The Berlin International University of Applied Sciences opened its doors to over 200 guests on Friday, 12th October to celebrate the move into the new building at Salzufer.
There were numerous board members from lots of associations such as the Turkish-German Business Association, the Association of Independent Entrepreneurs and also the Association of Turkish industrialists and business people present. In addition to those, the founder of BAU Global Education Network Enver Yücel, the Ambassador Ali Kemal Aydin as well as the vice chairman of BAU Global Network Coskun Ince enriched the event.
The Opening ceremony began with a speech of our president Prof. Dr. Dr. hc mult. Hans-Dieter Klingemann and continued with further contributions by our student representative - Georgia Humphries, the Vice president of BI – Prof. Dr. Peter Mantel and also by the Director of UNESCO-European Centre for Higher Education – Jan Sadlak. The ceremony came to an end with the valuable speech given by Enver Yücel.
Conclusively, as per tradition the red ribbon was cut as a symbol of a new beginning at our new campus.
Below you can read the opening speech of our President Prof. Dr. Dr. hc mult. Hans-Dieter Klingemann.
Welcome to Berlin International’s new Salzufer Campus. This is a great day and we want to share our joy with all of you. Welcome invited guests, welcome students and staff members of our university. It is my privilege to greet our distinguished guest speaker Professor Jan Sadlak, member of our University’s Advisory Board and former Director of UNESCO’s European Center for Higher Education and Chief of Section for Higher Education Policy. We are grateful that he has agreed to share his experiences in the field of educational development. We sincerely appreciate that Enver Yucel, founder of Berlin International and the BAU Global academic network, has come to celebrate with us. A warm welcome, too, to his deputy, Coskun Ince. Their wise counsel and continuing support were an indispensible precondition for bringing Berlin International forward. We recognize with pride that Professor Senay Yalcin, Rector of Bahcesehir University Istanbul and Professor Sinem Vatanartiran, Rector of BAU International Washington D.C. honor us with their presence. A special welcome to all members of our University Advisory Board. We are here today to celebrate the Opening of Berlin International’s new Salzufer Campus. This is a proud moment for our young academic institution. At earlier occasions I have welcomed you as President of BAU International Berlin. Today I greet you as President of Berlin International. This name change needs an explanation. We wanted the name change mainly for two reasons. First, we had experienced that the letters BAU led to confusion about our academic profile. People unfamiliar with the history of Bahcesehir University Istanbul simply misunderstood the acronym and this was particularly true in the German speaking countries. Here BAU is mostly associated with building or construction. Thus, BAU International Berlin was often thought as offering courses for builders and engineers. With the new name we avoid such pitfalls. Second, with the new name we hope to strengthen even more our ties to Berlin, to this vibrant and inspiring metropolis with its international, intercultural orientation. We are grateful to the Berlin Senate that has granted the name change in April this year. The new name does not signal any change of our substantive goals. We still want to attract outstanding students and employ talented staff. While sailing under a different flag the ship continues to be a proud part of the BAU Global fleet, this unique academic network that educates gifted students around the globe. What does change, however, is our study environment. Since its foundation in 2014 this academic institution follows the same vision: First, it wants to stimulate and develop the students’ intellectual curiosity, their creativity and their professional skills. We want students to have a commitment to an interdisciplinary approach that enables them to cope with innovation and contribute to societal problem solving. This means that we want to provide our students with a solid base for a successful and fulfilled work-life. Second, we want to promote cross-national and cross-cultural understanding. We believe that this is indispensable in a globalizing world. Cultural competence is a precondition to navigate today’s multi-cultural landscape. What is required is tolerance, mutual understanding and a commitment to protect the unalienable individual human rights. This orientation is enshrined in Berlin International’s motto: Interdisciplinarity, Internationality, and Interculturality. The new Campus, we believe, will provide an educational environment which is conducive to reach these goals. In the current Fall semester the Salzufer Campus will be home to about 210 full-time students, 31 more than we had the last term. These students come from 66 different countries mostly European and Asian. Two countries are dominant: 27 percent of our students hold a German, 10 percent a Turkish passport. US Americans. British, French and Russian nationals follow with just 3 percent. This composition of our student body guarantees international and intercultural encounters. Last semester’s classes were taught by 13 professors employed by our university and 26 external lecturers. While the German passports prevailed the teaching staff came from countries such as Brazil, China, Denmark, India, Ireland, Japan, Latvia, Russia, Slovenia, Spain, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States. An international composition is also characteristic for the administrative staff. This multinational, multicultural mix of people is arguably our biggest social capital. The various pieces shown in an exhibition of the Designer students I had the pleasure to open early this week showed clearly how their creations have grown out and profited from the fertile ground of our international school. We try to reach out to interest students for our education philosophy. While we are doing quite well in Europe and in parts of Asia there is still room for improvement in other parts of the world. This is particularly true for East Asia, the Pacific Rim, the Caribbean, Central and East Africa. However, while we did not live up to our initially projected increase in student numbers we can claim to have grown from 25 first graders when we began to teach in the Fall of 2014/15 to 82 in 2018/19. Of course, we are convinced that the new Campus will contribute a lot to attract many more students to Berlin International. Tomorrow we say good bye and hand out BA certificates to about forty students Among them is Moataz Ghannam, a refugee from Syria whom we were happy to take under our wings. He is one of the first Syrian refugees to finish his studies supported by Kiron and Berlin International. Moataz will soon be recognized by Enver Yucel, our founder. This brings me to my final point, the Salzufer Campus which the Chancellor and I will show you virtually in more detail later on. The Campus is part of the larger ‘Quartier am Salzufer’ which is located close to the Mercedes dealership and the Technical University. We are glad to share number 6 with companies rooted in the knowledge industry. Nomen est omen. The name Salzufer speaks for itself. Salt has occupied an important place in religion and culture. The ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Romans invoked their gods with offering salt. But let us go back to the closer present. The road winding along the shores of the Landwehrkanal was called Salzufer because of a salt loft built in 1847/48. Our building is located at the borders of Tiergarten and Charlottenburg situated between the river Spree and the Landwehrkanal. It consists of three objects which are connected to one another. The first one was built in 1923 and qualifies for the historical monuments protection. The second building emerged between 1925 and 1926. It was designed by the famous German architect Hans Hartlein who also has built the much praised Siemensstadt. The third and last object was finished in 1975. It allows for a wonderful view over the Landwehrkanal. It is, indeed, a privilege to work here. As I have said before salt has been a source of wealth and is considered good luck by many cultures in the world since ancient times. For example, in order to get rid of the many forms of bad luck you can take a pinch of salt, throw it over your left shoulder and it protects your home from bad luck. Thus it would probably be wise to adopt Salicia, wife of Neptun, and goddess of salt, as the protective spirit - the genius loci - of our place. To offer salt and bread are a traditional welcome greeting in many Slavic and Middle Eastern civilizations. At least symbolically, Berlin International offers both salt and bread today. May Berlin International and its Salzufer Campus become known as a hospitable place where an excellent academic education blends with tolerance, empathy and inter-cultural understanding.