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“Whenever possible, I make the Tübingen pitch”: Two new University of Tübingen Ambassadors make Tübingen’s future look bright

This is what alumni networks do: bring different minds from everywhere in the world together. The two newly appointed “University of Tübingen Ambassadors” from Canada and China demonstrate with their different career paths the variety and strength that UT strategic partners can have.

(From left to right): Professor Pamela Klassen, University of Toronto; Professor Thomas Thiemeyer, Ludwig-Uhland-Institute for Empirical Cultural Studies at UT; Professor Monique Scheer, Vice-President for International Affairs; Professor Benjamin Nagengast; Hector Research Institute of Education Sciences and Psychology at UT; Professor Yi Jiang, Professor Ulrich Trautwein, Hector Research Institute of Education Sciences and Psychology at UT.

The second new ambassador is the former Teach@Tübingen Fellow Professor Yi Jiang from the East China Normal University (ECNU). The ECNU is part of the Chinese government’s ‘double first class university’ program, which is similar to Germany’s Excellence program, and therefore belongs to the leading institutions in China in the Education Sciences field. Jiang has established a close relationship to Tübingen since working for the Hector Institute in 2016. Now on top of that he discusses his new ambassador role and its potential beyond: “This role can help to strengthen the link between Chinese universities and UT, for instance in the field of interest they share like student learning, teaching quality, motivation, educational effectiveness in China and Germany, and psychological processes in learning.” Professor Nagengast from the Hector Institute confirms this shared motivation, ‘We could learn something valuable from each other’s education systems’. As a result of a great discussion about this one plan has been already fixed: The Department of Educational Psychology at the ECNU and the Hector Institute will start an annual Academic Exchange Week program in 2020 which allows faculties’ and research students to visit each other’s campus and initiate joint research projects.

The new University of Tübingen Ambassador Pamela Klassen is an expert in anthropology of religion at the University of Toronto and has had links to the University of Tübingen for many years. She came to Tübingen for the first time as a Humboldt Fellow in 2005, and was later a visiting professor here who was awarded the Anneliese-Maier-Prize for her outstanding research in 2015. Since then close to 20 of her graduate students have been on exchanges from Toronto with Tübingen. She says: “Whenever possible, I make the Tübingen pitch”. She sees the role of ambassadors “like individual strategic partners”. As Klassen has recently been appointed to the Royal Society of Canada, the most recognized society of researchers in Canada, Tübingen is proud to have such a partner in North America. 

The University Ambassador title is awarded to research alumni and alumnae of the University of Tübingen whose connections to their alma mater are of outstanding quality and distinction. The ambassador network is part of Tübingen’s international research alumni relations within the framework of the University’s internationalization strategy. 

Christin Wannagat

Professor Pamela Klassen

Professor Yi Jiang

Research Alumni Network TRACe