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"Internationalisation and regional roots are two sides of the same coin," says Ulrike Landfester, Vice-President for External Relations. On the one hand, the HSG is a business university engaged in fierce competition. On the other hand, many business schools are returning to their roots in order to regain a more clearcut profile. Fortunately, she says, the HSG has been convinced for decades that its roots in the region are a central part of its identity, and this is why it cultivates this origin and the relationship deriving from it.
"Internationalisation and regional roots
are two sides of the same coin."
"Since the HSG has to satisfy high international standards, contact with universities all over the world makes a great contribution to quality development," says Peter Lindstrom, Director of External Relations since 2018. It provides students with an opportunity to spend a semester abroad at a partner university and, through studying alongside their foreign fellow students, to acquire intercultural competencies which will be enormously important for their later professional lives. Conversely, when our foreign students return home as alumni and alumnae, they are ambassadors and contact points for the region of St.Gallen throughout the world.
In the field of regional roots, a dedicated team was set up for the cultivation of relations with the region. For instance, it provides SMEs with free support when they want to find the relevant experts at the University of St.Gallen. Furthermore, the HSG was involved in the patronage committee of the Reformation Year with events and public lecture series. The organisation of events at the HSG was professionalised to ensure that regional organisations and people could find suitable resources for the events more quickly. And a Visitors' Corner was created in the Main Building to enable the general public to obtain an insight into the University’s many-faceted work directly on the campus.
And what projects are in the pipeline for the coming months? In October, the institute in São Paulo will be inaugurated with a celebration on site. At present, the portfolio of the approx. 200 partner universities is undergoing a quality check, and cooperation with the Catholic University of Central Africa in Yaoundé (Cameroon) is being launched in the field of business ethics.
"If you can’t laugh at yourself and the world,
you’re lost in this job, in particular."
After eight years on the President’s Board, Ulrike Landfester will place her vice-presidency into new hands. What advice will she be giving to her successor? "Whenever you meet someone, try to see the human being first and the institution behind him or her only second. And don’t take yourself too seriously: if you can’t laugh at yourself and the world, you’re lost in this job, in particular."