The last few months have changed the world. What was unimaginable a few months ago has become our reality, our new “normal” – closed borders and airports, face masks and Veronica buckets, video conference meetings with faculty colleagues and family. A virus is dictating the rhythm and we are trying to dance to it.
In these times of insecurity, some people are tempted to believe seemingly simple explanations and conspiracy theories have been on the rise. On the other hand many governments and decision-makers worldwide take the recommendations of epidemiologists and virologists very seriously. Guided by the newest findings of science, the measures taken have been able to slow down the spread of the infection in most places. The relevance of scientific research for everyday life is becoming more obvious every day and scientists are improving their communication of crucial research results to a broad audience.
One question that is worrying institutions all over the world is the impact that COVID-19 will have on the future of internationalisation. The DAAD has curated an overview of relevant and up to date studies on COVID-19’s impact on International Higher Education. The Higher Education sector had to react quickly to the challenges of online learning as well, often leaving administrative and teaching staff overwhelmed and researchers and students stressed. We therefore enabled DAAD-funded projects to use allocated funds for online events and digitalisation measures instead.
Whilst the whole world is anxiously watching the latest news, infection rates and research results on COVID-19, for international students and researchers their educational and career plans are on the line as well. For those who are looking to study or do research in Germany, we have compiled the latest information here.
And despite so many changes and challenges, some things remain the same. In this newsletter you will also find information on calls for long-standing scholarship programmes that are popular in Ghana and upcoming event formats that have been tried and tested. Those events in Ghana will be conducted in 2020 again, but with a smaller number of participants and/or audience. Consultations in person in the Information Centre’s offices will also resume from 1st July, but with limited numbers of staff and visitors in the same office. As we, too, are dancing the dance of a return to normality without taking risks.
Best regards and stay safe,
Director, DAAD Information Centre Accra