Connecting with German Bremen

TAMPA, Fla. (April 6, 2010) – In support of the University of South Florida’s strategic goal to “create and support globally competitive, relevant and distinctive academic programs,” the College of Education brokered an agreement between USF and the University of Bremen to facilitate faculty collaboration. Colleen S. Kennedy, Dean of the College of Education, noted that the college is committed to enhancing “graduate education through active engagement with international partners and better understanding of global experiences in education.”


Located in Bremen, Germany, the University of Bremen was created in 1971 and enrolls approximately 24,000 students from 126 countries. The university has earned recognition for its programs in industrial engineering, digital media, physics, mathematics, microbiology, geosciences and law. Following the "Bremen model," the University of Bremen emphasizes interdisciplinary, explorative learning, and social relevance to practice-oriented project studies, and enjoys an excellent reputation in the academic world as well as in business and industry. The University of Bremen is the home of the Institute of Technology and Education (ITB acronym in German). For more than 20 years, ITB has been working in research on vocational education and training and is one of the largest independent research groups in the field. ITB focuses on the interaction of work, technology, and education and the connection to the human interface, and seeks to understand the close interaction between reforming vocational education and training and innovation in work and technology.


With the endorsement and assistance of USF’s International Affairs Office, the collaborative agreement with the University of Bremen was spearheaded by Victor M. Hernandez, Associate Professor of Career and Workforce Education in the Department of Adult, Career and Higher Education (ACHE), and Michael Gessler, head of ITB’s Department of International Vocational Education and Training Research. As part of this collaborative agreement, a group of doctoral students in career and workforce education will participate in a two-week summer study at the University of Bremen in July 2010 to learn about the education-and-work system in Germany. Led by Hernandez, the summer study component will be facilitated by ITB’s faculty and coordinated by USF’s Study Abroad Office. This initial collaboration is already generating further interest in the exploration of student exchange opportunities for graduate study in the Department of Adult, Career and Higher Education.


“Given the historical and international prominence of the German model for career and workforce education, we are delighted to partner with the University of Bremen’s Institute of Technology and Education,” said Hernandez. In turn, Ann Cranston-Gingras, acting chair of the ACHE department, remarked that, “this partnership should serve as the springboard for faculty collaboration on comparative studies, instructional supports, and potential student exchange activities.” For graduate students in adult, career and higher education it will also represent an opportunity to enhance their global perspectives related to education and work connections.




The USF College of Education is ranked 54th by U.S. News & World Report of graduate schools in the country, is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) and is fully approved by the Florida Department of Education. The USF College of Education is the 4th largest public college of education in the nation. For more information about the USF College of Education, visit: www.coedu.usf.eduor


The University of South Florida is one of the nation's top 63 public research universities and one of only 25 public research universities nationwide with very high research activity that is designated as community engaged by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.  USF was awarded $380.4 million in research contracts and grants in FY 2008/2009. The university offers 232 degree programs at the undergraduate, graduate, specialist and doctoral levels, including the doctor of medicine. The USF System has a $1.8 billion annual budget, an annual economic impact of $3.2 billion, and serves more than 47,000 students on institutions/campuses in Tampa, St. Petersburg, Sarasota-Manatee and Lakeland. USF is a member of the Big East Athletic Conference.