I know the UK is going out, but I’m in Berlin and I’m going to do my darndest to keep European library ties revived. I’m here at Freie Universitat on an Erasmus Staff Week: Libraries in Motion – Structures and Services. It looks to be a packed 5 days of sharing and learning from those here in Berlin and from delegates from Europe, the Middle East and the US. 90 delegates are attending: 70 from university international offices and 20 from libraries. We’re all here to share best practice and innovations and to spread the word that we need to open our minds to the world, especially during troubled times.
FU was founded in 1948 with the support of the American allied forces in a move to free students and staff from overpowering political influence. From the beginning, Freie Universität has made connections in Germany, in Europe and worldwide. Today, Freie Universitat has 11 departments, 34,170 students and their international strategies have netted them partnerships and recognition from around the world. The QS World University Rankings® 2015/16 ranks FU fifth in Germany and 116th in the world.
I guess the lesson here is that to be truly free is to be open to the world. Let’s hope that we can exercise this same freedom in the UK in future.