Prof. Hack, as Dean of the HFU Business School looking back on a turbulent summer semester of 2020 dominated by corona, what is your conclusion?
Considering that we had very little time to prepare for the special circumstances of the summer semester, I am very satisfied with how things went. The students not only understood the special situation, but also contributed to the success of the semester with a lot of commitment, and great ideas and initiatives.
I would also like to take this opportunity to thank all my colleagues for their flexibility and support, which enabled us to organise the lectures efficiently.
The outstanding features that make face-to-face teaching at HFU Business School so special are without a doubt the practice-oriented "active lectures", the interaction between lecturers and students, and the personal atmosphere on campus.
Because we had to switch to online teaching, a completely new learning atmosphere had to be created. How did the business school manage to take this step? Are there perhaps some positive aspects of online teaching we can implement in the future?
It is precisely this personal contact that is missing, both for the students and for us as lecturers. That is a big difference for us, because we not only impart knowledge, but also, for example, internationality and intercultural skills; that is something you have to experience. But here, too, we have learned together with our students what technology can achieve and how interactive technology can be. In this respect, we will certainly take some positive things away with us, both in the area of teaching and in administration.
The coming winter semester is approaching and the corona pandemic continues to shape the way we design our teaching. What combination of online/face-to-face teaching are you currently preparing for?
During the examination phase we proved that on-campus attendance is possible if clear hygiene concepts are implemented in a disciplined manner. We want to build on this in the coming semester and hold as many lectures as possible on campus, bearing in mind, of course, that the protection of students and colleagues has top priority.
Compared to other countries, Germany is doing very well in the corona crisis and is currently considered one of the safest countries in the world. This fact could ensure that studying at German universities becomes increasingly popular in the future. What opportunities do you see for German universities and especially for the HFU Business School?
I think the overall package of German universities, and HFU in particular, is very attractive internationally. This is shown by the large number of international applicants we already have. Our Business School is not at a disadvantage compared to other universities in the UK and US because many of our degree programmes are also taught entirely in English. The university as a whole is also on the right track with its strategy of bilingual studies.
The corona crisis has certainly highlighted once again that Germany is highly attractive as a business location with enviable infrastructure and healthcare . So now it is important to take advantage of the opportunities offered by technology and by our location.