This year‘s OeAD-Hochschultagung took place virtually and put a special focus on internationalization in higher education. The main topic of the online conference was the change in international cooperation due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Numerous presentations and webinars dealt with issues about how to encounter this paradigm shift, what are the global challenges to be kept in mind, and what strategies will support universities and colleges in the years to come?
Another focus was given on “Brexit“ and the new challenges that will arise in the higher education system after the UK‘s leaving of the European Union. How will previous entry and residence requirements change? How will negotiatons about the long-term relations with the other members of the EU have to be concluded? Universities and research institutions in Austria, as well as the UK, have expressed their strong interest in continuing student and research exchange. Ways to fund such research and academic stays abroad, are being discussed intensively. The Austrian government already committed to off er mobility grants to Austrian students for a course of studies in the UK also after 31 December 2020.
In addition to the ongoing discussions on “Brexit“, there was also a presentation of the National Higher Education Mobility and Internationalization Strategy 2020-2030 “Internationalization in Many Ways“, by representatives of the OeAD. The rector of the University of Innsbruck, Tilmann Märk, participated at the panel discussion “Quality of International Cooperation between Universities in fragile Times“. Together with high representatives of universities and colleges in Austria, the new possibilites and challenges due to Covid-19 were discussed.