In May 2020, Betty Leask and Wendy Green, headlined their article for University World News with the question “Is the pandemic a watershed for internationalisation?” Half a year later, we are still pondering on various aspects of this question.
2020 has been a year that shook convictions and routines in many walks of life, and we are still not sure in which direction our world is going. In the midst of an ongoing pandemic, there are other crises and developments that force us to rethink, adapt, and possibly discard our convictions and habits. For universities as well, the uncertainty that has been 2020 meant reassessing past practices and objectives – but also bears great opportunities to actively shape the future course of higher education.
With its debate series “Watersheds of Internationalization?”, Freie Universität Berlin, together with partner institutions and international experts, will take a closer look at five different developments of globalization and internationalization of HEI, and discuss their possible outcomes. How will the international student experience develop? What will mobility look like in times of climate crisis? How will growing inequality affect the exchange of knowledge and academic freedom? Our panelists might present quite conflicting ideas on how universities might develop, and it is up to you, our global audience, to decide which direction you prefer.
Since the events take place at lunchtime in Berlin, we named them "Lunchtime Debates", but we invite you to join us across all time zones and consider this a refreshing break during your workday, breakfast, dinner, afternoon tea or even in your pyjamas looking for some food for thought.