Viadrina celebrates decade with recruitment drive

August 24, 2001

Europa University Viadrina, which celebrated its tenth anniversary last month, is striving to build a 5,000-strong student-body.

Viadrina, on the German-Polish border, opened in 1991 with 200 students and serves 3,800 undergraduates from 46 countries. Next year's target is 4,000-plus, although Viadrina's ideal enrolment would be 5,000.

About 10 per cent of the university's intake is non-European, and that proportion is growing.

Nilima Muttana, who graduated in history from Stanford University and is studying cultural sciences at Viadrina, said: "Coming here is an opportunity to see the problems and issues surrounding German reunification as well as Poland's integration into the European Union. Studying these issues in America can seem too theoretical and abstract. Here I have a better sense of what it means when East meets West in Europe."

Viadrina's rector, Gesine Schwan, noted that Frankfurt am Oder had an image as a centre for national socialism and communism. But he said: "Wherever you go today, you hear that Viadrina is the region's best chance for the future. The city's image is being turned around by Viadrina."

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