Hochschule Geisenheim University signs cooperation agreement with Stellenbosch University, South Africa

Unterzeichnung des Kooperationsvertrags im Weingut Buitenverwachting, Kapstadt. Hintere Reihe von rechts nach links: Dr. Horst Freitag, Deutscher Botschafter, Süd-Afrika; Volker Bouffier, Bundesratspräsident und Hessischer Ministerpräsident; Alan Winde, Minister for Agriculture, Economic Development and Tourism, Süd-Afrika; Rico Basson, VEO VinPro, Repräsentant der Wein-Produzenten, Süd-Afrika; Dr. Ralf Knöll, Leiter Referat für Internationale Angelegenheiten und Regionalpartnerschaften, Hessische Staatskanzlei; Peter Seyffardt, Präsident des Rheingauer Weinbauverbandes. (Vordere Reihe von rechts nach links) Prof. Dr. Maret DuToit, Chair Institute für Wine Biotechnology, Universität Stellenbosch, Süd-Afrika; Prof. Dr. Hans Reiner Schultz, Präsident, Hochschule Geisenheim; Anita Ohl-Meyer, Wissenschaftsreferentin der Deutschen Botschaft.

On March 17, 2015 at the Buitenverwachtung winery near Cape Town, the President of Hochschule Geisenheim University, Prof. Hans Reiner Schultz and Prof. Maret du Toit, Chair of the Department of Viticulture and Enology and the Institute for Wine Biotechnology signed a framework agreement on closer cooperation in the areas of Bachelor’s, Master’s and Doctoral degree programs and the training of university staff. 

This took place in the presence of Hessen’s Minister President Volker Bouffier and a delegation of representatives from Hessen’s university and business sectors. With its status as a “New Type” Hochschule, the Geisenheim facility’s existing cooperation with Stellenbosch University in the field of agricultural sciences has now been put on a new legal footing, which allows for a more effective and intensive internationalization of teaching and research. Students will be able to take advantage of this right from the start in the Bachelor’s degree programs. The research departments in particular will profit from this cooperation, as they will be able use two vegetation periods each year for experimental purposes (northern and southern hemispheres), which means that the research funds of both partners can be used economically in terms of both time and content.

This cooperation agreement represents a further step in the Hochschule’s consistent strategy of involving external partners – particularly in conjunction with North-South alliances – in its future development. It supplements, for example, the existing cooperation with the University Lujan de Cuyo, Mendoza, in Argentina, the University of Bordeaux and the “Australian Wine Research Institute”, who have united to form the BAG-Alliance (Bordeaux-Adelaide-Geisenheim) with its virtual institute. Here the focus lies on synergistically coordinated work for joint research into the consequences of climate change, the increase in pests in wine production and the analysis of the Chinese wine market, the latter under particular consideration of German, French and Australian wine styles.

With the help of these research and teaching platforms we are not only able to generate scientific findings more quickly, but all partners translate them into practice-oriented concepts which are passed on to the relevant professional fields. Last, but not least, this rapid transformation of results into industrial applications means that students are involved in the realities of national and international markets at a very early stage, which leads to an improvement in practice-oriented qualifications.