The private, state-recognized Akkon University of Human Sciences in Berlin with the Institute for Research in International Assistance (IRIA) is Germany’s first university of human sciences – and also the only university under the sponsorship of an aid organization, Johanniter Unfall-Hilfe e. V.
Since 2009, Akkon University has been engaged in application-oriented research and consulting in humanitarian aid and development cooperation worldwide. Founded in 2018, IRIA engages as a center of excellence in the Global Health network worldwide with contributions to improve global health and drives the internationalization of Akkon University in this field.
Currently, The West Africa Science and Technology (WAST) Center project in Ghana, of which IRIA is Co-Founder, is under development. It aims to bridge the critical deficit of trained biomedical and clinical engineers and public health experts in the health sector. For example, one of the main concerns is to support education and research in medical technology.
Other current IRIA projects include “Health Prevention through Capacity Development and Hygiene Measures in Yemen” “Health System Strengthening in Yemen” and “Promotion of Health Sciences Ukraine, Establishment of a German-Ukrainian Joint Master Program Public Health”.
Unique in Germany is also the bachelor’s program of Akkon University “International Emergency and Disaster Relief B.A.”, which provides the relevant skills for the responsible tasks of humanitarian aid and development cooperation. Starting next year, there will be new master’s degree programs in “Global Health”, “Management in Health Care M.A.”, “Crisis, Conflict and Disaster Communication M.A.” and “Advanced Nursing Practice M.Sc.”.
With this orientation, Akkon University fits perfectly with the “Global Health” area of the GHA – German Health Alliance. “The GHA approach of working on strengthening health systems in the long term and in partnership through systematic strategies and innovations also corresponds to our understanding of appreciative cooperation at eye level. We can usefully complement the GHA competencies in many fields of work,” mentions Prof. Dr. med. Dr. PH Timo Ulrichs, Vice President of Akkon University and Head of the Institute for Research in International Assistance (IRIA), as reasons for GHA membership.
“As a non-profit and non-advertising university, we hope to gain greater visibility and easier access to stakeholders and decision-makers for research and project assignments by collaborating in the GHA network. We look forward to the GHA network with its contacts and in practical cooperation such as arranging student research projects, internships and job shadowing,” Ulrichs describes his expectations.