Honorary doctorate for State President Michelle Bachelet
The TU Bergakademie Freiberg appreciates with the honorary doctorate the commitment of Michelle Bachelet for free access to education in Chile and her support of the German-Chilean resources cooperation as well as the good relations between the national University of Resources in Freiberg and the partners in Chile.
In his speech Prime Minister Stanislaw Tillich honoured the Chilean State President Michelle Bachelet and looked retrospectively at joint experiences: “You have learnt German in Leipzig, but at that time the people in the GDR lacked freedom and democracy. 25 years ago, courageous people in the Free State of Saxony have demanded their right for freedom and democracy without violence and also did achieve it in the peaceful revolution. The way of the Chilean people out of dictatorship was of similar courage and these experiences of the same kind bring us together. I am glad that you live this relationship also in person and that you are once more our guest in the Free State of Saxony. I am convinced that also the honorary doctorate will contribute to deepen the relation to Saxony even more.”
Vice Chancellor Prof. Bernd Meyer emphasised in his speech: “I would like to thank the President for her commitment for free access to education in Chile and the support of the German-Chilean resources cooperation. The TU Bergakademie Freiberg as a national University of Resources considers itself to be responsible for the education partnership with Germany’s resources partner states, thus also with Chile. Education is always the foundation for the economy.” The resources partnership established between Germany and Chile in the year 2013 creates the framework for a new quality of cooperation of the TU Bergakademie Freiberg with the partners in Chile for education, advanced training and research. A German-Chilean cooperation project, which shall support the training and exchange programmes in the academic and vocational field of the mining sector, was already established with the Domeyko Initiative, supported by the BMBF (Federal Ministry of Education and Research). This is beneficial for both sides: The Bergakademie assists the Chilean universities with know-how and experience. In turn, the German students and scientists get access to active ore mining, but also to abandoned mines and their environmentally harmful legacies.
The TU Bergakademie suggests to establish a German-Chilean Domeyko Centre for research, education and advanced training of specialists and executive staff in the resources technology sector. “We can imagine that this Centre will have its headquarters in Freiberg and Chile. In this way we would lift the longest education partnership between our countries to a new level: up to 100 Chilean students can be educated in Freiberg. The highly qualified specialists who are trained here are the builders of bridges to the future for the resources partnership between our countries”, said Vice Chancellor Prof. Bernd Meyer.
State President Michelle Bachelet is honoured as a personality who has spent part of her life in the eastern part of Germany and who is committed to the resources partnership between both countries and the associated initiatives in teaching, research and further education. The exchange of knowledge in the field of raw materials between Germany and Chile has the longest tradition in Freiberg: its roots go back to the mid of the 19th century. The first student from Chile came to the Bergakademie in 1846. Other important scientists followed. One of them was Ignacio Domeyko, born in Poland, who attended lectures at the Bergakademie in Freiberg. Later he was appointed at the University Santiago de Chile, where he was appointed Vice Chancellor. Ignacio Domeyko seemed to have been very impressed by Freiberg because he sent many students to the Bergakademie, amongst others also his son Casimiro Domeyko. He studied in Freiberg from 1886 to 1888. The matriculation sheet with the number 3434 still bears witness to the famous graduate from Freiberg. Later in Chile, Casimiro became the head of the Escuela de Minas Copiapó, for which he took Freiberg as a model. It ended up in today’s University of Atacama.