Costa Rica Center

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Welcome at the Costa Rica Center!

The Costa Rica Center aims at the transdisciplinary, international and intercultural scientific exchange between Germany and Costa Rica. The Center is mainly devoted to the research on future-oriented, value-based, intercultural and social issues and tasks, focusing primarily on the following fields: teaching and education, peace, economy, environment, biodiversity and sustainability.

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A Success Story - University of Osnabrück founds Service Agency Costa Rica Center

Since the foundation of the inter- and transdisciplinary research center in 2014, the Costa Rica Center has built up, promoted and intensified the intercultural comparative exchange of science on many levels between the University of Osnabrück and important universities in Costa Rica. After this successful project phase, the time has now come: The University's Executive Committee has decided to establish the Costa Rica Center. "This is a decisive step towards ensuring that the Research Center will be able to perform its diverse tasks even better in the future and grow with them," said Prof. Dr. Martina Blasberg-Kuhnke, Vice-President of the Centre, during a ceremony marking the opening of the center.

The research center - like the currently existing center - is made up of members from seven of the university's nine faculties and thus has an interdisciplinary breadth that is unique in terms of cooperation between Costa Rica and Germany. Among the university's international collaborations, it occupies an outstanding position.

The tasks of the newly founded service office, which will start its work at the beginning of 2019, rest on several pillars: The promotion of cooperation in research and teaching on the subject of Costa Rica, as well as the organization of internships in the Central American country within the framework of teacher training, form one pillar. Secondly, support for teaching and research stays of Osnabrück scientists in Costa Rica and researchers there in Osnabrück is one of the core tasks. A third area is the organization of summer schools with Costa Rican and Osnabrück students, as well as the planning of excursions. The preparation of publications resulting from the cooperation as well as the supervision of young scientists are further tasks.

The Sievert Foundation for Culture and Science provides considerable support for the work of the research center and service facility. It is above all thanks to the great financial and non-material commitment of Honorary Professor Dr. Hans-Wolf Sievert as chairman of the board of the foundation and honorary consul of Costa Rica for the state of Lower Saxony that this cooperation has been a great success for years, which benefits all participants.

During the ceremony to mark the establishment of the service center, President of the University Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Lücke and Prof. Dr. Martina Blasberg-Kuhnke, Prof. Dr. Francisco Romero Royo, representative of the Consejo Nacional de Rectores (Council of Rectors of Universities in CR) and Vice Rector for Research of the Universidad Técnica Nacional de Costa Rica (UTN), spoke at the Bohnenkamp House of the Botanical Gardens, in addition to Honorary Professor Dr. Sievert. Other speakers included Marcelo Roldan Sauma, Minister Counselor of the Embassy of Costa Rica, and Birgit Strangmann, Mayor of the city of Osnabrück.

PD Dr. Susanne Müller-Using, the scientific director of the previous center, recalled the beginnings of cooperation between the university and the various educational institutions in Costa Rica. Finally, Prof. Dr. Joachim Härtling, Professor of Physical Geography at the University of Osnabrück, gave a lecture on the concrete cooperation between German and Costa Rican scientists.

Further information for editors:
PD Dr. Susanne Müller-Using, Osnabrück University,
Costa Rica Center,
Kolpingstraße 7, 49074 Osnabrück,
Phone: +49 541 969 4553,

Translated from the official press release (in German)

Newly published:

Ethos und Empathie: Interkulturelle Vergleichsstudie zur LehrerInnenbildung an der Universität Osnabrück und an der Universidad de Costa Rica

PD Dr. Susanne Müller-Using

Understanding children requires empathy and the ability to grasp the state of mind and the mood in the group, but also to see individual needs and to take them into account in pedagogical action. This requires a well-trained ability to observe, active listening and also experience in dealing with children.

Where are aspects of pedagogical ethics and empathy to be found in educational discourse? How do they relate to each other and what significance do they have for dealing with children and young people in school pedagogical situations? These questions will be examined theoretically and practically within the framework of an intercultural comparative study with Costa Rica. The study concludes with an analysis of two concepts of teacher education and an empirical study with teacher students from both universities.

Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht Publishers (in German)

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Research Intern from the Universidad Técnica Nacional de Costa Rica (UTN)

Daniel Láscarez Smith is a sociologist and works as a researcher at the National Technical University of Costa Rica and is currently a research intern at the University of Osnabrück.

The internship has been developed within the framework of cooperation of the Costa Rica Center between both universities, in order to develop scientific advances in the field of technical and vocational education and training. For this reason, the Department of Vocational and Business Training of the UOS opened its doors for his work, which is guided and supervised by Prof. Dr. Dietmar Frommberger.

The objective of the internship has been to prepare a research project on the development of the technical and vocational education and training system in Costa Rica, based on the historical interaction of the social partners represented by workers, companies and the state, among others. A further goal has been the development of strategies to promote scientific relations between both universities, based on the elaboration of an academic project to be applied for in 2019.

During the internship, Daniel Láscarez Smith had the opportunity to gain experience and insight about the most important academic debates on the development of institutional governance. He was enriched by the exchange with university employees on an intellectual and human level, especially with colleagues from the Department of Professional and Business Pedagogy (BWP). This made his stay in Costa Rica, both overall and on an institutional level, highly valuable.

Lecture evening with Prof. Dr. Mariano Rosabal-Coto - Universidad de Costa Rica

Osnabrück, DE - On 11.07. we welcomed Prof. Dr. Mariano Rosabal-Coto at the Costa Rica Center and we had the pleasure to hear his presentation with the title " Is attachment the same worldwide? An approach to its cultural conceptions in Costa Rica"

Photo Gallery

In Dialogue with Costa Rica

Osnabrück, DE - The Costa Rica Center (CRC) and the Center for Teacher Formation (ZLB) of the Osnabrück University have invited to the bilateral and intercultural exchange In dialogue with Costa Rica: On the provision and development of transversal key competences in higher education. The scientific guest on this topic is Prof. Dr. Roberto Rojas Benavides Dean of the Center for General Studies of the National University of Costa Rica (UNA). He will exchange and discuss his ideas with the Deans for academic affairs and other members of the Osnabrück University and we are looking forward to a rich discussion.

Photo gallery from the intercultural exchange "In dialogue with Costa Rica"

The Center‘s Sponsors

The Costa Rica Center is sponsored by the Sievert Foundation for Science and Culture (Sievert Stiftung für Wissenschaft und Kultur), which has been supporting the University of Osnabrück and the country of Costa Rica for years. For further details on the Sievert Foundation, please visit their website.

Information on project proposals to the Sievert Foundation for Science and Culture in Costa Rica

Read more (in German)