Higher Education and Research


Promoting Intercultural Dialoguein the European Higher Education Area

CONFERENCE ON
‘UNIVERSITIES AS ACTORS OF INTERCULTURAL DIALOGUE IN WIDER SOCIETY’

2- 3 June 2009

Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia (PFUR)
Moscow

Synopses
and Biographical Data of Speakers

Bakhytzhan Zh. Abdraimov

Synopsis

Eurasian National University:
education, culture and integration.

One of the factors promoting social economic and political stability of the Kazakhstani society is the stable peacekeeping within various nations. Kazakhstan is one of the post-soviet states which managed to avoid interethnic and religious cataclysms.
Students of various nationalities are studying at the L.N. Gumilyov Eurasian National University. Advantage of all the people of Kazakhstan, and especially students is absence of politicizing movements on the national factor. At the same time the maintaining of the national consciousness of all people living in the Republic of Kazakhstan is always welcomed. The ethnocultural variety has found the reflection in the work of Small Assembly of the People of Kazakhstan at the university which shows the potential of development of the country is great when all issues are solving openly and tactfully.
Meetings of students with representatives of the national cultural centers of Astana for discussions of questions of interdependence and complementarity of national cultures of Kazakhstan are a vivid example of mutual understanding, tolerance and respect.
There are a lot of meetings, round tables, conferences carried out in the Eurasian National University which purposes are the development of an intercultural relationship between Universities of the Eurasian continent. Students of Eurasian National University participate at the meetings with outstanding public figures and man of art from various countries in the world, participating at the lectures of leading scientists of Europe and Asia.
The multi-ethnicity and multi-religiousness of Kazakhstan gives attention to the question on culture upbringing of international dialogue and consent in universities of country. The purpose of the present direction of a policy in L.N. Gumilyov Eurasian National University are the questions of strengthening of the interethnic consent and tolerance, respect for culture and traditions of various ethnos, exclusion of interethnic conflicts in the student's environment.

Biographical Data

Doctor of Law, professor, rector of the L.N. Gumilyov ENUDate and place of birth: May 13, 1965 in Karatau, Zhambyl region (the Republic of Kazakhstan). Bakhytzhan Zh. Abdraimov graduated from S.M. Kirov Kazakh State University on the specialty of Law (1990), as well as from Turan University on the specialty of Finance and Credit (1997). He acquired postgraduate degree at S.M. Kirov Kazakh State University (1992) and Doctor’s degree at the State and Law Institute of the Russian Science Academy (2001). Research Activities: Candidate dissertation: “Land arguments: procedure of their settlement in the Republic of Kazakhstan”. Doctor’s dissertation: “The issues of legal procedure improvement of land law realization”.In compliance with the “Law on Education” B. Abdraimov was appointed as a rector of L.N. Gumilyov Eurasian National University by the Decree of the RK President in April 21, 2008.

Fr René Chamussy, sj

Synopsis

The Saint-Joseph University of Beirut is an integrated part of a very particular context, which characterizes the whole Lebanese society, a society which works based and structured on different denominations. Through these denominations, beyond recognized cultural roots, indicators as cultural behaviour or allegiance to external factors could be clearly identified. Such a situation has direct influence on life within the University itself. Therefore the university leadership has tried to make students of all origins live peacefully together. It has also tried to give evidence to this multicultural dialogue which is essential outside the campus.

In order to do that the USJ attempts to support the institutions that have been created in that perspective: Louis Institut de France Chair of intercultural anthropology, UNESCO Chair of comparative studies of religions of mediation and dialogue, Institute for Islamo-Christian Studies, Center for Arab Christian Documentation and Research, etc. It tries moreover to reinforce its connections with the outside world, i.e. partnerships with Europe, opening to China and Japan, taking root in the Arab world and its diversity. Finally, the USJ is involved in substantial national projects and invites different actors of the university community to participate on a voluntary basis in many blossoming projects in the poorest regions and where many communities of Lebanese territory are located. This is called 7th day operation.

Biographical Data

Fr. René Chamussy, s.j., was born in Lyon in 1936 and has French nationality. He has been living in Lebanon since 1969. He has a PhD in sociology. From 2003 he is Rector of the Saint-Joseph University of Beirut, before that he was Dean of the Faculty of Letters and Human Sciences (1995-2000) and Vice-rector of the Human resources (2000-2003). Professor Chamussy is author of many articles published in journals as Travaux et Jours (Beirut), Études (Paris), Civilita Cattolica (Rome), The Month (London). He received the 1982 Prize of the France-Lebanon association for his book Chronique d’une guerre: Le Liban, 1975-1977. He has been honored with the Ordre National du Mérite (2001) and the Légion D'Honneur (2007).

Radu Damian

Biographical Data

Born on 30th November 1942, Bucharest, Romania
STUDIES: Engineering Degree at the Technical University for Civil Engineering Bucharest; Master of Science degree at the University of Iowa, Iowa City, U.S.A.; Doctoral Degree at the Technical University for Civil Engineering Bucharest, 1980.
SPECIALISATION AND RESEARCH ABROAD:
Ecole des Mines de Paris, 1994; Franzius - Institut fur Wasserbau und Kusteningenieurwesen, Hannover University, Germany, DAAD scholarship, 1995.
TEACHING EXPERIENCE:
University Professor, Technical University for Civil Engineering Bucharest (U.T.C.B.), Chair of Hydraulics and Environment Protection.
SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH: Director and researcher for more than 50 research contracts in Hydraulic and Environmental Engineering, 6 Monographs, treatises published by editing houses; 50 Articles published in specialised reviews; 20 Papers published in volumes of international and national conferences;
DOCTORAL DEGREE ADVISER IN HYDRAULICS AND FLUID MECHANICS
POSITIONS HELD:
1990 – 2000 - Vice-rector in charge with student and social problems; 2000 - 2008 - Dean, Faculty of Building Services Engineering, Technical University of Civil Engineering Bucharest;
1995 – 2003 – Vicepresident, 2003 - 2009 - President of the National Council for Financing Higher Education of Romania (CNFIS);
2001 – 2005 Secretary of State for Higher Education and EU integration with the Ministry of Education and Research
2005 – present – Director, Department for Quality Evaluation, ARACIS (Romanian Agency for Quality Assurance in Higher Education)
2001 – 2005 Bureau member of the Steering Committee for Higher Education and Research (CDESR), Council of Europe; 2005 – 2007 Vicechair, CDESR; 2007 – 2009, 2007 – present, Chair, CDESR.

Germain Dondelinger

Biographical Data

Germain Dondelinger (LU) holds the position of “premier conseiller de gouvernement” in Luxembourg and as such he is the coordinator for higher education in the Luxembourg Ministry of culture, higher education and research. He has also been a member of the Bologna Follow Up Group since its founding (2001) and is currently its vice chair.  In 2005, during the Luxembourg Presidency of the Council of the European Union, he was heavily engaged in the negotiation of the Bergen Declaration. In conjunction with playing a fundamental role in the creation and implementation of the University of Luxembourg he has also been engaged in the development of Campus Europae. He is a member of the bureau of the steering committee for higher education and research at the Council of Europe and holds board positions in a number of research institutes. Germain Dondelinger chairs the administrative board of “Fonds Belval”, a development company dealing with research and university infrastructure as well as industrial heritage on a brownfield site in Luxembourg. Throughout the nineteen nineties, he was heavily involved with European educational affairs at council level.

Lars Ekholm

Synopsis

Intercultural dialogue – how can it be promoted by university leadership?

The presentation starts with a few basic statements.
i) What are the aims of higher education, what purposes does it serve in modern society? To produce new knowledge is a major undertaking by the universities - and knowledge that might be useful but also knowledge that, at first sight at least, cannot be put to any practical use. Universities provide society with skilled labour force. This is one of the reasons why the tax-payer is involved in funding these institutions. This is the traditional way to describe the tasks higher education institutions have, often a third task is underlined, services to society in a more general way. Less often is added that universities also have a task to foster certain attitudes and “behaviours” among its students. You can see it in laws on higher education. More seldom such a task is included in the mission-statements of the universities.

ii) What place has higher education in modern society? Gone are the days of “ivory tower” – and only a few regret this. The pendulum has swung. Higher education is by now more or less in the centre of a country´s intellectual, economic and cultural life. Expectations are high – sometimes demands on higher education institutions are even too heavy.

How, then, can universities and more precisely university leadership promote intercultural dialogue? There are basically two fields in which it can operate. Let us call one of them hard-ware, the other soft-ware.

To the hard-ware field we refer the necessity to keep one´s own university in good shape with regard to intercultural dialogue practice. This theme was dealt with in the previous seminar on Intercultural Dialogue on the University Campus in March 2008. Generally these two seminars must be looked on as twin exercises. What research undertakings to explore intercultural mechanisms have we done at our university? What are our HR policies in relation to hiring staff from other countries? How can we recruit students from immigrants families, first, second and third generations? What study programs have a bearing on intercultural dialogue – directly or indirectly?

A message in this presentation will be that it is important what university leadership can do and does in the hard-ware field, but even more important is what it can achieve dealing with the soft-ware aspects of university education. It has to do with what attitudes the students have the opportunities to adopt during their time at the university, in this case in relation to intercultural dialogue. The argument is that the students take these attitudes with them – as citizens and as work-force, in the latter capacity often in societal positions where they in turn can effect many other people. To see to it that this indirect influence is in operation – this is a major task for university leadership, operating in relation to a wider society.

What attitudes, in general terms, do students meet at our universities? Intercultural dialogue is strongly linked to such notions as the respect of individuals, the treatment of all people as equals, intercultural encounters and the fight against prejudices. For many reasons one can look upon modern universities, from an intellectual point of view, as a result of the Enlightenment. It is a place where rational arguments are the decisive factor, without reference to economic or political power. In the academic community all inhabitants – staff and students - are of equal value. In the seminar room or in the lab, he or she that wins most respect is the one with the best arguments - based on rational considerations in one way or the other - and intellectual respect for the antagonists. In the long run, knowledge and arguments will win over prejudices and the unwillingness to incorporate new knowledge. It´s here, in the area of instilling into new generations certain attitudes, that universities have the best chances to be effective in fostering a culture of intercultural understanding.

In some countries university leadership has a direct access to national fora where public opinion is moulded. But his or her possibilities to effect opinions differ. A Rector might be listened to if she or he talks on, or is asked about, something specific the university is involved in. There is seldom a general “moral” platform to talk from. In any case, it all depends on what position universities have in the public opinion in the country. This brings us to another broad field of general university policy.

Biographical Data

I have mainly been active in higher education management: The Swedish central agency for higher education, The Ministry of Education, The Karolinska Institutet (as Registrar/Kanzler/ Director; this is the Nobel prize awarding medical university in Stockholm) and The Association of Swedish Higher Education, as Secretary General; this is the Rectors´ Conference).

I have been active in Nordic higher education, with administrators, with rectors and as a member of assessing teams. My international experience has been with the Council of Europe, OECD/IMHE and, more recently, EUA. I have been involved in the Trends IV and Trends V exercises, conducting a number of site visits. At present I am involved in Trends 2010 and the Diversity Project.

I´m retired, with board responsibilities (e g chairing the Board of the University College of Dance in Stockholm) and with commissions for universities and university colleges in Sweden (benchmarking exercises, evaluations and other contributions to the process of reshaping the higher education landscape).

My academic background is a PhD in history from Uppsala University. I´m married, have children and enjoy the privilege of seven grandchildren.

Barasby S. Karamurzov

Synopsis

How can university leadership promote intercultural dialogue in a wider society? To think about such topics in modern Russia means to think politically. The country still is in a situation in which pivotal, strategic decisions are needed in major spheres of its life. This involves, in turn, the ability (1)to understand clearly the outcomes of preceding period of “postsoviet transition”, (2)to identify adequately the basic social and cultural processes that are determining factors of the foreseeable future, (3)to take into account the immense variability of socio-cultural environment in which institutions of higher education are functioning.
In this presentation I mean to state my principal position on the topic of the seminar as it may be conceptualized in reference to the experiences and social functions regional university center must be bearing in the specific situation of the North Caucasus.
All the previous experience of reforms shows that culture in the society performs basic rather than superstructural functions. It is those values and norms that dominate in a society’s culture that actually determine individual behaviour and social practices. It is obvious that the cultural space of the Russia tends towards fragmentation and disintegration. Society as a whole and young generations especially are, on the one hand, being influenced by mass culture which is devoid of “national” content or symbols. On the other hand, it is influenced by the traditional “indigenous” cultural forms which are being survived at present. The latter may be characterized by ethnic and religious exceptionalism.
It is common knowledge that North Caucasus is a polyethnic and multiconfessional region, a region in which traditional and modern social institutions coexist. Interethnic relations of the last few years are characterized by certain tension and conflicts.
On the other hand if being compared with the Russia’s average economic indicators the region is characterized by structural “backwardness”. This factor will, for a long time, significantly limit the ability of the regional community to solve main social and economic problems without external assistance. Hence destabilizing factors and negative social phenomena – marginalization and criminalization of a certain part of the society, growth of the influence of religious radicalism and nationalism on the youth. It is worth emphasizing that this takes place not in a stagnant patriarchal society, but in the awakened society which got rid of the rural isolation. So, it is impossible to merely localize these phenomena having isolated the rest of the population from them.
So, current cultural processes acquire some ambivalence: they can serve either as a dynamic factor that enhances intercultural dialogue or as a source of xenophobia, national and religious intolerance. However, this must not give rise to the question of what-to-do with ethnic diversification of the region, but, instead, to the question of how to fruitfully create culture of intercultural dialogue and polylogue, which will help to exclude ethnic conflicts.

In such a situation the system of education remains, as a matter of fact, the only social institution which has a long-term and universal effect on youth. Its efforts ought to be directed to the formation of general conditions which will enable the rising generations to organically adopt the norms and values of the society and simultaneously be apt to positive innovations.
Consequently, the regional system of education must be arranged in a specific way, to secure the youth’s real participation in the life of the society, to secure a kind of the whole spectrum of social opportunities for the self-realization of every young man.
The strategy to conform these purposes should be related to the establishing of the mechanism of sustainable development of the regional system of education. The Universities of the classical type located in the region can serve as a basis of the regional system of permanent education.
Due to this it is the University that must play a special role in the solution of the problems of socio-cultural modernization of the region on the basis of high synthesis of the values of the modernity and distinctive cultural traditions of the indigenous peoples of the region. A University should serve as a model for modern – i.e. effective, multicultural, democratic and united – commonwealth.
So, important aspect in the University’s activity is “education” of the public in general in the spirit of human rights, democracy, peace and tolerance.
But this cannot be provided by means of education only. Purposeful and sustainable policy of regional modernization, with the system of education playing the key role in it, is needed.

Biographical Data

Born in 1947, November 10 in Kabardino-Balkarian Republic, Russia.
Higher education in physics at the Kabardino-Balkarian State University (Nalchik, Russia), 1964-1969.
Candidate of sciences in physics 1975, Doctor of sciences 1990, Professor at the Kabardino-Balkarian State University.
Rector of the Kabardino-Balkarian State University since 1994, Chairholder of the UNESCO Chair in Education for a Culture of Peace and Human Rights since 1999.
Research activities in the fields of physics and the problems of development of the system of higher education, particularly in relation to the role of University as regional center of scientific, educational and cultural activities.

Alain Mouchoux

Synopsis

Notre continent est riche de sa diversité culturelle, linguistique, de son Histoire et de ses capacités d'innovation et de créativité.
Il faut " vivre ensemble" mieux et durablement, face aux défis multiples de la mondialisation, contre les discriminations et les intégrismes.
Le Dialogue Interculturel est un engagement commun :il se construit, s'apprend dès le plus jeune âge et tout au long de la vie.
Le Dialogue Interculturel nécessite des compétences clés qu'il faut acquérir de façon cohérente et continue au cours de la scolarité obligatoire et à l'Université. Il est de la responsabilité publique de l'Enseignement Supérieur de remplir - en ce domaine également - son rôle de sensibilisation, de formation,de recherche de diffusion et de réflexion...  

Biographical Data

Alain Mouchoux : ancien Président de la Commission Education Culture de la Conférence des OING du Conseil de l'Europe (2001/2008)
Vice président de la Conférence des OING

Lars Lynge Nielsen

Biographical Data

Born 1948, Copenhagen, Denmark

MA in Psychology (Cand. Psych), University of Copenhagen.

Former positions:

    · Lecturer at colleges for education, nursing and physiotherapy.
    · Professional Consultant at the Danish Ministry of Education.
    · Head of Offices in the Danish Refugee Council and in the UNHCR.
    · Since 1995 Rector at Funen National College for Social Education.

In 2002 elected as Denmark’s National Representative in EURASHE’s Executive Council.

In May 2004 elected Vice President, re-elected in April 2006.

In October 2006 approved as Acting President of EURASHE by the Executive Council.

In April 2007 elected President of EURASHE.

Olav Øye

Synopsis

Intercultural dialogue through the eyes of students
Increased intercultural dialogue is one of the main reasons that students should be allowed to study abroad. It is also one of the reasons that public and private institutions should support student organisations in their international work.
The ESU contribution at the conference will firstly reflect upon the results of the Council of Europe’s seminar on intercultural dialogue on Campus, which took place in March 2008. We will also build on the recommendations of the Council of Europe’s “Forum on Converging Competences: Diversity, Higher Education, and Sustainable Democracy”, and will use this as a starting point before exemplifying a number of perspectives in which students are promoters of intercultural dialogue in the wider society.

The presentation will have two main approaches: students as active citizens, and student organisations’ contributions to intercultural dialogue.
While not forgetting that the “average student” is an increasingly irrelevant phrase in terms of age, we can look at higher education as a space where young people often meet, for the first time, people with a significantly different cultural background. Students take their perceptions with them when they go home, and discuss with their families, their friends, and with people they meet during their studies and within their social circle.
When students are lucky enough to study abroad for a semester or for a whole degree, higher education institutions need to make sure that the visiting students have the possibility to meet not only with other international students (or with students from their own country). The role of international students on campus is connected to the contribution of student mobility to intercultural dialogue in the wider society. However, we often see that international students are far from fully integrated even into the student life on campus.
We can contribute to intercultural dialogue not only as individual students. On regular basis, student organisations meet each other across the national borders and regions.
ESU tries to build bridges between students and student organisations in Europe, and holds at least four major events each year where students from across Europe meet and discuss the situations in their own countries and for Europe as a whole. In January 2009, the organisation also brought together students from all over the world to debate the current and future challenges for students.
Whether we discuss students and intercultural dialogue from these two or more perspectives, we should keep higher education as a space conducive to reflection, active debate and challenging one’s perceptions and prejudices. It is important that higher education is acknowledged as a public good, and that higher education institutions actively take up responsibilities that go far beyond the restrictive view of only being a supplier of skilled professionals for the labour market and the economy.

Biographical Data

Olav Øye (born 1982) is a member of the Executive Committee of the European Students' Union, where he is responsible for the field of student union development. Øye has been ESU's representative in the Mobility Coordination Group in the Bologna Follow-Up Group structure in 2008-09. He is a former president of the Norwegian Association of Students (StL), and has been representing students as a member of the Board of Volda University College and the Board of the Norwegian Association of Higher Education Institutions (UHR).

Øye is currently is studying economics at Oslo University College. He holds a Bachelor of Journalism from Volda University College, and has studied history at the University of Trondheim and journalism at the University of Queensland.

Ana Perona-Fjeldstad

Synopsis

The establishment of the European Wergeland Centre, building bridges from policy to practice.

The European Wergeland Centre is a European resource centre on education for intercultural understanding, human rights and democratic citizenship. Established as an innovative cooperation initiative between Norway and the Council of Europe in 2008, it is located in Oslo, Norway.

The Centre opened in February 2009, and it builds on and will promote the work performed by the Council of Europe and Norway for intercultural understanding, human rights and democratic citizenship. The Centre is open to all member states of the Council of Europe, and the main target groups are teachers, teacher trainers, decision makers and multipliers within education for intercultural understanding, human rights and democratic citizenship. By providing in-service training, carrying out and supporting research, facilitating networks, serving as a platform for further collaboration and disseminating information and good practices on the field, the Centre aims at becoming one of the leading professional bodies of its kind ( the presentation will contain a
summary of the activities planned for the near future).

Biographical Data

Born in Argentina, Ana Perona-Fjeldstad is an Argentinean-Italian citizen living in Norway. A lawyer with a MA in International Relations, she has working experience from the Argentine Parliament and at the Latin American Graduate School of Social Sciences (FLACSO). From 1994-2009 she worked at the International Council for Open and Distance Education, a global NGO in the field of open and distance learning in close relations with UNESCO. Perona Fjeldstad held several positions there until she became ICDEs'Acting Secretary General. Since February 2009 she is the Executive Director at the European Wergeland Centre.

Alf Rasmussen

Synopsis

Internationalisation of Education in Norway
The Norwegian Government recently submitted a White Paper to the Norwegian Parliament (the Storting) on internationalization of education. The White Paper covers primary and secondary education, non-university tertiary education and higher education – including research education. It is the first time a Norwegian government develops a White Paper that has a holistic approach to this.

The main measures in the White paper will have the following consequences:

    - Quality as a guiding principle: Both with respect to studies abroad and in development of the provisions in Norwegian education institutions, quality will be the leading principle
    - Attract international students: Norwegian education institutions shall be made more attractive to foreign students.
    - Include the entire institutions: Internationalisation will apply to all pupils, students and teaching staff in the education institutions.

Cooperation between institutions: Emphasis shall be placed on cooperation with institutions outside Norway, including those in developing countries, international perspectives, languages and cultural awareness are increasingly necessary qualifications for people seeking employment. Internationalisation of education must therefore not only focus on student and staff spending semesters or years abroad, but also entail that the education provided in Norway is international of character.
In primary and secondary education, the international perspective is important for many of the competence targets in the Norwegian curriculum. There are, however, significant variations between schools when it comes to mobility.
There are considerable variations in non-university tertiary education. There is a need for better and more systematic knowledge concerning areas of study, degree of course completion, drop-out rate and mobility.
In higher education, the evaluation of the Quality Reform (2003) shows that the Norwegian institutions have made significant progress on internationalisation at home and on student and staff mobility. However, it will be important to focus even more on structure, involvement and collaboration with institutions abroad and to associate internationalisation with strategic development of the institutions.
Mobility is important in itself, but must be based on quality. The number of Norwegian participants in student exchange and degree seeking students at foreign universities must increase, which will require a high standard of information and guidance. Mobility of academic and administrative staff should also increase.
Studies abroad will continue to have high priority, especially student exchange and degree studies at master’s level (graduate students). The Government will adjust support for tuition fees so that students are motivated to choose studies of high quality.

Biographical Data

Alf Rasmussen, MSc in Political Science, is currently working in the Norwegian Ministry of Education and Research, Department of Higher Education. His main responsibility areas are the global perspectives of the Bologna Process, cooperation with Latin-America and the writing and follow-up on the Norwegian White Paper on internationalization of education. From 1997-2005 he was engaged as Senior Adviser at the Nordic Council of Ministers in Copenhagen, Denmark, responsible for Higher Education Cooperation. From 1988 – 1997, he was working in the Norwegian Ministry of Culture and Science and also in the Ministry of Education and Research, Department of Higher Education and Department for Lifelong Learning.

Hilligje van’t Land

Biographical Data
Hilligje van ‘t Land, Ph.D. (Groningen University, NL), Post-Doc (Université Laval, Québec, Canada), is Director Membership and Programme Development at the International Association of Universities (IAU), Paris, France. Her research and teaching focused on contemporary Francophone literatures; she worked at Groningen University (RUG), Université Laval and l’Université d’Avignon et des Pays du Vaucluse, France.  At IAU she is in charge of membership development strategies, acts as IAU support staff for the Higher Education and Sustainable development task force, and is in charge of the development of the project ‘Changing nature of Doctoral Programs’.  She maintains related thematic WebPages, is Editor of IAU Horizons and organizes IAU international (annual) Conferences. 
She also develops projects in the field of Intercultural Learning and Dialogue, a thematic area IAU focuses on since 2002.  In 2005, IAU published an issue of Higher Education Policy (vol.18, no.4, December 2005) on Intercultural Learning and Dialogue (Eds: Paolo Blasi and Hilligje van 't Land).  The upcoming IAU annual and international Conference 2009 will take place at Notre Dame University - Louaize in Beirut, Lebanon, and will focus on "The role of Higher Education in forstering the culture of dialogue and understanding". 
 

Marijke Wahlers

Synopsis

University Networks – Can They Dynamise Intercultural Dialogue?

The presentation aims to point out why and in which ways university networks and associations contribute to intercultural dialogue.
On the basis of their inherently international nature, universities not only provide spaces and platforms for intercultural dialogue, they are also active drivers of intercultural dialogue at many levels. This applies to the three main pillars of the university’s mission (teaching and studies, research and service).
The German Rectors’ Conference (HRK) has recently adopted an international strategy which emphasizes the international nature of universities and argues that only a truly transnational university will remain competitive in the long-term. At the same time, a university’s concept of “internationality” and its strategy for internationalisation need to be embedded into the national, regional and local context of the individual institution.
Aiming to support its member institution in their international activities, international dialogue with partners worldwide is an important pillar of the work of a university network/association. Two recent examples of the activities of the German Rectors’ Conference are the First ASEM Rectors’ Conference, held in October 2008 in Berlin, and the Bulgarian-Romanian Interuniversity Europe Center, launched in 2000.

Biographical Data

Career
since 2008 Head of International Department, German Rectors’ Conference (HRK)
2001 - 2008 Head of Section Asia, Australia & Oceania, German Rectors’ Conference
1999 - 2001 Head of International Relations, University of Applied Sciences
Furtwangen, Germany
1998 - 1999 Lecturer of English, University of Duisburg, Germany
1996 - 1998 Coordinator for International Relations, Prefectural University of Kumamoto and Kumamoto Prefectural Government Office, Japan

Education
1993 - 1994 Studies in Linguistics and Japanese at University of Washington, Seattle, U.S.A.
1991 - 1992 Studies at Sheffield University and Sheffield City Polytechnic, GB
1989 - 1996 M.A. in English Linguistics, Japanese Studies and Business Studies, University of Duisburg, Germany