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THE NETWORKED UNIVERSITY:  OPPORTUNITIES AND CHALLENGES FOR HIGHER EDUCATION BETWEEN THE ARAB WORLD AND EUROPE”

AECHE-Conference - 9 to 11 October 2015 at TU Berlin Campus El Gouna

Over the past two decades, internationalization has become a main focus for universities in all continents. This development is accompanied by the requirement of individual internationalization strategies addressing the challenges: the establishment of student and staff mobility, the building of structured collaboration in research and teaching, and, in some cases, off-shore centers and campuses. 

Aware of these challenges, the TU Berlin at its Campus El Gouna in Egypt, under the patronage of the Egyptian Ministry of Higher Education, organized the conference “The networked university: opportunities and challenges for Higher Education between the Arab World and Europe” on 9 – 11 October 2015. 

The conference explored possible problem-solving approaches to the challenges facing the Higher Education sector in Europe and the Arab world by examining best-practice models from the TU Berlin and universities around the globe.

More than 150 participants from 30 nations and university leaders from Europe and the Arab region took part in the event, further strengthening the cooperation and partnership existing between both regions, especially after establishing the cooperation between the Association of Arab Universities (AARU) and the European University Association (EUA).

The conference began with remarks by Prof. Dr. Christian Thomsen, President of Technische Universität Berlin and the German Ambassador to Egypt, H.E. Julius Georg Luy, who welcomed the guests and announced the official beginning of the First Arab-Euro Thematic Conference on Higher Education.

Eng. Samih Sawiris, the Chairman of Orascom Development Holding and founder of the campus praised the contribution of the TU Berlin in developing multidisciplinary education in Egypt and enhancing the scientific relations between Germany and Egypt.

Prof. Dr. Ashraf El Shihy, Egyptian Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, stressed the importance of the conference organized for the first time in Egypt: “The conference is not only a prime platform for fostering the collaboration between Europe and the Arab world, but also provides new aspects on internationalization in Higher Education".

Three sessions attended by all conference participants were held on the first day. The opening session had input from Prof. Dr. Susan Robertson, Director Centre for Globalization, Education and Societies, University of Bristol, in a session titled "the changing nature of internationalization in a globally connected world".

A panel discussion followed the session, chaired by Prof. Dr. Lesley Wilson, Secretary General of the EUA, where university rectors from Europe and the Arab region exchanged their viewpoints and experience on the subject.

On the second day, the conference discussed the significance of student and staff exchange in the context of a global enhancement of quality in teaching and learning, the importance of joint programs and off shore-campuses.

The outcome of the conference will provide a framework to be built upon during the next AECHE leadership conference in Barcelona in 2016.

Further information is available at the conference webpage:

www.ub.edu/aeche/aeche_el_gouna

 

 

 

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