Due to the current Coronavirus crisis, and in line with the German government’s instructions, the Volkswagen Foundation has decided to postpone all of its conferences until May 15, 2020. We will therefore not be able to host the conference „China and Europe on the New Silk Road: Connecting Universities“ as planned, on May 13-15, 2020. We will be announcing a new conference date as soon as possible, which we currently expect to be sometime between mid-October and mid-November, 2020.


Ursprüngliche Nachricht:
von Andreas Günter Weis

From May 13-15, 2020, the University of Utrecht, the University of Göttingen and the Volkswagen Foundation will be hosting a Herrenhausen Conference on „China and Europe on the New Silk Road: Connecting Universities“. The conference will mark the conclusions of a multi-year research project on the implications of the New Silk Road (or China´s One Belt One Road initiative) for higher education and research in different parts of the world.

Recent geopolitical events such as Brexit, and the US turning its back on international trade and cooperation, create waves of uncertainty in higher education regarding international cooperation, the free movement of students, academics, scientific knowledge, and ideas. Meanwhile China stands to gain as its universities advance in global visibility. The growing unpredictabilities in the West may make China only more successful in its aim to attract talent (back) and to enhance its impact on the global higher education landscape. Its New Silk Road (or One Belt One Road) project could potentially span and integrate major parts of the world across the Euro-Asian continents. But likely on new and different conditions, also for higher education.

The conference will discuss the changing academic relations between China and other countries in Asia and Europe. Key questions focus on flows and patterns of academic mobility along the New Silk Road. It also investigates initiatives undertaken by universities as well as the conditions under which these are taking place. It aims at discussing the impact of these developments on EU-China collaborations, on the global higher education landscape, the key role of the US therein, and on how academic systems between China and Europe will position themselves.

Researchers and professionals from business and administration as well as NGOs with a link to the New Silk Road and higher education from all fields are welcome to attend the symposium.

Herrenhausen Conference
A New Silk Road for Higher Education Cooperation
May 13-15, 2020
Herrenhausen Palace, Hanover, Germany



Opening session: On old and new Silk Roads: Perspectives from Global History and the Future of Science
Panel 1: The Rise of China in Global Higher Education
Panel 2: Academic Cooperation: Trends and Flows along the New Silk Road
Panel 3: Academic Cooperation: University Strategies
Panel 4: Policy Frameworks for Cooperation
Panel 5: Conditions for Balanced Aelationships and Challenges for Future Sino-European Collaboration



Andreas Günter Weis
Humboldtallee 32, D-37075 Göttingen