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Leave no knowledge behind [initiated by Nuffic, with AAU, DAAD & IAU] 
Marieke van Winden (conference organiser) (African Studies Centre Leiden)
Samira Zafar (Nuffic)
David van Kampen (Nuffic)
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A: Institutional foundations
Start time:
2 December, 2020 at
Time zone: Europe/Amsterdam
Session slots:

Short Abstract:

This round table is structured around the question 'What could the future of knowledge cooperation with and between African countries, European countries and beyond look like?'

Long Abstract:

'What could the future of knowledge cooperation with and between African countries, European countries and beyond look like?' Behind this question is a complex yet dynamic tension between challenges and opportunities:

- The current pandemic impacts on the capacity of the academic community to balance between local and global challenges and is increasingly translating into inward looking dynamics;

- current rapid digital transformation of higher education is offering many opportunities but bears risks such as growing divides as well; on the one hand access to knowledge is increasing but for who, to what and defined by whom?;

- new mechanisms need to be developed to ensure that the rich diversity offered through recognition of the value of diverse knowledge systems around the world would not be undermined by standardization of knowledge provision;

- researchers and PhD-students are increasingly faced with a lack of the necessary infrastructure or human capital needed to conduct proper research / provide quality supervision etc. This development has worsened, as international travel and exchange provisions have become even more difficult;

- international cooperation is put on hold or in many places descaled; new or strengthened internationalization strategies need to be developed for the short, medium and long-term future of international cooperation and the benefit of society.

At the same time, there's also an incredible willingness to foray into new possibilities for knowledge cooperation:

- increased attention on AU-EU programmes, to be undertaken in close partnerships;

- renewed or reinforced balanced, fair and inclusive mobility schemes, and development of in-country and regional scholarships on the African continent;

- new continental initiatives on quality assurance;emphasizing the need to redefine what quality entails and putting forward the understanding that quality assurance standards need to be fit for purpose and sensitive towards various contexts at local, national and regional level;

- new attention being paid to skills development to widen the scope of higher education and knowledge recognition, provision and sharing

- higher education institutions are called to play new policy roles at national level and to stress the importance of higher education for national and regional development

Each of these trends in itself can be a driver for systemic change. The following chairs will approach them from a more intersectional point of view, with an emphasis on the future:

Freddy Weima - director Nuffic

Prof. Etienne Ehile - Secretary General AAU

Dr. Dorothea RĂ¼land - Secretary General DAAD

Dr. Hilligje van 't Land - Secretary General IAU