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In this session, we focus on how leading from the south can impact existing knowledge infrastructures, how they affect especially youth and how to amplify their voices by means of international education experiences.
International (higher) education and research is changing at an unprecedented pace and intrinsically linked to international relations. New modalities of staff- and student mobility connect with public-private partnerships and research, between countries and across continents. It is necessary that contemporary diplomacy moves in tandem with these developments. Intersecting with the academic dynamic is the multitude of non-governmental actors, societal issues and geo-political trends. With this panel, we seek to develop an understanding of the international dimension of education institutions in Africa, and how the challenges they face in this regard can be addressed. The main focus of the panel will be how education institutions (ranging from TVET to Higher Education) can maximize their potential for international engagement.
Underlying themes are the current state of affairs in education systems, science and innovation systems and the position of universities within Africa as well as continental and regional agencies and their knowledge policies. There will also be attention for so-called knowledge diplomacy and transnational networks, and it will deal with the attempts by European knowledge institutions to change from 'capacity development' to 'co-creation'. Adding to this discussion is the role youth can play in furthering the discussion on decolonizing, holding a firm focus on the fact that they are and have the future.
Central to this session are the following questions:
1) On staff-student mobility: What trade-offs do knowledge institutions need to make to ensure their institutions' future academic strength while adequately addressing the challenge of not having enough staff already? For example, these might include making difficult strategic decisions around which departments, students or faculties to support.
2) The infrastructure paradox: In order to increase capacity of academic and research institutions, it is often said that effective international engagement is necessary. How should this engagement look like? What are the critical parameters for successful international engagement, the actors involved and the actors that hinder such engagement? How can this be applied to TVET and North-South cooperation in education?
3) Recognizing the differences of African and European approaches to knowledge diplomacy, what are best practices and ways to move it forward? What are the pros and cons of further intensifying international academic exchanges?