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International Conference: Connecting Germany and South Asia – The Future of Higher Education and Research Cooperation

More than 500 representatives of universities, research institutes and funding organisations from Germany, India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal and Sri Lanka joined the conference.

The conference brought together more than 240 institutions, amongst them 42 from Germany, 172 from India, and 34 from the region. The international conference included focussed sessions, panel discussions and keynotes. More than 300 dedicated B2B meetings took place on the platform where potential cooperation partners engaged and discussed.

Prof. Emanuel Deutschmann, in his keynote “Trends in International Student Mobility: A Long-Term, Global Perspective”, argued that international student mobility has seen tremendous growth and despite this global growth, international student mobility remains highly unequal. His key findings show proximity as the reason for this inequality. Since 1960, students tend to move frequently between short distances upto 5000 kms. He illustrated the most salient trends in the global student mobility network through engaging visualisations and scientific research data.

In his keynote “Democratisation of International Education in India”, Prof. C Raj Kumar talked about the need of global citizenship and global universities to transform societies. He emphasised that instead of a few universities being the ambassadors of internationalisation in India, support must be extended to the other institutions across the region to initiate internationalisation.

The conference had sessions on internationalisation in times of pandemic, the New Education Policy of India (NEP), inbound international student mobility and the role of alumni relations in internationalisation. The call for proposals was published in summers this year and selected speakers presented on the topics.

The conference hosted panelists from Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, and Sri Lanka for a discussion on Internationalisation of Higher Education. During the discussion, the need for more regional cooperation was highlighted.

The conference was concluded with a panel discussion on “The Internationalisation of Higher Education Institutions in 2030”. Prof. Joybrato Mukherjee, President – DAAD very accurately summarised what sets the course of international exchange in the future – networks, digitalisation, and sustainable mobility.

DAAD expresses its thanks to the organising partner Association of Indian Universities, the speakers, panelists, experts and audience for making this conference a success.

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