Networks strengthen research

Prof. Dr. Ignacio Mantilla

Former Rector of the Universidad Nacional de Colombia in Bogotá

“Alexander von Humboldt made a great contribution to the development of science in Colombia. His journey through the country has left an enduring impression on young researchers. I share his opinion that a comprehensive academic education is only possible after gaining international experience, learning a foreign language and making contact with other cultures. Such exchange creates networks and trust – important foundations for programmes of cooperation and joint research projects. Until recently, academic exchange was often still only a one-way street: Colombians studied and completed doctorates in Germany. Today, mutual exchange is possible and important. Colombia offers excellent research opportunities in fields such as medicine, the engineering sciences and biology. I studied mathematics at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU). However, returning to Colombia after completing a doctorate was perfectly normal for my generation. We had an obligation to contribute something towards educating the next researchers in our specialist areas. The award of the Oder of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany in 2015 made me even more committed tostrengthening the connection between Colombia and Germany.”

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Transcripts: Christina Iglhaut, LETTER 01/2019.

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June 2019