About the program

The Lectureship Program in Asia is special because of its many closely interwoven layers:
young university graduates from Germany, Austria, and Switzerland (known as “DACH” lecturers, based on the country codes of their countries of origin: D, A, CH) teach German as a foreign language at a university in Asia. In addition to their teaching duties, DACHs also develop an educational project with the goal of promoting intercultural dialog and fostering their personal development. Further training and coaching are provided to support them. They receive a monthly grant to cover their living expenses in Asia.

And that is where the program’s second target group is to be found: local lecturers (referred to as “LOK” lecturers) are German-speaking university staff in Asia. They also receive a monthly grant as well as coaching and training focused on rhetoric, presentation techniques, and managing meetings. They put their newly acquired skills immediately into practice in their work at their universities.

Both groups meet in joint seminars and become part of an active network. The Lectureship Program is currently available in China, Indonesia, South Korea, Thailand, and Vietnam.

 

Why are we running this program?

The Lectureship Program gives young people from diverse backgrounds the tools they need to thrive in an intercultural environment. It encourages them to embrace new things, actively contribute, and grow through interaction – essential skills in a shrinking world. The Lectureship Program brings young people from Asia and German-speaking countries together, creating lasting ties. They then help build an international network that has been bringing about personal and social change for the past 25 years.

 

What are our goals?

How does the Lectureship Program achieve its stated aim of fostering both individual and social development? Firstly, it supports all grant holders by offering opportunities for personal growth. Secondly, it helps them improve their professional skills through training and daily practical application. This professional side of the program is about more than simply honing the individuals’ skills. It also encourages international dialog on teaching and learning cultures. Thirdly, the Lectureship Program helps build a vibrant society through the engagement of the grant holders. In this way, personal development and professional upskilling, meeting new people, and social involvement all complement each other.

Who are the target groups?

The Lectureship Program is designed with two target groups in mind: university graduates from German-speaking countries and young researchers or lecturers working at universities in Asia. During their time on the Lectureship Program, the two groups meet at several events in Germany and Asia.

The young university graduates from Germany, Austria, and Switzerland are known as DACHs based on the country codes of their countries of origin. Although their academic backgrounds may be completely different, they all share an interest in teaching, key project work, and Asia. They are not required to have previously spent time in the region. However, willingness to broaden their skills is a must and is supported through the program. For further information, please check out the program description.

University staff in Asia who wish to pursue an academic career and have excellent German language skills can apply to join the program as LOKs. They should, furthermore, have an interest in innovative educational approaches, in improving their skills in rhetoric, presentation techniques, and managing meetings, and in cooperating with other participants in the Lectureship Program. They remain in their home countries during the program, but can apply for a research stay or internship in Germany. For further information, please check out the program description.

 

Host universities in Asia are another element of the Lectureship Program. For the duration of the lectureship, they treat the young university graduates from German-speaking countries as members of staff, pay them a salary typical for the region, provide accommodation, and help them apply for a work visa. In return, the host universities benefit from having a native speaker to give German lessons. Furthermore, DACHs play a role as cultural ambassadors: they facilitate international dialog on innovative educational approaches, get engaged locally, and involve the host university in an Asia-wide network. For further information, please check out the program description.

How does the program work?

The Lectureship Program awards grants for a year. All lecturers are part of a well-functioning network during this period and can remain within this network after their lectureship has ended. The year starts in summer 2019, with all lecturers coming together for a launch meeting in Germany. This is followed by a meet-up in Asia in the fall 2019 and another in spring 2020. The academic year is then brought to a close with a get-together back in Germany in the summer 2020.

The program rests on three pillars: personal development, university teaching, and project work.

Both groups of lecturers receive coaching and training tailored to them during their participation in the program. For DACHs, there are workshops and training in project management, presentation skills, and teamwork as well as seminars on fundraising, project consulting, etc.
LOKs receive training in core skills such as rhetoric, presentation techniques, or managing meetings and arrange co-teaching activities with other LOKs. Trained coaches sit in on their lessons and give constructive feedback.
This training concept has been designed in cooperation with training academy FITIS – Akademie für Training und Transfer and the University of Hamburg, Germany. Participants receive a certificate as proof of their newly acquired skills at the end of the program.

All program participants teach at a university in Asia. LOKs continue their usual teaching duties. DACHs teach up to six lessons a week of German as a foreign or specialist language. In addition to their teaching duties, they also advise students and staff on matters relating to their country of origin and organize extracurricular activities.

All DACHs work on at least one self-chosen educational project while in Asia. This could be an innovative further education concept, a meeting place for young people, or an intercultural women’s festival. DACHs make a tangible social contribution by engaging locally, and they expand their personal skills by planning and implementing their projects.
As for the LOKs, they are, in particular, able to develop their didactic skills. In so doing, they grow into their future role as multipliers for innovative teaching methods at their university.
DACHs and LOKs can also work together on joint projects.

These are examples which shows some projects from 2017/18: (German Only)

  • Jüdisches Leben Qingdao: historische Spurensuche durch Stadtspaziergänge und eigenen Hörspielen in Qingdao/China
  • Co-Teaching: neue Ansätze für den Germanistitkunterricht - eine Bildungskooperation zwischen Jakarta/Indonesien und Ho-Chi-Minch-City/Vietnam
  • Sustainable Tourism in Isan: nachhaltige Tourismuskonzepte in Khon Kaen/Thailand

Who organizes and sponsors the project?

The Lectureship Program in Asia is a cooperation between the Robert Bosch Stiftung and MitOst association. MitOst was founded in 1996 by former lecturers of the Robert Bosch Stiftung as a platform aimed at furthering networking and project work. In other words, engaged alumni of the Robert Bosch Stiftung became the Lectureship Program’s organizers. The association’s range of activities and network have steadily grown ever since. Today, MitOst serves as an umbrella organization for several cooperation programs, numerous international projects, the work of ten alumni groups, the annual MitOst Festival, and the wide-ranging involvement of 1,400 MitOst members from 45 countries.

What additional offerings exist?

In its 25 years, the Lectureship Program has produced well over 1,000 alumni who maintain contact with each other and meet up regularly.

Some alumni now in well-established careers act as mentors, assisting small groups of DACHs following their stay in Asia. Participants are supported during their transition into professional life through personal interaction, help with their career planning, and the seminars provided as part of the mentoring program. The mentors, in turn, stay connected to the current Lectureship Program and have the opportunity to develop their personal skills through the mentoring program’s seminar units.
For more information please contact Natalie Wagner (natalie.wagner@mitost.org).

The foundation of the MitOst association in 1996 was the first alumni project of a group of former Robert Bosch Stiftung lecturers. The aim was to create a society for alumni of various programs of the Robert Bosch Stiftung as well as a platform for networking and professional interaction. Through MitOst, alumni can apply for financial support for small-scale projects and meetings, and discuss various topics with other alumni all over the world.

The International Alumni Center (iac Berlin) (www.iac-berlin.net) and Bosch Alumni Network (www.boschalumni.net) were set up in 2017 to foster contact amongst alumni of all programs as well.
People, topics, and ideas come together on one platform and at events in all partner countries of the Robert Bosch Stiftung, with opportunities for contact beyond program participation also provided.