Message from 2020-12-15

DAAD Prize and International Students Meet UW/H Vice President Dirk Jakobs


Participants in the Meet & Greet, Source: UW/H International Office

DAAD Prize and International Students Meet UW/H Vice President Dirk Jakobs

To help international students settle in, the International Office organised a virtual Meet & Greet with Vice President Dirk Jakobs. In the course of the event, this year’s annual DAAD price for outstanding achievements of international students was awarded to Feroze Menon from India.

Settling in as an international student at a new university comes along with quite some challenges. To make starting off easier for this year’s international students at UW/H, the International Office organized a Meet & Greet with Vice President Dirk Jakobs. While this event is usually takes place on campus, this year’s event had to be moved to a virtual space. Despite the unusual circumstances, the event was well attended and provided a great opportunity for old and new international students to connect and chat in an informal atmosphere. 

Welcome Speech by Vice President Dirk Jakobs

Since August 2020 Dirk Jakobs fills the position as UW/H Vice President for organizational development, which includes the three main areas: internationalisation, diversity and inclusion and sustainability and development planning. In the course of his speech, Jakobs welcomed all international students and admitted, that the current time comes along with quite some challenges: “What I find particularly difficult is to get to know other people, as I spend a lot of time here on Zoom”, he noted. Nevertheless, Jakobs encouraged everyone to make the most out of their time abroad, despite current challenges: “I hope that you will look back and think this was an interesting, enriching semester, even if most of it took place digitally”. With a warm-heartedly “Welcome from my side!”, Jakobs closed his speech.

DAAD Prize awarded to Feroze Menon from India

As every year, the event also provided a possibility to award this year’s DAAD (Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst) prize for outstanding achievements of international students studying at German universities, which is endowed with 1,000 euros. This year, the prize was awarded to Feroze Menon from India, who is a student in the Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE) Master program in his third semester. The laudatory speech for the price was given by Prof. Dr. Joachim Zweynert, who highlighted Menon’s expertise, engagement and commitment. As well as outstanding academic performance, Menon also gives back to the UW/H student community by working as a tutor for Quantitative Methods, as he holds a Bachelor’s degree in mathematics. Furthermore, he took on the task to help improve the career services at UW/H from an international perspective. With a lot of practical work experience, and two Bachlor’s degrees in mathematics and liberal studies & leadership, “Feroze Menon really is the living example for how beneficial diversity is for our university” Prof. Zweynert concludes. If you would like to watch the full award ceremony, click here.

UW/H International Community growing

After both speeches were delivered, the event provided an opportunity for old and new international students to connect. With the help of zoom break out session, students were randomly assigned into small virtual groups and got to know each other with the help of guiding questions to help break the ice. Within a few minutes, questions about favorite international food turned into lively conversations about UW/H student life and favorite parts of the event’s goodie bag. Participants of the event reached from exchange students, who usually spend one or two semesters in Witten, to permanent degree seeking students, who came to Witten to pursue one of the two fully English-taught Master programs Philosophy, Politics & Economics or Strategy & Organization, as well as post doc researchers and international staff. As UW/H’s international student community has been growing each year, the event provided an important contribution towards achieving the university’s goal of growing internationalisation.


Die Universität Witten/Herdecke ist durch das NRW-Wissenschaftsministerium unbefristet staatlich anerkannt und wird – sowohl als Institution wie auch für ihre einzelnen Studiengänge – regelmäßig akkreditiert durch: