January 24, 2011

Bauhaus-Universität Weimar Starts Ombuds Office for International Students

The German arts and engineering school that was the birthplace of the Bauhaus movement has appointed an Ombudsperson for International Students. The Ombuds, "functions as mediator between the university and students, and plays a major role in the dialogue with university teachers, students, and other entities of the university," while maintaining strict confidentiality.

The website for the new office provides the following characteristics of the Ombuds:
  • Independent, neutral, reliable, and acting autonomously
  • Has high reputation in the university environment.
  • Sees the students’ concerns from a neutral perspective and treats them with great confidentiality and if requested anonymously.
  • Gathers experiences and suggestions to employ them in the university's discussions and debates in order to improve teaching and learning at the university.
Prof. Friedrich Balke, vice-rector for student and academic affairs, has been appointed as the first Bauhaus-Universität Ombudsperson. Balke earned a teaching credential at the Ruhr-University Bochum and then received a PhD at University of Siegen. He worked in the editorial office of publisher S. Fischer Verlag and was a faculty member at the University of Potsdam. In 2007, he became a professor in the School of Media at Bauhaus-Universität. The deputy Ombudsperson is Dr. Muriel Helbig, head of International Office. (Bauhaus-Universität Weimar Beschwerden.)

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