Building Bridges between Israel and Germany

Educational research experts Nina Kolleck from Berlin and Miri Yemini from Tel Aviv receive prestigious ARCHES award / Parliamentary State Secretary Thomas Rachel calls it a strong building block in German-Israeli academic cooperation

No 077/2019 from Apr 01, 2019

The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research awarded the prestigious ARCHES award to Nina Kolleck from Freie Universität Berlin and Dr. Miri Yemini from Tel Aviv University (Israel) for their joint research project. Their comparative study on interactions between German and Israeli nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and schools earned the scholars the prize that comes with a cash award of 200,000 euros. The Award for Research Cooperation and High Excellence - ARCHES for short - was awarded on Monday by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. The Minerva Foundation coordinates and administers the award for the Ministry. The Minerva Foundation is a subsidiary of the Max Planck Foundation and promotes German-Israeli academic partnerships. Its founding in 1959 marked the beginning of cooperative research efforts with Israel.

Parliamentary State Secretary Thomas Rachel from the German Ministry of Education and Research, speaking at the award ceremony, called ARCHES an important building block for German-Israeli academic cooperation. Collaborative research builds bridges and promotes mutual understanding. He went on to emphasize the winning project’s relevance and timeliness, noting the growing attention that NGOs have gained recently, especially among younger, socially engaged individuals. The project compared how nongovernment organizations and schools interacted in the two countries. Rachel also pointed out that this year was the tenth time that a team of early-career German-Israeli researchers had won the award.

In their study, the two scholars examine how schools and NGOs interacted in Israel’s and Germany’s education sectors from the perspective of various stakeholders such as school principals, NGO employees, foundations, as well as actors involved in educational administration and politics. The overarching goal of the study is to develop a new theory regarding the role of interactions between schools and non-state actors, such as NGOs and foundations. The study looks specifically at the goals, motives, strategies, perceptions, influences, and trust relationships of the people involved in the interactions. Nina Kolleck points out that non-state organizations have continued to gain influence in the realm of education in Western countries over the last decades. But despite their growing significance little is known about their influence on schools and their relationships to actors there, such as principals or teachers. The study owes a great deal to the close exchange between the prizewinners, their previous achievements, and the body of international research already available. According to the study, their goal is to make a contribution to interdisciplinary research as well as improve practices within the education sector.

Nina Kolleck has headed the Department of Educational Research and Social Systems at Freie Universität Berlin since 2014. Her research focuses on social networks, justice in education, heterogeneity, as well as the role of internationalization and globalization in education. She is currently a professor of educational science and heterogeneity at RWTH Aachen University. She has conducted research and served as a visiting professor at numerous universities, including the University of California Berkeley, the University of British Columbia (Vancouver), the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and Tel Aviv University.

Dr. Miri Yemini is a research fellow of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation at the Department of Educational Research and Social Systems, Freie Universität Berlin, and a tenured senior faculty member at Tel Aviv Univerisity. Her research interests include comparative education as well as the internationalization and globalization of education. Miri Yemini is an associate editor of the International Journal of Educational Development and Multicultural Education Review . Since 2018 she has co-chaired the UNESCO Chair for Technology, Internationalization, and Education at Tel Aviv University with Professor of Science Education Rafi Nachmias.

  • More about Freie Universität Berlin’s cooperation with Israeli institutions:
  • ARCHES award and Minerva Foundation:
  • German-Israeli cooperation in education and research: and

Department of Education and Psychology, Educational Research and Social Systems, Tel.: +49 30 838-52459, Email: sekkolleck [at] erzwiss.fu-berlin (p) de

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