The Bavarian-Czech Borderlands Should Be a Region of Education and Innovation

Guests International Cooperation

Improving the links between West Bohemia and East Bavaria in education, research and technology transfer: that is the joint goal of several Bavarian universities, the Regensburg Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the University of West Bohemia, whose representatives met on Monday, 30 October.

At this joint meeting at the UWB, attended by representatives of the University of Regensburg, East Bavarian Technical University Regensburg, East Bavarian Technical University Amberg-Weiden, Deggendorf Technical University (TH), the Regensburg Chamber of Commerce and Industry (IHK), members of the leadership of the University of West Bohemia headed by Rector Miroslav Lávička and representatives of the majority of parts of the UWB, all participants agreed that the existing cooperation between universities and companies in West Bohemia and East Bavaria should rise to a new level.

“We want to implement in practice the vision of a connected technology and education region linking eastern Bavaria and western Bohemia,” said Jürgen Helmes, Director General of IHK Regensburg for the Upper Palatinate/Kelheim.

“Just like Germany is a strategic partner for the Czech Republic, Bavaria is a key partner for the Pilsen and Karlovy Vary region. From our point of view, education and links to companies are absolutely crucial areas for the development of cooperation,” said Miroslav Lávička, Rector of the UWB. “That is why I consider it very important to maintain constant contact and to ensure that these meetings take place at regular intervals,” added the rector.  

In a discussion on how to increase the attractiveness of universities for domestic and foreign students and intensify cross-border cooperation between universities, the participants agreed that one possibility is to introduce new double-degree study programmes. “The more our universities cooperate, the more attractive the neighbouring region becomes for students and teachers, as well as professionals. This, in turn, helps our economy,” said Jürgen Helmes, the Director General of IHK.

According to Rector Miroslav Lávička, it is important to ensure that the conditions are the same on both sides of the border and that just like in Bavaria, students from EU countries can study for free in the Czech Republic in programmes led in both Czech and English. This would expand the selection of study programmes in English and increase the interest of young people from abroad in studying in the Czech Republic. 

The participants also shared their experiences with increasing people’s interest in technical fields. Andreas Grzemba, Vice-Rector for Research and Technology Transfer at TH Deggendorf, said that one successful method is systematic after-school education, but it must start in the early years of primary schools. The participants also discussed collaboration of universities and businesses in science and research and the teaching of German as a second foreign language. 

In the afternoon, the meeting relocated to the NTC research centre, which collaborates with Bavaria very extensively, and then to the Pilsen branch of ZF Engineering, where company representatives were present as well. ZF Engineering’s director Mathias Eickhoff spoke about how the company benefits from cooperation with the University of West Bohemia in the transfer of technology and hiring of qualified staff. 



Šárka Stará

01. 11. 2023