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„The University Between Global Vision and Local Mission“

Shop Talk
Brussels, 1 October 2015

On 1 October 2015, the HRK Audit “Internationalisation of Universities” hosted a shop talk in Brussels. Representatives from all across Europe were invited to discuss the challenges European universities face in positioning themselves between their regional educational mission and their global vision.

Numerous participants from the representation offices of the German Länder in Brussels, university networks, research foundations, and ministries met at the Bibliothèque Solvay in the heart of Brussels, where they were welcomed by Prof. Dr. Johanna Weber, HRK Vice-President, and Peter Hassenbach, Head of the Division “International Exchanges in Higher Education, Internationalisation” at the Federal Ministry of Education and Research. The event started off with a lunch meeting, providing the participants with a perfect opportunity to network and exchange experiences in an informal atmosphere.

In the following discussion, the panellists – five experts from Bulgaria, England, Germany, Spain, and Wales – and the audience very much agreed that a university’s commitment to its local mission and its increased international orientation do not necessarily contradict each other. Rather, a strategically managed internationalisation can substantially improve the quality of the services universities provide to their local communities. This is not only true for the positive economic effects – every Euro invested in a university yields an economic growth in the region of approximately five to six Euros – but also in terms of cultural and social benefits. It also became clear that universities must be granted sufficient autonomy to be able to meet the dual challenge of both globalisation and regional responsibility, now and in the future.

The event came to a close with the launch of the HRK Audit’s new English-language publication “Building Upon International Success”, which presents examples of good practice of strategically driven internationalisation at German universities, specifically addressing an international audience.

If you would like to order a copy of this publication, please contact Christiane Göbels via e-mail (goebels(at)hrk.de) or by phone (+49 (0)228 887-127).