Digital Transformation: Higher Education and Research for Sustainable Development

Event Type
Joint Expert Workshop

Location / Date
08.11.2018 until 09.11.2018


German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE), Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (DAAD)

Digitalisation has a transformative societal impact, providing solutions and creating new challenges. Against the background of the Sustainable Development Goals it is imperative to analyse this impact in further detail.

The workshop “Digital Transformation: Higher Education and Research for Sustainable Development” aimed to provide a platform for experts and representatives from civil society, government, higher education and research institutions in Germany, Europe and Southern Powers to engage in discussions on several questions resulting from the triangle of education, research and development. These questions included:

  • Where are the opportunities of digitalisation for sustainable development?
  • Which fundamental new questions arise due to digitalisation?
  • What are the implications for higher education, a corner stone for sustainable development?
  • What impact does digitalisation have on international research networks and science cooperation?


To elaborate on these topics, the workshop was structured around four regional round tables. Each round table had an input paper as a basis for further discussion between the experts and representatives from civil society, government, higher education and research institutions in Germany, Europe and Southern countries.

Additionally, a public lecture and discussion held by Prof. Dr. Dirk Messner aimed to ensure the engagement of the participating experts with a broader audience of higher education and development professionals.

Furthermore, the workshop resulted in an experts' position paper on the implications of digitalisation for higher education and sustainable development, which is available online.


Thursday, 8 November 2018

Morning Arrival of Participants

12:00 Registration and Lunch

13:30 Welcome Remarks

  • N.N., Bundesministerium für wirtschaftliche Zusammenarbeit und Entwicklung (BMZ)
  • Dorothea Rüland, Secretary General, DAAD
  • Imme Scholz, Acting Director DIE

14:00 - 15:30 Roundtable 1: Digitalisation in Southern Powers: Growth and Transformation

  • Shreyasi Singh, Author, edupreneur and Head, Edtech Initiatives, 9.9 Group
  • Yu Dongxing, China (East China Normal University)
  • Yose Rizal Damuri, Indonesia (CSIS)
  • Alberto Santiago Martinez, Colegio de Mexico



15:30 - 16:00 Coffee Break

16:00 -17:30 Roundtable 2: The Impact of Digitalisation on Higher Education in Africa

  • Johan van Niekerk, NMMU, Port Elizabeth, South Africa
  • Slim Abdennadher, German University Cairo, Egypt
  • Stephen Kimani, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, Kenya
  • Thomas Hervé Mboa Nkoudou, Université Laval, Québec, Canada


  • Michael Hörig, DAAD


18:30 - 20:00 Public Lecture by Dirk Messner, UNU
As respondents:

  • Shreyasi Singh, Author, edupreneur and Head, Edtech Initiatives, 9.9 Group
  • Idrissa Sarr, University Cheikh

20:00 - 21:00 Flying Dinner

Friday 9 November 2018

9:00 - 10:30 Roundtable 3: Digitalisation in Industrialised Countries: Opportunities and Societal Challenges

  • Dominic Orr, Forschungsinstitut für Bildung und Soziales
  • Katrin Niglas, Vice-Rector Research, University of Tallinn
  • Martin Rademacher, HRK


10:30 - 11:00 Coffee Break

11:00 - 12:30 Roundtable 4: Digital Higher Education Provision in Crisis Context

  • Barbara Moser-Mercer, InZone, University of Geneva, Switzerland
  • Carsten Walbiner / local representative, HOPES Project
  • Maren Kröger, Higher Education Officer, UNHCR
  • Katja Jung, Free University of Berlin
  • Wolfgang Seibel, University of Konstanz


  • Christian Hülshörster, DAAD

12:30 - 13:30 Lunch

13:30 - 15:00 Final Discussion and Adoption of Workshop Conclusions

15:00 Final Remarks and Farewell

15:15 End of workshop


Während unserer Veranstaltungen werden z.T. Foto- und/oder Filmaufnahmen gemacht, die für Zwecke der Veranstaltungsberichterstattung und allgemeinen Öffentlichkeitsarbeit in verschiedenen Medien veröffentlicht werden. Sie haben jederzeit das Recht, die Foto- oder Videograf*innen darauf hinzuweisen, dass Sie nicht aufgenommen werden möchten.

Event information


08.11.2018 until 09.11.2018




Joint Expert Workshop: Digital Transformation

Video: Perspectives on