International CARPE conference

How has the coronavirus pandemic impacted internationalisation?

The international pandemic has made international exchange and research collaborations difficult. Nevertheless – or precisely for this reason – the international CARPE conference will take place online from 27 to 29 October 2021. CARPE stands for the Consortium on Applied Research and Professional Education, and the motto of this year’s conference is ‘strengthening partnerships’.

Portrait of Prof. Dr.-Ing. Peter Wulf, vice president of research, knowledge transfer and international affairs

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Peter Wulf, vice president for research, knowledge transfer and international affairs, discusses international exchange and research collaboration during the coronavirus pandemic.

We spoke with Prof. Dr.-Ing. Peter Wulf, vice president for research, knowledge transfer and international affairs, about what instructors and researchers can expect at the conference, which is being hosted by the University of Debrecen in Hungary, and what plans he has for HAW Hamburg.

Herr Wulf, three semesters of a pandemic has also meant three semesters of restrictions on international exchange. How has this impacted HAW Hamburg’s internationalisation strategy as a whole?

Despite all the difficulties and challenges the pandemic has created in terms of international exchange, HAW Hamburg’s fundamental focus on the pronounced internationalisation of studies, teaching and research continues to have high priority. The pandemic hasn’t called internationalisation itself into question, but rather the ‘how’ of implementing it in practice. Because we are currently working on further developing the existing internationalisation strategy, we have the opportunity to integrate the knowledge and experience gained through the pandemic and to think about new formats.

One of the catchphrases associated with digitalisation is that the world is becoming more connected. Do you see opportunities in the area of internationalisation that have resulted from the coronavirus pandemic?

In terms of international exchange, we haven’t experienced only limitations as a result of the pandemic. We’ve also seen that the accompanying spread of and recognition of digital tools around the world has given rise to completely new and, most importantly, uncomplicated opportunities for collaboration. These digital possibilities cannot replace the experiences of a longer stay abroad, of course, but for short-term exchanges they are an attractive alternative, for various reasons. I expect the importance of digital options for the internationalisation of studies, teaching and research – as well as the administration – to increase, and that this will also promote increased intercultural competencies more broadly.

In terms of international exchange, we haven’t experienced only limitations as a result of the pandemic. We’ve also seen that the accompanying spread of and recognition of digital tools around the world has given rise to completely new and, most importantly, uncomplicated opportunities for collaboration.

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Peter Wulf, Vice President for Research, Knowledge Transfer and International Affairs at HAW Hamburg

The CARPE conference will take place in the fall, and so-called ‘special interest groups’ (SIGs) have been formed in the run-up to the conference. For many academics at HAW Hamburg, this provides the opportunity to work together with our European partners on specified thematic areas. How will this impact HAW Hamburg and our international research and educational perspectives?

The highlighting of selected thematic areas through the SIGs will make participation in the CARPE Network more attractive. For example, it makes it easier to identify research or teaching partners in the CARPE universities with matching interests, which was somewhat complicated until now. The thematic areas provide useful orientation but are not too narrowly defined, which means the range of the groups enables many subject-related linkages but still remains manageable. The SIGs are a real benefit for CARPE, and therefore for HAW Hamburg, in sustainably expanding the European perspective.

 

Peter Wulf, fotografiert am Berliner Tor 5 am 23.06.2020

The ideas generated at the conference will enable us to continue effectively with the strategic deepening of cooperation within the network.

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Peter Wulf, Vice President for Research, Knowledge Transfer and International Affairs at HAW Hamburg

What added value does the upcoming conference offer beyond the SIGS? Who are the new partners in the CARPE network? And what development opportunities do you see for the network?

Because the colleagues have already gotten to know one another through the SIGs, I expect the discussion and exchange at the CARPE conference to be very friendly and stimulating, despite the online format. This intensive, interdisciplinary and international exchange is certainly the decisive hallmark of the conference. We will also be getting to know the new CARPE partners in particular: Politécnico do Porto of Portugal and the University of the West of Scotland. The ideas generated at the conference will enable us to continue effectively with the strategic deepening of cooperation within the network.

And to close, one last question on the topic of exchange: How are you networking with your international colleagues in the CARPE network under the current circumstances?

In addition to occasional bilateral interactions we meet regularly in the CARPE steering committee – at the moment online only of course. However, this is ideal for these focused meetings. I also see that several of my international colleagues are active on social media and I can follow partners’ current developments very well that way. But I still really look forward to meeting everyone in person. Because I’ve only held this office since last year, I haven’t had the opportunity to do so yet.

Thank you very much for the interview!

Interview: Katharina Jeorgakopulos, Anke Blacha / Text: Kathrin Rath

CARPE conference

27–29 October 2021 – ONLINE

The title of this year's CARPE conference, 'Strengthening partnerships', refers to the importance and complexity of partnerships in the international university context. In addition to exchange and networking with colleagues from other CARPE universities, the importance of cooperation with external partners is also clear and will be reflected by the keynote speakers. They will include representatives of BMW – which is planning to construct one of the largest production plants for electric cars in the world in Debrecen, the hosting partner of the CARPE conference – as well as representatives from the Hungarian Ministry of Innovation and the city of Debrecen, among others.

Additionally, various plenary sessions will offer the chance to discuss the following topics:

  • Future universities: The role of the campus
    This session looks at how universities can actively redesign the campus of the future using creativity, new ideas and the rededication of space.
  • Universities in innovation ecosystems
    The goal of this session is to discuss the conceptualisation and transformation of regional innovation systems, and especially their expansion at the international level. Selected examples from various CARPE partners will be used to illustrate approaches to and possibilities for cooperation.
  • Aligning science with society
    This session will introduce various possibilities for and approaches to linking science and society and will explain the concept of 'participation' in the research context.

Last but not least: the new CARPE partners Politécnico do Porto (P.PORTO) and University of the West of Scotland will introduce themselves and provide a glimpse into their universities and potential opportunities for cooperation.

More information about the conference and registration is available on the conference website.

x