Recognition for International Summer and Winter University
Award from German government for FUBiS Online Program at Freie Universität Berlin
The academic FUBiS Online program of Freie Universität Berlin was recognized by the initiative Germany: Land of Ideas – Beyond Crisis. The initiative was launched by the German federal government and German industry to support projects that develop innovative and socially relevant ideas. The aim of the projects should be to show ways out of the current crisis and to design a future worth striving for. The FUBiS program, an acronym for “Freie Universität Berlin international Summer and Winter University,” offers courses lasting several weeks during the semester break for students from all over the world. This year’s summer courses on campus were canceled due to the corona virus pandemic. Instead, FUBiS is offering a virtual, partly interactive lecture series. The eleven lectures are public and free. Anyone interested can follow them on the university website. There are also five discounted online courses to choose from. In four weeks, students can complete German language classes as well as several classes pertaining to history, literature, and political and social sciences that are taught in English. The students can earn ECTS credit points and a certificate from Freie Universität Berlin.
During the 2020 summer, for the first time FUBiS is offering an academic online program. Both the lectures and the courses focus on the context of Berlin as a cultural and historical location. Since students from many countries cannot visit Berlin this summer due to travel restrictions, the online program was designed to give them an impression of the German capital. The courses and lectures deal with the city, its surroundings, society, culture, and the German language.
Sophia Schmieder, FUBiS Program Director, pointed out that FUBiS is taking advantage of the crisis as an opportunity to try out new formats and to consolidate expertise in digital teaching. The online courses maintain the same high academic standards as the regular courses.
An additional advantage is that the courses are now also available to different interest groups such as high school students, refugees, and retired persons. The introductory lectures and German classes are available online free of charge, so FUBiS Online is a way of giving many different people access to excellent educational opportunities over the Internet, stressed Sophia Schmieder.
The FUBiS Summer University was held for the first time in 1998, and in 2007 a winter term was added. In 2018 the academic quality of FUBiS was reevaluated and again recognized by the Forum on Education Abroad through its Quality Improvement Program (QUIP). It is the only summer and winter university in Germany that successfully completed the QUIP evaluation. In 2019 FUBiS welcomed a total of 594 students from 40 countries to Freie Universität Berlin.