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DAAD: new paper on sustainable mobility

The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) has just presented its working paper on “Sustainable Mobility”. This document formulates lines of action to adapt internationalisation of higher education to protect climate. It provides a framework of orientation for future mobility to internationally networked higher education institutions and internationally active researchers.  

DAAD’s objectives are two-fold. Firstly, it aims at orientating their internal mobility-related operations to the goals of sustainability. Furthermore, it intends to develop a portfolio and engage in direct contact with the target groups to ensure that their programmes remain sustainable. 

In order to promote a more climate-friendly internationalisation of higher education and science, DAAD proposes following these principles: 

  • Form follows function: Deciding whether physical mobility is necessary or whether it can be substituted by digital learning or virtual exchanges on the basis of the individual goals. 
  • Design with the users: Considering the needs and interests of the target groups.  
  • Leave no one behind: Ensuring equal opportunity and tapping the comparative advantages of digital formats and in-person courses. 
  • Decarbonise mobility: Making physical mobility climate-neutral. 
  • Focus on quality: Strengthening digital infrastructure and ensuring the quality of teaching and learning opportunities. 

This document acknowledges that there is not a “one-size-fits-all” solution and offers space for change. The implementation of the lines of action will depend on the individual situations and goals, target groups and technical possibilities. These action lines must also be sufficiently flexible to do justice to widely varying interests and further processes of change overtime.  

Find the full publication here.