First Croaticum Croatian language centre in a German-speaking country to open
- by croatiaweek
- in News
ZAGREB, 18 March (Hina) – The Rector of the University of Zagreb Stjepan Lakušić and the President of the University of Regensburg Udo Hebel signed an agreement in Zagreb on Thursday to establish study centres in the two cities to deepen scientific and academic relations between Croatia and Germany.
Zagreb will thus get a Centre for German and European Studies at the University of Zagreb, while Croaticum – the Center for Croatian as a Second and Foreign Language – will be opened at the University of Regensburg. It will be the first Croaticum in German-speaking countries and this is considered to be a historic step forward for the Croatian language in Slavic studies in German-speaking countries.
During the signing ceremony, Lakušić said that the agreement represents an important moment for the University of Zagreb, which will thus become the first university in this part of Europe to have a Centre for German and European Studies. It is also an indicator that the University of Zagreb is recognised as part of the network of excellence of leading European universities, Lakušić said.
The Centre for German and European Studies is a joint institution of the University of Zagreb and the University of Regensburg with a regional focus on Southeastern Europe.
Lakuљić added that the Centre will play an important role in deepening the scientific and academic relations between Croatia and Germany and will contribute to the development and implementation of European-oriented and interdisciplinary research projects and study programs, while the establishment of the Croaticum Centre in Regensburg will enable additional academic connections.
Hebel said that the University of Regensburg has a long tradition of cooperation with the countries of Eastern and Southeastern Europe and their universities, and the University of Zagreb has always had a central place in that network.
The Croaticum Centre will be the first of its kind in Germany, he underscored. “We are convinced that this new institution will make a key contribution to cooperation between Germany, Bavaria and Croatia in all areas. It is a language institute, but language is the key to cooperation in all areas,” said Hebel. He announced the close cooperation between the two centres and expressed his belief in a promising future.
The signing ceremony was attended by Croatian Minister of Foreign and European Affairs Gordan Grlić Radman. “This is a great day for the expansion of the academic offer of both universities, deepening Croatian-German scientific cooperation and the strengthening of academic cooperation in Europe in general, and in Southeastern Europe in particular,” Grlić Radman said.
Such cooperation is of special importance today because it indicates that “the European idea is moving forward and that we will not allow the dark side of European history to prevail.”