New Challenges to Internationalisation - New Approaches: An Online Workshop in Hannover


COVID-19 poses serious challenges, makes adjustments to plans around the world and, at the same time, forces to develop alternative approaches.

A workshop of the project “Training Course on Management of Internationalisation and German-Ukrainian Academic Cooperation 2020-2021” was to be held in Hannover in the last decade of March. But the coronavirus made it impossible to hold the planned live event. Instead Leibniz University Hannover organized a several-day online workshop.

The project “Training Course on Management of Internationalisation and German-Ukrainian Academic Cooperation 2020-2021” has been launched by the team of the International Office of Leibniz University Hannover. Its general objective is to provide participants from Ukrainian higher education institutions with profound knowledge of different aspects of internationalisation and to enable them to manage the corresponding processes and tasks as well as to foster both German-Ukrainian cooperation and the internationalisation of their institutions.

According to plans, participants of the project will
•gain comprehensive knowledge of internationalisation and the competencies necessary for its successful management;
•gain the soft skills necessary for international higher education management: (intercultural) communication skills, conflict management;
•gain the respective management skills needed for internationalisation: project management, change management;
•be integrated into regional and interregional networks for knowledge exchange and bilateral/multilateral cooperation;
•initiate, manage or extend international cooperation projects;
•implement individual internationalisation projects.

This training course is financed by DAAD from funds provided by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).

Representatives of all 18 Ukrainian universities of the project, including Berdyansk State Pedagogical University, participated in the online workshop. Dr. Birgit Barden-Läufer, Nataliya Butych, Nadine Sturm, Dr. Oksana Seumenicht represented the organizers. March 24 was entirely dedicated to lectures of Doctor Fiona Hunter – a former President of European Association for International Education, who has global consulting experience in internationalization. Fiona Hunter delivered the lectures from her home in Milan, which is now in the center of the pandemic. So, at the request of Igor Lyman, Dr. Hunter gave a detailed picture of her vision of short- and long-term changes that the coronavirus will bring to the trends of university internationalization in the world. Here you can find the corresponding fragment of the lecture by Fiona Hunter.

Before the start of the online workshop the German organizers placed the recommended literature on Seafile, an open-source, cross-platform file-hosting software system. All Ukrainian participants recorded their presentations in pairs using Skype video recording mode. During the workshop Zoom Video Communications has been using. Offline individual video reviews alternated with online sessions to discuss what participants saw and read. The workshop turned out to be very informative, productive and, importantly, not boring. In quarantine conditions, relevant experience can be applied for organizing distance learning in Ukrainian universities.