“President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Council Donald Tusk, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi had expressed strong commitment to enhancing collaboration in the field of higher education at the India-EU Summit last October,” said Raimund Magis, Acting Head of Delegation of European Union to India, in a video message during the inauguration of Manipal Higher Education Meet here on Thursday.

“With the European Union support programme for internationalisation, more than 120 universities in India are making efforts in accelerating their reform process and making them internationally more connected and competitive,” he added.

The three-day Manipal Higher Education Meet organised as part of the European Union-funded project on Bologna Process and Internationalisation of Higher Education is aimed at bringing together experts in higher education in Europe and India to discuss matters related to harmonisation and internationalisation of higher education. Inaugurating the meet, Professor Friedrich Lehmann of Hochschule Bremen University of Applied Sciences Germany, expressed pleasure at the way the cooperation between Bremen and Manipal has developed over a period of three decades expanding cooperation to different disciplines.

“Exposure to internationalisation creates young ambassadors who can share their stories globally and create a better world by fostering peace and harmony,” he said.

In his presidential address, H. Vinod Bhat, Vice Chancellor, MAHE, spoke about the difference between the political and academic thinking in the world that called for immediate attention to initiatives such as internationalisation that can foster collaboration. If political thinking was inclined towards making systems more inward, the academic world continued to have an outward looking approach. “In this context, internationalisation of higher education holds promise that we as academics have a duty to expand our outlook by, building more networks, more bridges and more partnership,” he said.

In his keynote address, Ulrich Podewils, Chancellor Rtd. Berlin Technical University, spoke about the contexts and complexities of internationalisation. He said that internationalisation in the true sense should move beyond international mobility and result in a process of integrating teaching, learning and research dimension.

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