International Part-Time Continuing Education Program at Freie Universität Berlin is Picking up Speed

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Successful start to online certificate courses in the spring 2022 FUB-ContinuEd program

Three part-time online certificate courses of the new Continuing Education Program at Freie Universität Berlin (FUB-ContinuEd) successfully started in the past few days. Twenty participants from twelve countries are taking part in the nine-week online courses. Across national borders and time zones, international alumni, young professionals, and other participants who have already had years of professional experience deal with core topics that are relevant in many fields: diversity management, global sustainability challenges, and academic writing in German.

The international certificate courses are an opportunity for people who want to acquire academic knowledge and core competencies for professional or personal development. The FUB-ContinuEd Program uses contemporary methods to teach about topics that will help participants overcome current challenges and changes on the labor market. Over a period of nine weeks, the instructors present important findings from current research and link them with the demands of the workplace. The courses are subject to a fee and are designed to accompany work and studies. They offer participants time and organizational flexibility in the learning process and consist of live teaching units, self-study, group and individual work, as well as educational videos and recorded lectures. The courses take place at different times of the day, allowing participants from different time zones to attend. Small group sizes with six to a maximum of fifteen students create an atmosphere conducive to intensive and in-depth class discussions. Courses are held online in German or English, depending on the specific course.

The first round of courses this year stands out due to the fact that twelve participants were supported with a full scholarship by the Ernst-Reuter-Gesellschaft e. V. The academic and professional backgrounds of the participants from all over the world are diverse: master’s students, doctoral students, but also project managers, consultants, and self-employed people work together on topics such as "Diversity Management" and "Global Sustainability Challenges." "The heterogeneity of the target group is particularly valuable for such topics and ensures that we have exciting discussions in the course," says Dr. Kristina Rödder, program director of FUB-ContinuEd. "The participants benefit from each other in the long term because they bring very different life experiences and cultural backgrounds to the course. This is how intercultural learning and a change of perspective take place - and this is exactly one of the objectives of our program." Course participant Abid Faheem explains how essential certain key competencies are for professional development, "Understanding global sustainability challenges and solutions is essential to me because, as a young changemaker, I want to contribute to society through active involvement at the grassroots level. The course will contribute to my professional growth and allow me to translate my organization’s goals into action on the ground."

The current courses include "Academic Writing in German," "Diversity Management in International Context," and "Understanding Global Sustainability Challenges." They run through March and April. After that, courses start again in June/July of this year. In addition, FUB-ContinuEd will be offering further practical and future-oriented courses starting this summer and fall on topics such as "Change & Conflict Management," "Social Responsibility," "Storytelling" and "Design Thinking." The program’s focus on future skills is aimed at (young) managers, team leaders, and marketing managers, but also at start-ups and other interested parties who want to help shape society in the long term. Information and registration for the summer and fall courses can be found on the program website from March 2022.

The online certificate courses are aimed at people with an understanding of academic learning: Participants should be used to finding solutions to practical, everyday problems independently or as part of a team. To be admitted to the course, they must have advanced language skills in the language of instruction. Upon successful completion of a course, participants receive a certificate from Freie Universität Berlin. The program started in fall 2021 and its course offerings have continued to expand since then.

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About Freie Universität Berlin Continuing Education Program (FUB-ContinuEd) The FUB-ContinuEd Program offers international certificate courses designed for people who would like to acquire academic knowledge and key skills to further boost their professional and personal development. It uses contemporary methods to teach about topics that will help participants handle pressing issues and changes on the labor market.

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