For the sixth time already, administrative staff from the University of Konstanz and the University of Essex exchanged views, experiences and expertise: Between 24 and 28 March, the Konstanz Essex Staff Week took place at the scenic Lake Constance. Fifteen colleagues from the Professional Services in Essex visited their German partners to get to know their “counterparts” and learn about their work at the university.
The focus of this exchange was on individual conversations and observations. Additionally, the visitors gained insights into the city, the university and its organisation, as well as the campus and the library. A visit at the Max Planck Institute in Radolfzell generated insights into one of five research priorities at the University of Konstanz: Collective Behaviour and Ecology. In close collaboration with the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology and the newly established Max Planck Institute for Animal Behavior, the university’s researchers use quantitative research methods and highly advanced technologies such as the satellite-based ICARUS system to track animals globally and study their behaviour.
Both parties benefitted from the exchange and gained new perspectives on tuition fees, campus architecture, data protection, higher education landscapes and working processes as well as aspects of everyday life at the universities.
The Staff Week is one of numerous programmes that highlight the years of close collaboration between the two European universities. Since 2011, Konstanz and Essex have organised major joint events such as research workshops and visits while maintaining a close relationship through exchange programmes for students, teaching staff and administrative staff within the Erasmus+ network. Dependent on the EU funding negotiations and political context, the future of this collaboration is uncertain but all those involved hope that the planned return visit in March 2020 to the United Kingdom can be realised.