The spotlight at the first Open Day of the Rhine-Main Universities was on celebrating what the alliance has achieved to date, on how to extend the network and proposals for the next phases of collaboration in research and studies, teaching and administration. More than 250 members of the three universities as well as representatives from the political sphere took the opportunity to attend talks, poster sessions and roundtables at the event hosted by Goethe University Frankfurt. One highlight was the panel discussion involving the university presidents, the Minister of Science for the State of Hessen, Angela Dorn, and her Rhineland-Palatinate counterpart, Prof. Konrad Wolf. The main points made during the discussion were as follows.
Prof. Birgitta Wolff, President of Goethe University Frankfurt:
"The primary task of the alliance is to work together to address major societal challenges."
"Our strength is diversity combined with reciprocal expertise. We complement each other perfectly, and that across state borders."
"The core intention of the RMU was and is to make the three universities better."
Prof. Hans Juergen Prömel, President of TU Darmstadt:
"Our three universities operate as equal partners and have a shared outlook. We represent an excellent example of how scholarship and research can transcend borders with the support of the policymakers of two German states."
"Creating added value is the raison d’etre of our alliance. If in the next six years the RMU continues to develop as positively as it has up to now, then there's every chance of success in the next round of the Excellence Initiative."
Prof. Georg Krausch, President of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz:
"Joining forces as we have was bound to be crowned with success. The Rhine-Main Neuroscience Network is an outstanding example of this."
"Our mission is to enable. We consider it our task to put in place platforms to facilitate cooperation between researchers. The 49 applications submitted in connection with the latest round of the Initiative Funding for Research alone demonstrate the enormous potential that exists within the RMU."
"The joint study concept that we want to launch next year is our biggest challenge so far - students will only need to enroll at one of our universities and pay the semester fees and thereafter they will be able to attend courses at all three of our institutes of higher education.”
Angela Dorn, Minister of Science for the State of Hessen:
"Collaboration gives us the opportunity to progress more rapidly. There is no doubt the approach taken by the alliance is the correct one. And there are remarkable things being done in the fields of Medical Technology and African Studies.”
"I think this form of cooperation will also enable us to take advantage of potential synergies when it comes to administration."
"If we look back in ten years’ time and then see a high level of identification with and sense of belonging to the RMU then we will have achieved a lot."
Prof. Konrad Wolf, Rhineland-Palatinate Minister of Science:
“I think it’s welcome and important the way that these three universities have made this region into an academic powerhouse.”
"By 2029, I imagine the RMU will be like a system consisting of three circles with intersecting parts - three universities, each with their own individual remarkable profiles but at the same time, maintaining close connections with each other."