Cooperation of the DHBW Lörrach with Botho University Botswana starts with digital kick-off
The Kick-off for a new cooperation project between the Tourism Department, DHBW Lörrach, and Botho University Botswana involving an educational partnership in sustainable tourism was successfully completed at the end of November. In a one-hour video conference, the project leaders from Lörrach and Botswana presented the contents and framework of the project.
"Developing a Technology Integrated Module for Sustainable Tourism Education: Synergizing Expertise from Botswana and Germany" is part of the Baden-Württemberg-STIPENDIUM for University Students – BWS plus, a program of the Baden-Württemberg Stiftung. The project is financed with a sum of 130,000 Euros over three years - from November 2020 to June 2023. In the context of an educational partnership and the transfer of knowledge in the field of sustainable tourism, this project is based on the close cooperation with Botho University in Botswana, especially with the Faculty of Hospitality and Sustainable Tourism. In Lörrach, Prof. Dr. Wendy Fehlner and Prof. Dr. Valentin Weislämle from the Tourism Department are responsible for the project, in Botswana the Dean of the Faculty, Dr. Oliver Chikuta.
This project aims to draw on the expertise of Botho University (Botswana) and DHBW Lörrach to create joint, market-relevant curriculum content for sustainable tourism education. The teaching module developed in the process of the project will become an integral part of the tourism curricula in both countries, will use innovative digital technologies and will include work on real tourism projects in Botswana.
To accomplish the project, regular visits by lecturers, staff of the International Offices and students of both universities are planned. During these visits, in addition to intercultural and language training, faculty workshops on curriculum development will be held. Furthermore, meetings of the project leaders of the respective universities will take place in order to coordinate the long-term financing and logistics for students. The integration of a cooperative local tourism project into the lecture program will facilitate the transfer from theory to practice. In the long term, it is planned that students from both universities attend joint online lectures based on the blended learning concept which will be taught by lecturers from both universities.
The BWS plus project fits very well into the strategic orientation of both universities. The DHBW Tourism Department has been active in the field of sustainable tourism for quite a while and has already initiated several successful projects with other international universities, especially in Afrika. Botho University also has a strong focus on sustainability. In addition, promoting the employability of graduates plays an increasingly important role and will be achieved through a closer cooperation with the local economy. As is well known, cooperation with companies is also central to the study model of the Baden-Wuerttemberg Cooperative State University.
Around 40 representatives of both universities, the Baden-Württemberg Foundation and the Botswana Tourism Organization participated in the Kick-off video conference of the project. All were impressed by the promising project.
On behalf of the Baden-Württemberg Stiftung, Amy Yin welcomed the participants and emphasized that the aim of the BWS plus program, is to promote new and stronger partnerships between Baden-Württemberg universities and universities abroad.
Prof. Dr. Theodor Sproll, Rector of the DHBW Lörrach, sees the project as a further, important building block in the implementation of the strategy to promote international education in sustainable tourism.
The Vice Chancellor of Botho University, Dr. Sheela Rajaram, emphasized the congruence of both universities with regard to sustainability and the practice-oriented education of students. She pointed out the beautiful landscapes of her country in which there are many opportunities for sustainable tourism projects and summed up by saying: "This new partnership is like making new friends: you share your enthusiasm for the same things and act according to the same values".
With a slight delay due to the pandemic, the first visit of a Botswana delegation to Lörrach is planned for the early summer of 2021 in order to get the first concepts underway.
© DHBW Lörrach
The Baden-Württemberg-STIPENDIUM supports the international exchange of students and vocationally qualified people. Since 2001, it has enabled more than 25,000 young people from Baden-Württemberg to gain experience abroad and allowed scholarship holders from other countries to visit Baden-Württemberg. Approximately 1,500 young people receive a Baden-Württemberg-STIPENDIUM each year.
Baden-Württemberg-STIPENDIUM for University Students – BWS plus
With the Baden-Württemberg-STIPENDIUM for University Students – BWS plus, the Baden-Württemberg Stiftung supports innovative joint projects between universities from Baden-Württemberg and their international partners. The programme is endowed with approximately 1.2 million euros annually. Since 2011, more than 90 BWS plus projects have been supported at universities in Baden-Württemberg.
The Baden-Württemberg Stiftung
The Baden-Württemberg Stiftung advocates a vital Baden-Württemberg with a high quality of life for all its residents. It helps pave the way for advanced technological progress, high quality education, and a responsible relationship with fellow human beings. The Baden-Württemberg Stiftung is one of the major foundations in Germany. It is the only foundation which exclusively and above party lines invests in the future of the state of Baden-Württemberg – and thus in the future of its citizens.