Katekisama Program

Facing the Challenges of the 21st Century with a Globally Connected Academia

The Katekisama program is a new model of academic cooperation and collaboration between the Universities of Basel (Switzerland), Bonn (Germany) and the University of Ghana. The program offers young scholars and senior researchers an original and dynamic platform of interdisciplinary, cooperative education and research that enables them to critically explore and analyze today’s global realities. The scholars and PhD students benefit from the excellence, experience and global expertise of all three institutions in the social sciences and humanities, and from their new and exclusive forms of academic mobility.


Katekisama refers to Erasmus of Rotterdam’s journey around the world, the transformation of global knowledge and the importance of new directions in future academic cooperation. The Universities of Basel, Bonn and Ghana want to contribute to a new understanding of academic education by promoting a visionary concept of knowledge as a crucial part of what we call ‘global commons’, i.e. the essential resources and goods whose global availability will shape the future of the 21st century.

Katekisama is a wooden sculpture of Erasmus of Rotterdam from the 16th century. The sculpture, today in the National Museum in Tokyo, was attached to the stern of the ship De Liefde, which was the first Dutch ship to land in Japan in the year 1600. For centuries the mysterious sculpture was kept in a Buddhist monastery, its origin forgotten and its meaning interpreted in many different ways, be it as a Chinese god, a bogeyman or a missionary.

Katekisama symbolizes global connections and the importance of intellectual exchange. As a global hybrid, the figure illustrates the development of a new direction in the social sciences and humanities: it stands for a new global competence in academic education and research and for the innovative potential and unifying power of scientific exchange and universities over many centuries. Katekisama thus shows a path of humanitarian universalism across all kinds of borders.



Statur Erasmus
© © Europainstitut der Universität Basel/Universität Bonn

Eine Wissenschaftlerin und ein Wissenschaftler arbeiten hinter einer Glasfassade und mischen Chemikalien mit Großgeräten.
© Europainstitut der Universität Basel/Universität Bonn

Connected Activities

The program produces a dynamic platform of exchange along three modes of collaboration:


Doctoral training aims to ensure the regular exchange of PhD students between the partner institutions in order to strengthen and refine their interdisciplinary and international profile. The planned graduate programs (or similar structures) support the integration of students at each of the partner institutions.

Rotating Seminars

This novel format of international academic education provides for each partner institution to offer a signature course each year for one of the other partner institutions, which is then repeated the following year for the remaining partner institution. The signature course demonstrates in a paradigmatic way the global expertise and research profile of the respective institutions.

Katekisama Fellowships

Fellowships from the partner universities address scholars in the middle of their career (PostDocs, assistant professors etc.). With the fellowships, the program intends to rethink global academic mobility in the real and the virtual space and to make the digital exchange productive for future forms of scientific collaboration.



Copyright © Europainstitut der Universität Basel und Universität Bonn

Student Testimonials

Anna, Universität Bonn:

I participated in the program out of interest and did not need any more credit points. Participating in a course with a different teaching method, different forms of examination and at a different university with international students from different disciplines brought a breath of fresh air into my semester. The course was an important addition to my studies and enabled me to go beyond the canon of the University of Bonn and fill in gaps in my knowledge. Since the whole program takes place within the framework of research on globalization, I was able to put my own subjects and research interests into a political and global-social context that I had previously lacked. I wish I could have gone to Basel for one of the sessions to attend in person... Many thanks to the lecturer and the program staff.

Lena, Universität Bonn:

Like last semester, I found the organization of the program very successful and uncomplicated. What I particularly liked this time was that the course was designed in such a way that group work between students from Basel and Bonn was possible and that an exchange was really made possible.  I also liked the fact that the workload corresponded to what I would have had to do in Bonn. I have no criticism. I am very happy that we were able to take part in such an interesting programme and thank you for the organization.

Jasmin, Universität Bonn:

 I completed the course and found it very enriching. Especially the discussions in the small groups were great fun and made me think further. I wasn't familiar with the concept of the course and I think it's really good.

Lilli, Universität Bonn:

I completed the course and found it very enriching. I particularly liked the structure: meetings with a constant group of five alternated with seminars in which experts spoke on the respective topic. It was great to be able to exchange ideas with the students from Basel across disciplines! It was exciting to see how we looked at the topics from different perspectives, depending on our studies. This made the exchange very interesting and we were able to learn a lot from each other.



Former Employees

Avatar Mayer

Maximilian Mayer

Avatar Grozdanovska

Elena Grozdanovska

Avatar van Helden

Merle van Helden


Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn
Römerstraße 164
Room 4.011b
DE–53117 Bonn

E-Mail: katekisama@uni-bonn.de

Katekisama website of the Institute for European Global Studies in Basel

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