Platform for higher education teaching (inter-)nationally? – Interview with Volker Zimmermann & Ulrich Schmid

Platform for higher education teaching (inter-)nationally? – Interview with Volker Zimmermann & Ulrich Schmid


Image of the platform, taken from the feasibility study.

In the summer of 2018, a feasibility study for an (inter)national platform for university teaching was published on behalf of the Hochschulforum Digitalisierung. We interviewed the study authors Dr. Ulrich Schmid (mmb Institut GmbH) and Dr. Volker Zimmermann (NEOCOSMO GmbH) about what the implementation of such a platform would mean in Germany. Here you can read the condensed version of the study.

[This article was automatically translated using DeepL Translator. Please excuse any errors.] 


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Why do we need an (inter)national, cross-institutional platform for higher education teaching?

In general, it makes sense and is also important that we build such a platform in Germany, because we now have a very wide range of many individual activities at the state and university level. But this is followed by the question: What platform do we want? Is it rather a platform that networks and brings together the existing – in other words, a platform of platforms? Or is it a platform that provides new content, for example for target groups beyond the universities?

If you ask about the meaning, you have to consider federalism in Germany. There are different activities in each federal state, but the federal states are actually far too small to be able to play in this global market. This is precisely why you have to have a joint initiative, because only together will they be strong enough to assert themselves against other international players.

Image of the platform, taken from the feasibility study.

Which criteria must be fulfilled for realization?

We’re just at the beginning. There are activities in individual federal states where there is cross-university action, but that is still a long way from implementation. It would be feasible if the Länder and the federal government were to join forces and finance these activities together. Technically it is not really a problem, there are many technical solutions today on which one could build, but a political will is needed and the culture at the universities must change. There must be a willingness to play along as an individual university and to develop appropriate content.

Would such a platform isolate the German higher education landscape?

It is no longer possible to do this on a national level, since you are in international competition with others. But if we want to take a realistic approach, we have to start here too. Some federal states have already started to build such platforms. You can start by building on this and, so to speak, first follow the national perspective.

The video was produced by KUXMA GmbH & Co. KG. Josephine Kuthning was responsible for editing and directing.

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