There’s a Martin Luther Playmobile figure and a Martin Luther noodle. It’s hard to escape the reformer’s face during the 2017 jubilee year. But what does the Reformation have to do with the present day? A lot, say researchers from many disciplines at the University of Halle. Because the Reformation’s legacy extends far beyond that of theology.
Effective this year, the University of Halle has two new partner institutions, one in Poland and one in Italy. In August, a cooperation agreement was signed with Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, in Milan, and the Universities of Halle and Warsaw entered into a contract for a partnership in October. Martin Luther University now maintains close teaching and research ties in the form of university partnerships with 62 higher education institutions worldwide.
How does a country successfully navigate the transition from a planned economy to a global market economy? What does such a profound transformation mean for the country’s legal system? A new research unit at the Institute of Business Law and Economic Law at the University of Halle will be working on these questions starting in 2017. The Volkswagen Foundation is providing 560,000 euros in support of the project on the legal transformation in Azerbaijan, which also aims to modernise teaching and research activities in the country.
When Henning Rosenau, a professor of law, received his appointment to teach in Halle in 2015, he also brought with him his longstanding involvement in supporting the Turkish-German University (TDU). Martin Luther University is a member of the German consortium and, since February, has been supporting TDU in developing the new university, which was founded by the two nations in Istanbul in 2010. Two economists from Halle are now involved as well. They believe the German-Turkish exchange is more important than ever, especially in light of the tough political situation in Turkey right now.
A repository of books? A tranquil reading space? A place of erudite learning? To Anke Berghaus-Sprengel, director of the University and State Library of Saxony-Anhalt (ULB) since April 2016, a modern library is much more than that. She is head of an institution that looks back on a long tradition but has also undergone plenty of change – and will continue to do so in the future.
“How soon ‘not now’ becomes ‘never’!” Half a millennium ago, the eloquent reformer Martin Luther probably spoke like this to anyone he found wasting precious time. Today, the Wittenberg scholar and author of the 95 theses would certainly have no need to use such words of warning. In fact, he would have nothing but praise for the staff at his alma mater in 2016 who are busy preparing the celebrations marking the 500-year jubilee of the Reformation.
The Sauer organ will now be resounding throughout the main assembly hall more often: In July, university organist Professor Wolfgang Kupke and the University of Halle’s Association of Friends and Sponsors (VFF) hosted the first in a series of concerts that will place the precious instrument firmly back on the university’s musical agenda.
Hans-Dietrich Genscher began his law studies at the University of Halle in 1946. Until his death in late March 2016, the former German foreign minister and famous son of Halle maintained a close relationship with his alma mater. He was particularly active on behalf of the university in the years after German Reunification in 1990. The rector at the time, Professor Günther Schilling, reminisces about an extraordinary politician and his achievements on behalf of the university.
The open access movement began 15 years ago. Prof. Stephan Feller, a molecular biologist, and Dr. Stefan Artmann, a private lecturer in philosophy, discuss how it will change science in 2016 and the opportunities and challenges that will arise as a result of its development into an open exchange of specialist publications. It is a topic that occupies both men. Feller is the editor-in-chief and co-founder of the Open Access Journal “Cell Communication and Signalling”. Artmann, who heads up the presidential office at the Leopoldina, is a member of the working group “Open Access”, part of the priority initiative “Digital Information” of the Alliance of Science Organisations in Germany.
2015 has been a busy year for relations between China and Halle. The first Chinese language teacher provided by the Confucius Institute in Beijing has been working at the University of Halle since this April. In May, the University of Halle and the Beijing University of International Business and Economics sealed a partnership. And through the Panda Programme, the University of Halle was represented at the largest education fairs in China.