Based on the insights and ideas gained during joint HRK-JDZB-JACUIE conferences on higher education reform in Japan and Germany in Tôkyô (2006) and Berlin (2010), the German Rectors' Conference (HRK) and the Japanese-German Center Berlin (JDZB) in cooperation with the University of Cologne aim to further contribute to enhancing cooperation between higher education institutions in Japan and Germany.
In 2011, the German Rectors’ Conference coordinated the Japan Weeks at German Universities with the financial support of the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research and as part of the events that commemorated the 150th anniversary of German-Japanese relations (cf.www.hrk.de/japan-wochen). The Japan Weeks, which were held at 18 universities and universities of applied sciences, successfully contributed to informing German students and researchers about study and research opportunities in Japan and to increasing their awareness of the enormous potential of Japanese-German university cooperation.
In the framework of the Japan Weeks the German Rectors’ Conference held an evaluation workshop with the participating 18 German universities which delivered valuable insights into examples of good practice as well as perceived obstacles to and challenges in German-Japanese higher education cooperation. Based on these insights, the symposium aims to address two particularly crucial aspects: the development of institutional internationalisation strategies and the prevailing institutional structures and processes of internationalisation in Germany and Japan.
Presenting examples of good practice and providing a platform for exchange between Japanese and German universities, the symposium discusses how institutional internationalisation strategies can be successfully developed and implemented while involving internal and external stakeholders. Furthermore, it highlights and compares the institutional structures and processes of internationalisation that are common practice in Germany and Japan and explores their impact on Japanese-German higher education cooperation.
In the long run, the symposium aims to trigger an initiative for short-term exchange of non-academic staff of international offices between German and Japanese universities, contributing to an improved mutual understanding and thus enhancing cooperation in education and research.
The symposium will bring together German and Japanese university representatives, addressing both the level of vice-presidents international and heads of international offices.