Member stories: strengthening Franco-German cooperation

Member stories: strengthening Franco-German cooperation

Read the story of an EAIE member who is actively working to promote cooperation and research between France and Germany. In this next post in our series highlighting the stories of EAIE members, Patricia Rohland tells us why the decision to build a career in international higher education was so easy, in addition to some of the many reasons why she continues to work in our field.


What is your role at your institution?

The Franco-German University is not a classical university. It is a network of 160 universities in France and Germany which offer more than 150 bi-national and tri-national study programmes in almost every study field. Our mission is to actively promote cooperation and research between both countries and to foster university partnerships. Together with my team, I am in charge of public relations, public private partnerships and alumni relations. Our mission can be described as a chain that goes from student recruitment, to relationships with current students and all the way through to alumni relations. We are also in charge of all external partnerships: the cooperation with the business world, foundations, institutions in the field of higher education and political institutions. As our institution is quite young – it was created in 1999 – it is a daily challenge to increase its visibility towards all target groups.

Why did you decide to start working in the field of international higher education?

Having graduated from one of FGU’s bi-national study programmes and having completed several internships in similar fields, the decision to work in the field of international higher education was very easy. One of the many reasons I choose to stay in this field is certainly the fact that I love the variety of tasks in my job. Helping young people during their search for the right study programme, bringing students from different study fields together or finding sponsors every year through which we can reward the best alumni, give me great satisfaction. Each project is a piece of a puzzle strengthening our network within the Franco-German cooperation.

What do you find most rewarding about your job?

The best part of my job is seeing the satisfied partners, students and alumni. Working in a bi-national environment also represents a real enrichment for me.

What words of wisdom do you have for those starting in the higher education field?

I attended an EAIE conference for the first time in 2010. Since then I have participated every year and became a member in 2012. I really appreciate the diversity of subjects offered at the EAIE Annual Conference. Exchanging experiences and practices with peers from all over the world has broadened my horizon and provided me with precious input and new ideas for my daily tasks. As a member I also get regular information about the current politics in the field of international higher education, which helps me to better understand the issues of this global working field. I can highly recommend every new colleague in this field to become affiliated.