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On 3-5 May 2022, the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) – one of the founding member organisations of ACA – hosted, in Berlin, the G7+ Partners Higher Education Summit 2022, with the title International Academic Cooperation amidst a World in Crisis: Chances and Challenges. A total of 15 international education agencies were invited by DAAD to actively take part, from the G7 countries, as well as from Austria, Czech Republic, Finland, Norway, the Netherlands, Poland, and Spain, and including the Academic Cooperation Association (ACA), which is largely European in nature. The event was organised in advance of the official G7 summit, that will be hosted on 26-28 June 2022 by Germany, which holds the presidency, and zoomed into a topic of great concern – the role of international cooperation in higher education in a changing geopolitical context, and against growing societal challenges.
The rich and in-depth exchanges during the event were captured, in the form of key messages, into a joint statement – the “Berlin Declaration on International Academic Cooperation amidst a World in Crisis”. The statement emphasises the “the mission of international academic cooperation to seek and develop solutions to global challenges such as climate change, gender equality, healthcare, and the peaceful resolution of conflicts”, and reaffirms the commitment of co-signing organisations to relentlessly work to support threatened and persecuted students and scholars, as well as to enable post-conflict institutional re-building, along capacity and leadership development, preventing brain drain from conflict-affected areas.
Following the summit and in line with these principles, the participating organisations and the wider ACA membership continue their support measures, in response to the war in Ukraine and other conflict areas, as well as the dialogue on this topic through related Brussels-based events.