The Rhine-Main Universities
Cooperation has been a keyword in the Rhine-Main region for more than years now – even across state borders. Already in 2004, Goethe University Frankfurt and Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz signed an initial framework agreement; since then, both have entered into bilateral agreements with TU Darmstadt. In the meantime, the three universities have been exploring and developing their collaborative options in more than 70 projects and discipline-specific networks. There are shared clusters of excellence, collaborative research centers, and joint research projects in the program of the German Academies of Sciences and Humanities as well as joint degree programs and graduate colleges. The collaborating disciplines range from Political Science to Nuclear Physics and from Neurobiology to Computer Science. The Rhine-Main Universities cover almost the complete academic spectrum, covering Medicine and the Natural Sciences, the Humanities and the Social Sciences to Engineering.
Encouraged by the benefits of cooperation and joint achievements in the competition with other academic institutions, the partners now take the next step to systematically enhance their collaboration. The trilateral agreement to form a strategic alliance signed in December 2015 underlines their joint intention to work together even more closely on research into future-related issues and in the field of teaching. By joining forces, the Rhine-Main Universities will thus be in a great starting position in national and international competitions for relevant funding programs and the improvement of the academic infrastructure.
The Rhine-Main Universities also plan to submit joint applications for third-party funded graduate programs and to improve their networking options for young researchers.
The students at Frankfurt, Mainz, and Darmstadt will also benefit from the framework agreement. They will be able to use the infrastructure – such as the libraries – at all the universities, while course credits and examination results acquired at one of the universities will be more readily recognized by the others. In addition, the Rhine-Main Universities are currently planning new joint courses of study. Teaching staff at one university will have the opportunity to also teach and conduct examinations at the other partner universities. And employees will be able to participate in the continuing education programs at the partner institutions.