Universities and Cities: So close yet so far!

Fischer ok

Achim Fischer (Germany)

Achim Fischer has been the Director of Public Relations of the city of Heidelberg for six years and is a trained journalist. His team is only 300 meters away from the rectorate of the University of Heidelberg - one of the top 50 universities in the world. He previously worked at the University of Mannheim for eleven years where he was Head of the Communications and Fundraising department and Deputy Head of the Rectorate office. He has been awarded several national PR prizes for his work at the university as well as at the city; most recently his team won the German "Press Office of the Year" award in 2016


In this session, former EUPRIO steering committee member Achim Fisher explores how universities and their cities can cooperate more closely.

Universities and "their" city live next door to each other - though they often remain quite distant. Both sides could benefit greatly from genuine strategic cooperation. Most of the time, however, their "neighbourly activities" are limited to operational marketing issues like common events or campaigns for study beginners.

In this session, Achim examines why universities and cities often do not seem to get along with each other as well as they should. However, the workshop will not end in a collective depression! On the contrary, it will focus on positive aspects of the relationship, because universities and cities also do have many similarities. Achim Fischer knows both sides of the relationship between universities and cities: currently Director of Public Relations for the City of Heidelberg, he was formerly Head of Communications at Mannheim University. He will outline how universities and cities can gradually move towards a closer interaction until they reach a strategic cooperation and consider best practice across Europe.