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Ceremonial Farewell of the Graduates and New Endowed Professorship

By: pak
[Translate to english:] Ein Teil der 527 Absolventinnen und Absolventen bei der Hochschulfeier in der Oberrheinhalle. (Foto: Hochschule Offenburg / Martina Wagner)

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"They can look back with self-confidence and satisfaction on a successfully completed course of studies and also take the liberty of taking a little pride", congratulated university rector Professor Winfried Lieber to the 527 graduates of the summer semester 2018: "To have successfully completed a course of studies does not go without performance pressure and psychological tension. To have kept this up deserves praise and recognition.

"A total of around 920 guests attended the traditional university celebration in Offenburg's Oberrheinhalle on Friday evening. The graduates had received their diplomas in the course of the festive ceremony. A total of 369 students obtained a Bachelor's degree and 158 Master's graduates a Master's degree.

"You don't get a university degree for free", Rector Lieber emphasised: "And that's a good thing, because then it wouldn't be worth anything either". The Rector also recalled that "in addition to all the basic knowledge that you had to learn, in addition to all the factual or methodological knowledge that you have acquired", something else also counts: "The ability to deal with the enormous amount of knowledge available in times of the Internet and big data; the ability to orient oneself or differentiate oneself and thus to think critically".

The keynote speaker Thomas Burger , President of wvib Schwarzwald AG and Managing Partner of Burger Group, also congratulated the graduates. In its following speech it expressed ?acknowledgment and respect for the achievement of each individual and each individual?: ?They will hit the most different ways. Another course of study, a doctorate, the road to business - many roads lead to Rome," said Burger. "I would like to recommend to you, dear graduates: Be curious! Be courageous! Try things out". In its speech Burger dealt also with the challenges of the future, before which the graduates and graduates by the entrance into the working life would stand. In particular, he mentioned the ever-increasing complexity in technology and product development: "I am not telling you anything new about industrial SMEs in Baden-Württemberg - they are faced with challenges that need to be mastered together with you".

The more than 1,000 member companies of wvib from the industrial middle class are full of entrepreneurs "who either had and have self-igniting ideas or are desperately looking for them. Without university graduates like you, we would be facing gloomy times". Business regularly needs "new impetus, fresh ideas and, to a certain extent, new, perhaps even unconventional ways of tackling familiar problems," Burger says.Burger cited the "megatrend automation" as an urgent example: Production process automation is playing an increasingly important role: "But the current shortage of skilled workers like you is forcing companies to automate processes," Burger said. "Collaborating robots are already available on the market. But they rarely meet the application needs of companies.

"In order to meet this challenge, the wvib member companies endow the endowed professor "Collaborative Robotics" at the Offenburg University of Applied Sciences. The establishment of this endowed chair is a response to the new challenges of digitization in technical courses of study and a reaction to the rapidly changing performance demands on engineers. "We also want to create a deeper awareness of what collaborative robotics can already do today and what it will bring with it in the future," says Burger: "The training of specialists and the further training of employees with a focus on robotics urgently needs to be pushed forward.To the conclusion of its speech Burger gave a firm tip to the separating studying also on the way: A new chapter in your life begins. Write this new chapter here in the region. Apply now! In the ideal case naturally with a member enterprise of the Black Forest AG - say you simply, the president sends you!

University rector Lieber thanked Burger for the confidence placed in him: "The endowed professorship is both motivation and obligation to find practicable solutions for the participating companies in these strategically important areas. Over the past few years, Offenburg University of Applied Sciences has built up outstanding expertise in future-oriented fields such as collaborative robotics, autonomous systems and artificial intelligence. "I am convinced that the new endowed professorship will further strengthen our potential in these areas and that it will help us achieve our goal of becoming a co-founder of the Offenburg Foundation.

The international students also made a name for themselves at the university ceremony. For example, Zaid Ghasib from Jordan received the DAAD Prize 2018, endowed with 1000 euros. This prize honours international students who not only perform outstandingly in their studies but are also socially and interculturally committed. Ghasib has been studying "media design and production" at the Faculty of Media and Information Sciences since 2016."

It takes courage to change, to leave one's familiar homeland in order to experience something new and to break new ground," Prof. Anne Najderek, Prorector of Studies and Teaching, emphasised in her laudatory speech in recognition of the course: "This courage is demonstrated by young foreign students who are prepared to take up the challenge of studying abroad and approach the world with curiosity. Zaid Ghasib impressed them particularly: He is characterized by a very high level of self-motivation and willingness to perform, which does not make him give up his dream of 'being allowed to think'. Najderek attested to his "comprehensive commitment to the university, sometimes as a translator, but also in many projects in which he regularly volunteers, as well as for fellow students, whom he assists". He is also extremely active outside the university, he says, and is involved in a variety of art projects, including honorary work for the art school in Offenburg. The prorector gave him the following: "Keep your dream: to be allowed to think and to work in art".

For the Verein der Freunde und Förderer der Hochschule Offenburg, chairman Helmut Schareck congratulated the graduates, saying that the university degree was a very important and important milestone: "Here in Offenburg or Gengenbach you were able to prepare for your dream job. He stressed: "With your degree in Offenburg, you have been given the opportunity to get a good job with a successful company in the region". That is not a matter of course. "The world out there needs you", Schareck continued, appealing to the new ex-students: "Get involved: at your new workplace, in society, take on an honorary position and ensure good politics". Of course, you can also get involved in the university's support association.Afterwards he asked for the commitment of the former students in the association of friends and sponsors of the University of Applied Sciences Offenburg: "Surely you have played beach volleyball in between. Some of you have received our help for a scholarship, a semester abroad, a film project or a sponsorship award, for example". The association supports and finances with donations wherever state education funds are no longer available, the money for this comes from numerous companies in the region. "And of course: from the alumni of this university." "Even if you have now completely different thoughts, than that to support with the first euro of their first salary a promotion association, then think nevertheless times: Which you could cause good. The association of the friends and promoters of the university open castle does not only support studying, but is also a strong emotional anchor for a thought world of the memories of the study time. They thus also reward themselves with it.

Katja Mannßhardt, a graduate of the Mechanical Engineering degree course, delivered the speech: "So today we can really let ourselves be celebrated again and be proud," she said in her speech: "But tomorrow a new challenge is already waiting for us". Mannßhardt stressed that the past three to four years had also been marked by many different challenges: After all, studying was a big step towards independence: "In recent years we have fought, pondered, learned, suffered - and, as befits good students, also celebrated - together. Above all, however, the whole thing is associated with deprivation. "Unfortunately, you have to stand around with your mouth open for quite some time before a roasted dove flies into your mouth," she says and then turned her attention to the time after your studies: "In order to continue on our successful path in the future, we have to be prepared to leave our comfort zone and grow beyond ourselves. Finally, she emphasised the very good study conditions at Offenburg University of Applied Sciences: "The special thing about learning here at Offenburg University is the very personal framework. The close contact with professors is a great advantage over the universities. But we also profit from each other, as students of all age groups and with different wealth of experience come together, especially at universities", she said.

Finally, she thanked the teachers and staff of the university as well as the secretariats - and the parents "who paved the way for us both ideally and materially". The next few years would show whether the efforts were worthwhile. She wished all those present "all the best for the future" - and an "unforgettable evening". At least the last wish was fulfilled at the following reception in the foyer of the Oberrheinhalle.


The Deans and Deans of Studies of the four faculties and the Graduate School are saying goodbye this year to 527 students, 131 of whom are female. 240 students come from Ortenau. With 168 graduates, the degree programmes from the Faculty of Business Administration and Industrial Engineering are the strongest, followed by the Faculties of Mechanical Engineering and Process Engineering (124), Media and Information Technology (97) and Electrical Engineering and Information Technology (91). 47 students completed the Graduate School's international Master's programmes. Currently, 4,435 young people study at Offenburg University of Applied Sciences, 1,293 of whom are women. 


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