In This Issue:

The Refugee Crisis and Higher Education: #EducatingForTheFuture

Syria's Loss of Students to Rebuild Future

International Perspectives on the Governance of Education

Bauhaus in Your House: DAAD North America Photo Contest


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April 8, 2016

The Refugee Crisis and Higher Education: #EducatingForTheFuture

On April 7th, DAAD New York co-hosted a panel discussion together with IIE and the German Mission to the United Nations in order to address the nexus between the refugee crisis, higher education, integration and enabling the displaced individuals to rebuild their countries.


German UN Ambassador Heiko Thoms opened the panel by sharing on his own experience as a former DAAD scholarship holder in the Middle East and noting how scholars and college grads can lead the way to rebuilding Syria. Dr. Nina Lemmens, Director of DAAD New York, then moderated the panel discussion among DAAD Secretary General Dr. Dorothea Rueland; IIE President Allan Goodman; the Norwegian and Portuguese UN Ambassadors Pedersen and Mendonca e Moura, respectively; Christine Matthews of UNHCR; and Karen AbuZayd, Special Adviser of the UN Secretary-General for a global summit on migration in September. Furthermore, Syrian student Sana Mustafa recounted her firsthand experience of fleeing her homeland and experiencing grueling obstacles to survival before she finally could continue her studies at Bard College.

In sum, the panelists provided encouraging examples of how academia and civil society can better the situation of refugees, yet noted the persisting challenges related to coordination, accomodation and counseling on campuses. Continued support for refugees is not only needed in host countries, but also in the form of region-specific funding programs in areas of conflict. An investment in education is an investment in peace, as one panelist explained.

The recorded discussion can be viewed in its entirety at: Additional photos from the event courtesy of the German Mission:

Syria's loss of students to rebuild future

A recent BBC News article, "Syria's loss of students to Rebuild Future", clearly echoed many of the thoughts expressed in DAAD's April 7th panel discussion on the threat to Syria’s students and scholars. It includes quotes from Dr. Dorothea Rueland and Christian Hulshorster of DAAD and IIE’s Allan Goodman and James King, as well as interviews with Syrian student Sana Mustafa and two rescued scholars from Syria.

The article comes to a tense conclusion, with the fate of refugees at all levels of education far from certain: "With the political debate on refugees becoming heated, the idea of rescuing scholars is getting tougher. There have been questions about the morality of offering sanctuary to professors while others are left to the mercy of traffickers. It's not an argument Mr Goodman accepts: 'We need a change of mindset... We know that refugees spend many years in camps, and to have a whole generation growing up in a camp with no education is a very dangerous thing.'" To view the full article, please click here.

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International Perspectives on the Governance of Education

Experts from major institutions in the field of educational research – mostly from Germany and the US – will convene in Washington on April 9 to a seminar titled “International Perspectives on School Governance”, organized by International Cooperation in Education (ice), on the occasion of the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association (AERA). The event will predominantly focus on the potential offered by digital methods and data assessment in empirical educational research in order to improve schools.

Dr. Joann Halpern, Director of the German Center for Research and Innovation (GCRI) in New York, will open the event. The introductory note will be followed by a panel discussion on "Data-Driven School Improvement. The Role of Data for Teaching and Learning" and a poster session displaying American and German research infrastructures, educational research institutions and large-scale comparative educational assessments.

Participants are then invited to three workshops enabling them to present and discuss their own studies and identify opportunities for cooperation. These workshops will focus on:
1. Leadership and (System) Monitoring
2. Computer-Assisted Progress Monitoring Systems for Whole Classrooms in Primary and Secondary Education
3. Big Data, Little Data – Potentials and Boundaries of Digitization in Educational Research

For more information on the seminar, please visit:

Date: April 9, 2016, 11:00am to 3:30pm
Venue: Marriott Marquis, Level Four, Capitol, 901 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington D.C.

ice: Dr. Annika Wilmers, +49 (0)69 24708-735,
Press: Philip Stirm, DIPF, +49 (0)69 24708-123,

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Bauhaus in Your House: DAAD North America Photo Contest

2016 marks the 90th anniversary of the iconic Bauhaus in Dessau, which to this day symbolizes one of the most influential schools of art, architecture and design of the 20th century. Bauhaus stood at the forefront of avant-garde modernism, incorporating artistic creativity into the process of mass-production with the goal of experimenting and problem solving for a modern industrial society. This functional approach to design gained popularity around the world, and Bauhaus products continue to be reproduced even today.

Taking this UNESCO World Heritage Site in Dessau as a starting point, DAAD North America is launching a photo contest where we invite you to examine your everyday environment for elements of Bauhaus, whether it be a building, an artwork, housewares, or anything in between. Share a photo of the object and describe how it represents Bauhaus to you in 3 sentences or fewer.

All contestants must be currently enrolled in a degree program at a US or Canadian institution of higher education.

The deadline for submissions is May 6, 2016.

DAAD contest rules apply.

Grand Prize: a round-trip flight to Germany (please see contest rules for maximum value)
Second Prize: GoPro action camera
Third Prize: a one year subscription to bauhaus – the magazine of the Bauhaus Dessau Foundation.

For additional information or to submit an entry, please visit our contest page.
Copyright 2016 German Exchange Service. All Rights Reserved.

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