Our new six-month visiting program “Global Talents for Local Transformations” (October 2021-April 2022) will bring four talented international researchers to the University of Vechta to work on research projects under the umbrella theme “Transformation Processes in Rural Areas”.

The University of Vechta’ rural setting makes it a privileged venue to observe several current challenges of our transforming world: from sustainability issues raised by intensive animal farming, to the role of education for a sustainable development; from societal challenges posed by an increasingly aging population, especially in rural areas, to the cultural transformations brought about by pervasive globalization processes. Despite their crucial role in understanding such important phenomena, rural areas are underrepresented in the German University landscape, as the internationally renowned universities are located mainly in urban centers. With our program “Global talents for Local Transformations” we aim to fill this gap and propose a program tailored to the specificities of a rural, responsible “open” university, like the University of Vechta.

As part of the program, the four visiting researchers will work together with their hosts at the University of Vechta at four different research projects that approach the umbrella theme from different disciplinary and geographical perspectives. Sakina Faru (St. Augustine University, Tanzania) will investigate rural-urban migration as a cause of family inequalities for women and girls in Lake Victoria areas in Tanzania. David Mrisho (St. Augustine University, Tanzania) will look at ways to improve recovery and reduce burnout among physicians in rural areas in Tanzania and Germany.

Marisol Lopera (Universidad de Antioquia, Colombia) will carry out an analysis of micro-curricula under the light of sustainability in Colombia and Ecuador. Finally, David Valerio (Universidad Michoacana de San Nicolás de Hidalgo, Mexico) will investigate how the topics of ecology, ethics and plurality are tackled in rural councils in Mexico in the face of a global context.

The program will encourage interdisciplinary dialogue among the four participants, as well as the communication of research results to the local civil society and the broader public. On this webpage, you can find more information about the single research projects, on the interdisciplinary dialogue process and on the events of the visiting program. In particular, the program will feature a series of lectures, the “Brown bag seminar series” (link), where visiting fellows and their hosts will present their research to the university community.

The visiting program is part of the initiative “Research in Germany” and is funded by the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF). The program was conceived by the Welcome Centre (International Office) with support of the Graduate Centre and the Unit for Research Development and Knowledge Transfer of the University of Vechta. These three departments work together at the realization of the visiting program.


Dr. Sakina Faru

Rural-urban migration and gender inequality

David Mrisho, PhD

Burnout and recovery among physicians

Dr. Marisol Lopera Pérez

Sustainability in traning programmes
and microcurricula

David Alberto Valerio Miranda

Ecology, ethics and plurality
in Mexico’s rural council democracy



The Brown Bag Seminar Series is the most important public event of the visiting program. Through a series of seminars held by the visiting fellows or their hosts, the results of the research projects will be presented to the university public.

The seminars take place once a month in English language and are open to all members of the University of Vechta. Each month, one of the visiting fellows or their hosts present their research results in an accessible form. This should ensure the possibility for university members from other disciplines to participate in the discussion, and thereby stimulate the interdisciplinary dialogue under the umbrella topic “Transformation Processes in Rural Areas”.

Brown Bag Seminar Program

December 1, 2021
Judith Bopp (ISPA) “Organic farming practices and smallholders‘ household resilience in Bangladesh“

December 15, 2021
​David Valerio Miranda “Ecology, ethics and plurality from the rural council democracy in Mexico in the face of global context”

January 26, 2022
David Mrisho „How to Improve Recovery and Reduce Burnout among Physicians in Rural Tanzania“

February 23, 2022
Bernd Leisen „Digital volunteering as a way to foster intergenerational cooperation in rural areas“

March 23, 2022
Sakina Faru „Rural-urban migration as a cause of family inequalities for woman and girls in Lake Viktoria areas, Tanzania“

April 20, 2022
Marisol Lopera Perez: “Environmental education and sustainability: the engine to transform the world“.

May 18, 2022:  Georg Götz “Tearin’ up the country with a song? How pop culture transformed attitudes and aspirations of the young in Germany’s northwest in the 1970s.“

June 22, 2022:  Kerstin Schatz “Inclusive church music: Social transformation processes in rural areas through the link between the musical field of church music and Community Music.“

July 13, 2022:  Anne-Katrin Schwab “Transformation im ländlichen Raum. Ein Ökodorf und seine Wirkung in die Region.“


Please note: All seminars take place from 2pm to 3 pm on a Wednesday

Here you can find the poster with the complete Brown Bag program.