Members Perspectives

Global Women’s Breakfast

Women’s Breakfast in Frankfurt, organized by GDCh (photo: GDCh)

The International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) had called on the international chemical community to hold a global networking event to strengthen women in chemistry. The aim was to give female chemists at different stages of their careers the opportunity to exchange ideas and build new networks. Nearly 200 organisations around the world, including universities, companies and national chemical societies invited female chemists to a network breakfast on 12 February 2019. While at some breakfasts scientific lectures were on the agenda, other events were more like workshops and some primarily served networking purposes. Many of the organisers shared photos and impressions of their event on Twitter. So, under the hashtag #globalbreakfast countless events from New Zealand (where the first breakfast took place) to Hawaii (the last event of the day) could be followed around the globe, revealing exciting insights into other (scientific) cultures.

In Germany, four Women’s Breakfasts took place. In Berlin, Leipzig, Weinheim and Frankfurt, female chemists gathered to share their time and experiences. In Frankfurt, the GDCh organised a breakfast in its headquarters and more than 40 women followed up on the invitation. The event started with a nice breakfast, which the participants already used to make new contacts. After coffee, prosecco and German brötchen, two lectures followed, with Professor Stefanie Dehnen from the University of Marburg, a mother of four children, who talked about her life between family and academic career, and career expert Doris Brenner who gave tips and hints on how women can enhance their careers by making their strengths and experiences visible. The participants, from students to experienced senior chemists, seemed to have appreciated the breakfast very much. Shortly after the event was announced, it was indeed almost fully booked. The GDCh organisers are sure that this will not be the last event of this kind.

Karin J. Schmitz, GDCh

Ministers of Education of the European Higher Education Area approve new edition of the Diploma Supplement

A new edition of the Diploma Supplement (DS) was approved in 2018 at the Paris meeting of the Ministers of Education of the European Higher Education Area (EHEA). This new DS edition should be used for graduates from all educational programmes. The great advantage of the new edition is the replacement of the fuzzy title “4.2 Programme Requirements” by the precise topic “4.2 Programme Learning Outcomes”. More details on the Diploma Supplement 2018 are given in the report of the corresponding workgroup of the Ministerial conference.

The Budapest descriptors

Chemistry is in a comfortable situation as we already have – in contrast to most other disciplines – a specific guideline to describe Learning Outcomes. Learning Outcomes for chemistry programmes are summarised in Chapter 5 of the so-called Budapest Cycle Level Descriptors for Chemistry. The Budapest Descriptors are based on the Dublin Descriptors adopted in 2005 as the general Qualifications Framework of the EHEA.

Chapter 5 of the so-called Budapest Cycle Level Descriptors for Chemistry lists both the expected learning outcomes, the generic and the subject-specific competences to be developed by a chemistry programme. For historic reasons, the Budapest Descriptors refer to programmes awarded a Eurolabel® ( Nevertheless, these descriptors are valid for all chemistry programmes. A more compact version of the Budapest Descriptors can be downloaded from the Documentation page of the European Chemistry Thematic Network (ECTN) website.

Reiner Salzer
ECTN and Dept. Chemistry and Food Chemistry, TU Dresden