The DAAD South Africa at the 25th Annual IEASA Conference

The DAAD joined IEASA in celebrating International Higher Education at the 25th Annual Conference held in Durban, South Africa from 2-25 August, the first IEASA conference held in person post-pandemic.

The International Education Association of South Africa (IEASA) is a leading African organisation advancing the internationalisation of higher education from the perspectives of the developing and emerging world.

With a theme of “Looking Back – Looking Forward”, the 25th Annual Conference marked IEASA’s silver jubilee and brought together more than 260 academics, researchers, students, partners and practitioners, and leaders of international higher education from across the globe to share thoughts, research findings and lived experiences.

The president of IEASA, Dr Lavern Samuels, highlighted the significance of the theme in his opening address. Reflecting on the organization’s journey and achievements since its inception, sharing experiences and lessons learned, while looking forward to and imagining the future of IEASA and the field of internationalisation of higher education in South Africa and the world.

The conference featured interesting plenary sessions with university leaders who provided insight into the Strategic Framework for Comprehensive Internationalisation and shared their views on the challenges and opportunities of internationalisation in South Africa over the past 25 years. Participants also had the opportunity to sit in on workshops and presentations that explored various topics including, ‘How internationalisation can develop leadership in university students and staff’, ‘the impact of COVID-19’, ‘Research collaboration between Germany and South Africa’, and more.

The director of DAAD South Africa, Dr Anja Hallacker, together with colleagues from Nuffic Southern Africa and British Council South Africa presented a thought-provoking session on ‘How sustainability changes internationalization’. During the presentation, Dr. Hallacker discussed how the DAAD fosters international cooperation around the world to overcome global challenges, as outlined in the 2030 Agenda and Sustainable Development Goals.

Furthermore, our team had an information stand offering information and advice on study and research in Germany, university partnerships and cooperation in Southern Africa, and the DAAD funding opportunities.

It was a pleasure for us to participate in the conference and to demonstrate commitment to the continued support of quality cooperation, for the benefit of the future. Through this experience, we gained valuable insights and engaged in meaningful discussions on important topics such as sustainability, intra-Africa collaborations, mobility, and the future of education. Furthermore, we had the opportunity to connect with and build relationships with colleagues from various universities and higher education institutions in South Africa and around the world.

Dr Anja Hallacker writes:

“Since I took over as director DAAD South Africa in 2017, IEASA’s August conferences have been a regular occurrence. During these conferences, I have not only been able to obtain important information on the internationalization of South African universities in recent years, but also to get to know those who are committed to this topic. And I have made friends whom I hope to be able to continue meeting when I return to Germany next year.”

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