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: Ayla Neusel The idea of holding an International Women's University ifu as part of the EXPO 2000'W orld Exposition was born in Lower Saxony in the mid-1990s. In 1992, Lower Saxony's then Minister of Science Helga Schuchardt had set up a Women's Research Commission that in 1994 presented its report with the programmatic title "Promoting Women's Interests Means Academic Reform - Women's Research Means a Critique of Science." A spin-off, so to speak, of this commission's was nd the idea of a women's university as an EXPO project. The 2 Lower Saxony Women's Research Commission (1995-1997) stated: "From 15 July until 15 Oc tober, an International Women's University is to be Q ganised offering an interdis ciplinary, international, multimedia, postgraduate study programme." Initially conceived as a purely research-oriented university, ijiJ evolved into an academic project for women scientists on an international scale. The ifu concept was based on the (self-) image of science as an ongoing, evolving, forward looking research project. The unique concept of the International Women's University as an academic reform project was founded on three key principles: 1. Problem Orientation of Teaching and Research The choice of the globally relevant controversial issues Work - Information - Body - Migration - City - Water and the idea of addressing these issues from the perspective of the natural and engineering sciences, the humanities and so cial sciences as well as art, consciously focusing on questions of practical rele vance, gave rise to a problem-oriented, interdisciplinary approach.