Extensive digital programme of the central alumni network of Heidelberg University
This year, the alumni initiative of Heidelberg University - Heidelberg Alumni International (HAI) - can look back over a quarter of a century of active alumni engagement in a large, worldwide network. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the anniversary will be celebrated with an extensive digital programme of events and festivities, instead of the traditional "homecoming" in Heidelberg. The programme is available to members of the HAI network all over the world under the heading #25HAI. The curtain-raiser on 10 July 2021 will be a welcoming address by Bernhard Eitel, Rector of Ruperto Carola, to be followed by a virtual variant of the "Riverboat Shuffle" of earlier anniversary celebrations. Numerous other actions and events will follow in the course of the year.
On 11 July 2021 there will be a thematic panel discussion between Rector Bernhard Eitel and university alumni under the heading "#25HAI: The future since 1386. What keeps our university moving today and tomorrow?" followed by a virtual "Happy Hour" and opportunities for further conversation and discussion. The next weekend will be under the aegis of the City of Heidelberg. On 17 July, Lord Mayor Eckart Würzner will present information about the dynamic changes going on in Heidelberg. A virtual tour of the university and Old Town will be streamed live on 18 July to round off the Heidelberg weekend. Until the end of the year the members of the HAI network can select digital items of interest from the areas of Science & Research, Culture & Society, Career & Business and Networking & Socialising. The programme planning includes e.g. lectures, panel discussions, virtual tours or activities to join in.
The HAI network, which is open to all students past and present, researchers, staff and teachers at Ruperto Carola, was founded in 1996 - as one of the first central alumni associations at a German university. Meanwhile it has approximately 17,700 members in 135 countries in specialist, national and international networks, and regularly organises events at home and abroad.
Heidelberg Alumni International offers its members a broad range of activities. Besides in-person or digital events, these include the online platform HAInet for many different forms of networking. Regarding career opportunities, HAI offers job and internship announcements along with a mentoring programme; scholarships are also awarded. The Research Alumni Network is directed at former and current doctoral students from abroad, likewise at postdoctoral researchers and established academics who spend time doing research at Heidelberg University and then wish to remain in contact with it afterwards. This network has already attracted around 450 researchers from all over the world.