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Documentation: Virtual Exchange – borderless mobility between the European Higher Education Area and regions beyond

“Virtual exchange” constitutes an important element in the current Higher Education internationalisation discourse. The conference highlighted virtual exchange in its role as facilitator for academic cooperation, especially by enhancing, supporting or completing physical mobility.

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With a special focus on the relations between the European Higher Education Area and other regions worldwide, we addressed the potential of online learning scenarios and present best interaction practises. The conference took place in the context of the “Global Policy Dialogue”, an initiative dedicated to strengthening the relations between the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) and other Higher Education regions in the world. Hence, the Global Policy Dialogue reflects on matters of common concern and relevance for higher education policies with the aim to stimulate cooperation and share ideas and policies that can be mutually beneficial.

The main forum for the “Global Policy Dialogue” is the Bologna Policy Forum, held regularly in conjunction with the Ministerial Bologna Conference since 2009.

Place Berlin-Brandenburgische Akademie der Wissenschaften, Markgrafenstraße 38, 10117 Berlin
Date 11th December 2019
Target Group Representatives of Higher Education Institutions in Europe (EHEA) and other regions, Higher Education practitioners or experts in virtual exchange, members of the Bologna Follow Up Group and partner organisations, researchers
Programme Programme


Virtual Exchange
Borderless Mobility between the European Higher Education Area and Regions Beyond
Selection of Conference Papers Presented on December 11, 2019


Virtual Exchange – Borderless Mobility between EHEA and Regions beyond
Dominic Orr, Kiron Open Higher Education, Germany

Institutionalising Virtual Exchange in Asia Pacific
Keiko Ikeda, Kansai University, Japan – will follow soon

Bridging Youth Across Europe and the Southern Mediterranean: The Erasmus+ Virtual Exchange Project
Sarah Guth, UNICollaboration, Spain; Marlène Bartes, European Commission, Belgium; Philipp Möcklinghoff, UNICollaboration, Germany

Benefits of Virtual Exchange from a Higher Education Perspective
Eva Haug, Amsterdam University of Applied Science, The Netherlands

Parallel Thematic Sessions I

A Didactical Resume of the Building Bridges Across Continents Project - Online Cooperation among European, African and US Students
Regina Brautlacht, Hochschule Bonn-Rhein-Sieg, University of Applied Sciences, Germany; Joseph Owino, University of Nairobi, Kenya; Maria de Lurdes Martins, Polytechnic Institute of Viseu, Portugal; Daniel Agyapong, University of Cape Coast, Ghana

Technophobia in Academia
Bettina Pfaendner, Macquarie University, Australia – will follow soon

A Framework to Boost Virtual Exchange through Virtual Collaborative Learning Exemplified by a German-Iranian Project
Alexander Clauss, Technical University Dresden, Germany; Eric Schoop, Technical University Dresden, German; Ali Akbar Safavi, Shiraz University, Iran

A Testbed for Online Inter-institutional Collaboration across the Globe: The Virtual Exchange Programme
Anne S. Helsdingen, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne, Switzerland; Gijs Elkhuizen, Wageningen University and Research, The Netherlands

Parallel Thematic Sessions II

Building Expertise and Capacity in Faculty at Durban University of Technology
Penny Orton, Durban University of Technology, South Africa; Lesley Anne Cooke, Durban University of Technology, South Africa – will follow soon

Revive the Rural: An E-learning Project for Sustainable Development
Ruth Schaldach, Technical University Hamburg, Germany; Tina Ladwig, Hamburg Open Online University, Germany

A Virtual Exchange Toolkit: from Micro-credential Settings to Full Study Programmes
Torsten Fransson, EIT InnoEnergy, The Netherlands – will follow soon

Schools of Education as Agents of Change: A Virtual Semester Abroad for Indian and German Education Students
Christoph Knoblauch, Ludwigsburg University of Education, Germany; Jörg Keßler, Ludwigsburg University of Education, Germany

Virtual Exchanges: Developing Guidelines for Students and Faculties
Regina Brautlacht, Hochschule Bonn-Rhein-Sieg, University of Applied Sciences, Germany; Kristi Julian, Middle Tennessee State University, USA; Wendi Hulme, Conestoga College, Canada

Institutionalizing Virtual Exchange: How to Promote and Integrate VE?
Sarah Guth, UNICollaboration, Spain

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