A long-standing partnership between the University of Plymouth and the Darmstadt University of Applied Sciences has enabled a German institution to gain independent PhD awarding powers.
The universities have been working together on a range of research and teaching projects since the early 1990s and have co-supervised 25 students to complete their PhD studies.
They are also part of a successful wider network, which includes further nodes at Universities of Applied Sciences in Frankfurt and Furtwangen, along with further PhD collaboration with the University of Applied Sciences in Karlsruhe.
This has now seen Darmstadt granted approval to award its own PhDs, enabling it to build on the existing undergraduate and postgraduate opportunities it offers students in south-western Germany.
The partnership, and the wider network, has been led by the Centre for Security, Communications and Network Research (CSCAN), based within the School of Computing Electronics and Mathematics in Plymouth.
Professor Steven Furnell, Head of the School and Director of CSCAN, said:
“Our link to Darmstadt has achieved many successes and this is a real boost for them as they continue to grow. Over more than ten years, students from Germany have really enriched our PhD community while the academic links have complemented our own areas of expertise. We hope that will continue and are exploring potential projects, and new additions to our network, to ensure this the partnership’s success is replicated in the future.”
Professor Bernhard G Humm, Director of the Institute for Applied Informatics in Darmstadt, added:
“Since our first links with Plymouth were established in 1992, there has been a real spirit of collaboration and friendship. That has built through our research projects and studentships. This and other connections put us in a strong position when the state of Hesse decided to allow research-intensive units from Universities of Applied Sciences to award PhD degrees. Our new centre opened on November 14, marking the first time in Germany that a PhD in computer science can be awarded by such an institution.”
The international node network was established as a means to share expertise in computer security and network research, as well as enabling potential PhD students to complete their studies.
As well as working together on a range of projects, the network holds a regular research symposium at one of the node institutions. This enables academics to share ideas, but also allows PhD students to present their work to a wider audience and meet up with contemporaries from the UK and Germany, and to feel part of the overall Research Centre.
Outside the network, the two institutions have also collaborated on other research events, including 11 stagings of the International Network Conference (INC) and the Collaborative European Research Conference (CERC).