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The Rector of Leipzig University, Professor Eva Inés Obergfell, is taking part in a fact-finding trip to the United States organised by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) from 10 to 16 March 2024. The programme is designed for senior staff from German universities. During the seven-day trip, which will focus on the San Francisco Bay Area, the delegation will visit several universities, including San Francisco State University, Stanford University and the University of California, Berkeley.

One stop will be the Gladstone Institute of Virology at San Francisco State University, whose research revealed how the hepatitis C and Zika viruses hijack human cells. At the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, the German delegation will learn about the latest developments in the permanent storage of captured CO2 in geological, bio-based and oceanic reservoirs. This process is known as carbon capture and storage, or CCS.

The delegates will also have the opportunity to exchange views on higher education policy issues during a series of round-table discussions, with a particular focus on internationalisation in strategic university planning, as well as topics such as artificial intelligence and sustainability.

This tour is also an opportunity for the German U15 university network to meet and network with American colleagues: in addition to the Rector of Leipzig University, who is a member of the Board of Directors, the German delegation includes the Rector of the University of Bonn, Professor Michael Hoch. He became Chairman of the German U15’s Board of Directors on 21 November 2023.