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Connecting Germany and South Asia

German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and Association of Indian Universities (AIU) are organising an international online conference

‘Connecting Germany and South Asia – The Future of Higher Education and Research Cooperation’, 18-20 October 2021

The three-day conference is an excellent opportunity for stakeholders and professionals in higher education and research institutions from Germany, India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, and Sri Lanka to connect and liaise.

The conference addresses different aspects and fields of internationalisation: student mobility, internationalisation at home, international research cooperation, capacity building, the role of alumni, credit transfer systems, digitalisation and many more.

The first day of the conference (18 October 2021) will be dedicated to parallel sessions designed to provide an engaging exchange of ideas around selected topics. Short, thought-provoking, and stimulating presentations from three experts will follow a discussion with the audience moderated by a chair.

Interested to contribute to a panel session as a speaker?

DAAD and AIU invite you to submit your proposal for a 15-minute presentation for a topic(s) of your interest. Individual as well as joint presentations are welcome. Proposals can be submitted across the following themes. The speakers in the sessions may reflect through these directional questions as below or beyond.

1. Internationalisation in times of pandemic: Challenges and opportunities

On one hand the mobility is restricted due to the pandemic which hinders internationalisation. On the other hand, there is abundance of opportunities because of digitalisation. The session focuses on recent developments, challenges, and opportunities that the COVID pandemic presents.

  • Is there any need of physical mobility?
  • Could digital formats replace physical mobility?
  • How will the curriculums change for digital formats?
  • What effect will it have on the invaluable exposure that student mobility offers to different educational approaches?
  • What role does internationalisation at home play in the given scenario?
  • What lessons do are learnt from the digital formats?

2. Inbound international student mobility: Why and how to boost?

There have been many discussions of late about future directions in international student mobility. This session will look at how global challenges including, but not limited to COVID are going to impact student mobility.

  • Will mobility become more localised?
  • Will developing countries in the global south play a more prominent role in future in receiving students?
  • Will there be a change in the delivery mechanisms of IHE programmes?
  • Are considerations such as health systems and immigration policies likely to play a more vital role in the choice of host country?
  • What implications will this have on internationalisation strategies and policies of both sending and receiving nations?

3. Global networks: The role of alumni relations in internationalisation?

This session focuses on the role of alumni in the context of internationalisation and intends to tackle it from different perspectives.

  • How can alumni relations add value to internationalisation?
  • What are institutions trying to achieve by engaging alumni, and what is the purpose of doing so?
  • How do you identify progress and create a value proposition for both institutions and alumni?
  • What are the opportunities and challenges while focusing on alumni relations in internationalisation?
  • What are the strategies to engage alumni positively and also benefit internationalisation?

4. Equivalence of degrees and transferability of credits as a driver for international mobility

Recognition of academic credits and higher education qualifications are key for successful internationalisation. In the session questions, good practice and inputs regarding international degree mobility, credit mobility and certificate mobility are covered.

  • How does the ECTS system work and foster mobility and internationalisation?
  • Should India establish a nationwide credit system to foster internationalisation of its universities?
  • How to deal with credit and degree recognition in joint and double degree programs?
  • Can international certificate and credit recognition drive incoming mobility?

5. The New Education Policy of India (NEP): Opening new vistas for internationalisation

The New Education Policy anchors the future of Indian education. In a perspective of higher education landscapes, how would the NEP create new avenues for internationalisation?

  • What could be the possible directions for internationalisation to synergise with the goals of the NEP?
  • What would various knowledge sectors and domains of interdisciplinarity require to promote internationalisation amidst the changing scenarios?
  • How could Institutions initiate new formats of learning and seek pedagogic and research partnerships in light of the NEP?
  • How could contextualising Indian education with delivery in multiple language formats be supported through internationalisation?


Higher education institutions, research institutions and not-for-profit organisations are eligible to apply. Proposals are assessed based on the quality and relevance of the content and their value within the context of the given topic. A chair will facilitate the session, and up to three speakers share their viewpoints and engage in a discussion. The selection of the speakers will be done jointly by the organisers of the conference (DAAD and AIU).

Deadline for the submission of proposals: 10 August 2021
Submission of proposal for presentation

Selected speakers will be notified through email by 1 September 2021.

Be a part of the international higher education community and actively participate in the conference!

In case of questions, write to cooperation.newdelhi@daad.de

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