“The End of the University as We Know It: Higher Education for the Digital Society” (25.11.2014)

“The End of the University as We Know It: Higher Education for the Digital Society” 

Leuphana Universität Lüneburg in cooperation with The Embassy of the United States of America, Bard College Berlin and Stifterverband für die Deutsche Wissenschaft
Stifterverband für die Deutsche Wissenschaft Hauptstadtbüro (Pariser Platz 6, 10117 Berlin) November 25, 2014

The digital society has become a reality. Modern technology influences the way we perceive the world around us, from microscopic embedded systems to global communication, from voting to shopping and the participation in politics, education and culture.

In this context education plays a dual role: Information technology has become indispensable in storing, accessing, and disseminating information in all areas of education. The library and the classroom, both local and global, can no longer exist without information technology. Research in the natural and the social sciences but also in the humanities depends on modern technology to a degree unimaginable only a few years ago. Educators need to re-think the role of higher education for the digital society because the very concept of education is itself affected by modern technology. The web, new media formats and social media tools have established a broad set of interaction possibilities, which require a re-designing of the learning process and consequently the shape of the physical as well as the virtual campus.

This fundamental change challenges the educational institution as such, demanding new forms of organisational structures and strategic planning processes in the light of an uncertain future. This roundtable on higher education addresses key challenges and positions itself as a forum for inquiry to go beyond discipline-specific investigations into the role of digital technology.

Welcome remarks by 

  • Dr. Volker Meyer-Guckel, Stifterverband für die Deutsche Wissenschaft
  • Prof. Dr. Sasha Spoun, Leuphana Universität Lüneburg
  • Thomas E. Miller, U.S. Embassy Berlin

Introductions by

  • Prof. Dr. Thomas Rommel, Bard College Berlin
  • Prof. Dr. Mohammad Qayoumi, President of San José State University, California, USA
  • Prof. Dr. Christoph Meister, Universität Hamburg, will deliver brief statements

The discussion will be moderated by Dr. Volker Meyer-Guckel.

Guest speakers

Mohammad Humayon Qayoumi is the president of San José State University and a professor of electrical engineering. He holds a bachelor’s in electrical engineering from the American University of Beirut and four degrees from the University of Cincinnati: a master’s in nuclear engineering, a master’s in electrical and computer engineering, an MBA and a doctorate in electrical engineering.

Dr. Qayoumi served as president of California State University East Bay from 2006 to 2011. A senior fellow with California Council on Science and Technology (CCST), Dr. Qayoumi is also a member of several local Boards including the Bay Area Council, the Bay Area Council Economic Institute, the Silicon Valley Leadership Group, Joint Venture Silicon Valley, KQED, the Commonwealth Club, Blue Shield of California, Project Lead the Way, and California STEM Learning Network.

Dr. Qayoumi has served his native country in various financial capacities. He was the senior advisor to the minister of finance of Afghanistan from 2002 to 2005 and served on the board of directors for the Central Bank of Afghanistan from 2003 to 2006.

Jan Christoph Meister is professor of Modern German at the University of Hamburg. His main research interests include Theory of Narrative / Narratology, Computational Modelling of Narrative and Digital Humanities. He is also Chair of the Exec Community of the European Association for Digital Humanities, EADH, and Chair of DHd, the Association for Digital Humanities in the German speaking regions. Until 2006, he was professor of Modern German Literature and Humanities Computing at the Ludwig-Maximilians-University, Munich.

Since 4/2004, Dr. Meister has been the project leader for ‘Story Generator Algorithms’ and for the Narr- Netz – an E-Learning project on Narrative Theory. From 2002 to 2004, he served as Chairperson of the Arbeitsstelle Computerphilologie (Working Group Literary Computing) and as co-author and coordinator for the E-Learning course C-Phil Online. From 2001 to 2004, he worked as academic researcher in the DFG (German Research Foundation) funded Narratology Research Group (FGN) at Hamburg University on the project ‚The Temporality Effect.‘ Dr. Meister was a lecturer, senior lecturer, associated professor and head of the German Department at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg/South Africa between 1986 and 1995.

Jan Christoph Meister‘s current research projects include the BMBF-funded eHumanities „heure- CLÉA“, which combines computer assisted text annotation and analysis with machine learning; the development of „CATMA“, a web-based system for collaborative text analysis. In 2015 Meister and his team will start to work on the project „3DH“ which aims research and develop 3-D-visualizations for humanities data.