The department of Intercultural Studies and Business Communications at the University of Jena was founded in 1992. It is one of the largest institutions of its kind with three professorships, 16 research associates, approximately 15 part-time lecturers and more than 700 students. In 2006, the department was awarded the “Deutscher Arbeitgeberpreis für Bildung” (the German Employers’ Prize for Education) for the best approach to sustainable, intercultural competence development and in 2011, it won the innovation prize “Exzellenz in der Lehre” (Excellence in Teaching) awarded by the “Deutscher Stifterverband für die Wissenschaft” (German Association of Scientific Foundations).
Multicultural diversity and intercultural cooperation are the guiding principles of our research and are inscribed upon the practical working atmosphere of our team, as well as the organisation of our study programme.
Consequently, our field is consciously oriented in an interdisciplinary direction: communications and culturally based questions retain as much importance as economic, social and behavioural issues. Our teaching spectrum for specific cultural studies covers 12 world regions (e.g. Latin America, East Asia, Scandinavia, the English-speaking world, Russia, etc.). Thereby, we not only limit our cultural understanding to national cultures, but concentrate also on the study of “diversity” and “intercultural diversity”, e.g. in terms of urban cultures, organisational cultures and team cultures.
A number of well-known national and international initiatives regarding intercultural research and teaching have originated from within our department: The publication series “Schriftenreihe Interkulturelle Wirtschaftskommunikation” (publication series of Intercultural Business Communications), the open access online journal “Interculture Journal”, web-based teaching and research initiatives such as the international university network “Intercultural Campus”, containing intercultural online lectures and seminars from all over the world, the “Interkulturelle Portal” with recent news from intercultural experts or our video cast channel “Interculture TV” on Youtube.