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First iDok Theme Day on Internationalisation and Intercultural Competence

Talks by doctoral students explained the connection between the foreign languages offered at school and the international affinity of students and shed light on intercultural leadership communication

Following this year's International Day, the theme day "Internationalisation and Intercultural Competence" took place for the first time last Wednesday as part of the interdisciplinary doctoral college iDok of the TH Aschaffenburg.

The members of the iDok, university staff and an interested external audience from the city and region of Aschaffenburg had the opportunity to listen to two speeches by doctoral students who are doing their doctorates cooperatively at IIC, the Institute for Intercultural Communication of TH Aschaffenburg and the Institute for Linguistics and Literary Studies of TU Darmstadt. The two doctoral students are supervised by the respective institute directors, Prof. Dr. Renate Link (TH Aschaffenburg) and Prof. Dr. Britta Hufeisen (TU Darmstadt).

Bilingual lectures in German and English

Due to the international composition of the audience and in order to do justice to the name of the theme day in linguistic terms as well, the speakers gave their presentations primarily in German, but with bilingual slide sets and short English summaries.

After an introduction of the iDok by Professor Link, doctoral candidate Birgit Kraus kicked off the afternoon with a presentation complementing the accompanying research of her dissertation. Her topic was "Knowing where your students come from - the importance of 'supplier' school exploration for enhancing internationalisation in higher education". Birgit Kraus showed the correlation between foreign languages and international activities offered at secondary schools to the later international affinity of students.

  • doctoral student Birgit Kraus

Afterwards, doctoral student Angela Warkentin presented the concept of her dissertation. The title of her keynote speech was "Intercultural leadership communication: How female managers successfully communicate in an intercultural work environment". In this context, she emphasized that the proportion of female managers in Germany is currently stagnating at less than 30% and is below the European average, although studies show that a high proportion of women in management positions leads to greater profitability in companies.

Impulse lectures of the iDok have an interdisciplinary character, serve networking purposes and have a level of detail appropriate to the interdisciplinary audience. Even difficult specialist topics are introduced in a comprehensible manner and explained clearly. The impulse lectures are a defining component of the college and a sign of the active participation of doctoral students and supervisors in the iDok.

  • doctoral student Angela Warkentin presented the concept of her dissertation online

Informal get-together with accompanying creative programme

After the two lectures, there was the opportunity to discuss the topics in depth, to network and to learn about the iDok college during a drink. The participants were also invited to view and discuss the two posters with graphic recordings, which Suzanne Lawerentz, visual artist and lecturer at the TH Aschaffenburg, had drawn simultaneously during the lectures as illustrated protocols. Graphic Recordings graphically capture what was said in real time and thus visually support the recording of key statements at events and conferences with drawings.

  • Suzanne Lawerentz drew graphic recordings simultaneously during the lectures as illustrated protocols

  • Get-together after the two lectures

The third impulse lecture of the cooperative IIK doctoral student Zhenan Li (TH Aschaffenburg & FAU Erlangen-Nuremberg) on the topic "Digital living environment as a framework condition for the design of future-oriented vocational training in China" which was originally also planned for this theme day, unfortunately had to be postponed at short notice due to unforeseen circumstances and will be held online as a Lunchtime Business Talk shortly. The date will be announced soon.

Photo at the top: Prof. Dr. Renate Link (right) with doctoral student Birgit Kraus