the talks?

“During the trip to Oman and the United Arab Emirates, the focus was primarily on hydrogen, secondary raw materials (waste) and, above all, water – in other words, the specific focus of our research institutes. Furthermore, the participating companies very often travel to areas that are of interest to them and thus indirectly also for university cooperation.”

Visiting the German Embassy in Abu Dhabi; picture: Lena Beutlrock;

What impression did you gain from the discussions?

“The industrial and political representatives of these countries are very self-confident and show that, although they are happy to cooperate, they do not allow conditions to be dictated to them. The topic of hydrogen in particular is often discussed in terms of relocating production to their countries rather than transporting the hydrogen at great expense. However, this does not change the fact that Oman in particular, with its 2040 plan for the future, has identified interesting cooperation opportunities for our university.”

How is the technological development on site compared to German conditions?

“Technological development is very good across the board – whether it’s digital structures or other infrastructure. You can clearly feel that a lot of money is being invested here. Of course, this only applies to the major centers.”

The German University of Technology is a private university in Oman with a strong connection to Germany. Together with RWTH Aachen University and the private sponsor Oman Educational Services, the DAAD has set up the Transnational Education Project on the Arabian Peninsula; photo: Lena Beutlrock;

Delegation trips should not be seen as pleasure trips with an info component – the schedules are quite demanding, aren’t they?

“No. In fact, delegation trips are exhausting. Arrivals and departures often take place at night and the very short sleeping times are often combined with an immediate start to the talks after arrival. As a rule, appointments then take place from 8 a.m. and end at 11 p.m. – you usually see very little of the country itself. In the end, however, it’s the often very positive results that count.”

Rainer Krauß

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