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  • IU welcomes Dr. Frank Weise, Prof. Dr. Tobias Bonhoeffer, Ambassador Kamissa Camara, Dr. Karina Montilla Edmonds, Raffaela Rein, Lucy Stonehill and Jimmy Wales as board members.
  • The distinguished group of experts from science, business and politics share IU’s vision for future-oriented higher education, promoting educational equality and the key qualifications of tomorrow.
  • The advisory board members will accompany IU on its way to becoming a leading global education provider.
  • The first advisory board meeting took place yesterday on 30 June 2022.

Erfurt, 01 July 2022. IU International University of Applied Sciences is strengthening itself with a newly constituted advisory board, to support its mission: providing education that is accessible for all through digitalised, personalised learning to impart the skills that will be key tomorrow. The advisory board of Germany's largest university will include outstanding thought leaders from science, business and politics: Dr. Frank Weise, former Chairman of the Board of the Federal Employment Agency in Germany, Prof. Dr. Tobias Bonhoeffer, neurobiologist and researcher of learning processes, Ambassador Kamissa Camara, former Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of Digital Economy and Planning of the Republic of Mali,
Dr. Karina Montilla Edmonds, Global Head of Academies and University Alliances at the software company SAP, Raffaela Rein and Lucy Stonehill, entrepreneurs in the field of digital education, and Jimmy Wales, co-founder of the online encyclopaedia Wikipedia (for further information about the advisory board members, please refer to the Appendix).

Strategic support for a global education mission 

With the expertise and diverse experience of its members in central strategic fields of IU, the advisory board will comprehensively advise the university in its further development – including the strategic orientation of IU, its study formats and the university’s global growth. IU's goal is to further expand its creative power as a driver of progressive higher education both in Germany and internationally and to establish itself as a globally relevant provider of digital education (EdTech). Dr. Frank Weise will chair the IU Advisory Board. This was decided by the members at yesterday’s constituent meeting of the board.

"IU has set itself the goal of nothing less than the education of the future, thereby addressing one of the fundamental questions of our time – for society as a whole and for each and every one of us. The technology-driven transformation of our economies will only be successful if we provide the right offers for all our talents to learn throughout their lives. In order to stay together as a society, we must ensure that everyone has a fair chance to achieve social participation through education. The IU already offers many convincing answers to this. Together with my colleagues on the advisory board, I look forward to supporting them on their further journey," says Dr. Frank Weise.

Digital innovation for new educational opportunities 

At the state-approved IU International University of Applied Sciences, students can learn in a self-determined way – when, where and how it suits their personal needs and possibilities – with the help of a digitally supported learning environment. This is made possible by specially developed proprietary platforms such as the virtual campus and the IU Learn App. Many IU students would not be able to study at a traditional university, as they are dependent on income from their employment, for example, or on maximum time flexibility due to family commitments. At IU, students can choose from a variety of study models, combine online and face-to-face courses and customise their study content. IU's proprietary teaching and learning platform sets standards with its end-to-end digitalisation from content creation to delivery. At the same time, IU is pushing ahead with its continuous further development, increasingly also relying on the integration of artificial intelligence in order to meet individual educational needs even better and to enable optimal learning experiences and results.

Dr. Sven Schütt, CEO of IU: “At IU, we rely on technological advancement to fulfil a deeply human purpose: to enable each and every one to grow and develop individual talents. This shared mission makes us strong as a team; our success as EdTech-innovators thrives on creativity, diversity of perspectives and mutual inspiration. That's why I'm particularly glad that we've been able to attract such bright minds and inspiring personalities from many different fields to keep challenging us from the outside as well and to set new impulses.”

Profiles of the members of the IU Advisory Board

Dr. Frank Weise was Chairman of the Executive Board of the German Federal Employment Agency from 2004 to 2017 and simultaneously Head of the German Federal Office for Migration and Refugees between 2015 and 2016. Dr. Frank Weise is one of Germany's leading experts on the future of education and employment and has also been involved in recent years as a board member of the non-profit Hertie Foundation and as President of Johanniter-Unfall-Hilfe.

Prof. Dr. Tobias Bonhoeffer is Director at the Max Planck Institute for Biological Intelligence (in foundation). The German American scientist works intensively on the cellular foundations of learning and memory. With his ground-breaking research, he reveals the biological foundations of learning and how new information can be processed more effectively. Besides his directorship of at the Max Planck Institute, he holds professorships at the Ludwigs-Maximilians University, Munich, The Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim and the University of Capetown.

Ambassador Kamissa Camara was Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Mali and the youngest person to hold that office as well as Minister of Digital Economy and Planning. In 2016, she advised Hillary Clinton in her US presidential election campaign. Today, she is involved with “The United States Institute of Peace”. Ambassador Kamissa Camara, born in France, is a political and intellectual translator between Africa and the West and is particularly committed to global educational justice.  

Dr. Karina Montilla Edmonds lives in California and works at the interface between science and business at the software company SAP. She promotes knowledge transfer between research and the private sector and aims to attract young talent to careers in technology. Previously, Dr. Karina Edmonds was responsible for cooperation with universities in the field of machine learning for Google.

Raffaela Rein is an EdTech-expert and a formative protagonist in the European start-up, VC and tech industry. In 2018, the business magazine Forbes named her one of "Europe's Top 50 Women in Tech". With Career Foundry, Raffaela Rein founded Europe's largest online training platform in the field of user experience design. 

Lucy Stonehill, being the founder of BridgeU, literally builds bridges between school, higher education and professional life, using data-driven decision-making to support students in post-secondary planning. Her EdTech-company uses artificial intelligence to advise students in 139 countries on academic prospects and supports them in applying to universities worldwide.

Jimmy Wales is a US entrepreneur and strong advocate for the democratisation of knowledge. With the founding of Wikipedia, Jimmy Wales has realised his vision of a comprehensive, neutral platform that unites the world's knowledge, leverages collective intelligence and is freely accessible.



With over 100,000 students, IU International University of Applied Sciences (IU) is the largest university in Germany. The private, state-approved educational institution with its main campus in Erfurt brings together more than 200 bachelor's and master's programmes under one roof, which are offered in German or English. Students can choose between dual studies, distance learning and myStudies, which combines online and face-to-face events, and design their studies independently with the help of a digitally supported learning environment. In addition, IU enables further training and promotes the idea of lifelong learning. The aim of the university is to give as many people as possible worldwide access to personalised education. IU started operations in 2000 and is now represented in more than 30 German cities. It cooperates with over 15,000 companies and actively supports them in the development of their employees. The partners include Motel One, VW Financial Services and Deutsche Bahn. Further information at: