China and Europe on the New Silk Road

Online Conference (Streamed Live Here on November 5-6, 2020)

China and Europe on the New Silk Road: Connecting Universities

Sponsored by:

Herrenhausen Online Conference

November 5-6, 2020

Broadcasted from Herrenhausen Palace, Hanover, Germany

Streamed live on

Date: November 5-6, 2020

Location: Herrenhausen Castle, Hanover

From November 5-6, 2020, the University of Utrecht, the University of Göttingen and the Volkswagen Foundation will be hosting an Online Conference on “China and Europe on the New Silk Road: Connecting Universities” broadcasted from Herrenhausen Castle in Hanover, Germany. 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. All sessions will be streamed real-time online and our audience will be able to interact in webinar style in special sessions (Q&A including online participants).

This Conference Includes Our Book Launch Event

The global order, based on international governance and multilateral trade mechanisms in the aftermath of the Second World War, is changing rapidly and creating waves of uncertainty. This is especially true in higher education, a field increasingly built on international cooperation and the free movement of students, academics, knowledge, and ideas. Meanwhile, China has announced its plans for a “New Silk Road” (NSR) and is developing its higher education and research systems at speed. In this book an international and interdisciplinary group of scholars from Europe, China, the USA, Russia, and Australia investigate how academic mobility and cooperation is taking shape along the New Silk Road and what difference it will make, if any, in the global higher education landscape.

For more informtation, click here

Recent geopolitical events 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.

Leading scholars from Europe, China, and the US. National and European level policy makers and university leaders will engage in the discussion on the policy implications of these current trends and elaborate the related opportunities and challenges.

This conference is highly relevant for: university policy makers, international officers, researchers engaged in Sino-European collaboration, higher education and research foundations, funding bodies, and scholars and students interested in international affairs, China-European relations in particular.

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 join the symposium online. (no registration needed)


  • Opening session: On old and new Silk Roads: perspectives from global history and the future of global cooperation in academia
  • Panel 1: The Rise of China in Global Higher Education
  • Panel 2: Academic Cooperation: Trends and Flows along the New Silk Road
  • Junior Scholars Workshop
  • Theme Session: Academic Cooperation: University Strategies
  • Panel 3: Policy Frameworks for Academic Cooperation
  • Panel 4: Conditions for Balanced Relationships – Challenges for Future Sino-European Collaboration

The project is carried out by an international consortium coordinated by Utrecht University’s Centre for Global Challenges (UGlobe).

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