Who are we?
Stifterverband is a German NGO that has been committed to consulting, networking and promoting improvements in the fields of education, research and innovation policies since 1920. Some 3,000 members – DAX companies, mid-size companies, company associations, donors and active private individuals – have joined forces in Stifterverband. These form the core of a network of business, science, politics and civil society. Stifterverband focuses its efforts primarily on the fields of education, science and innovation. To date, it is the only organisation in Germany to engage in holistic work in all three areas, with projects that build on one another with synergistic effect. Stifterverband actively promotes equal opportunities in education, excellent universities and internationally competitive research institutions. Its instruments range from extracurricular talent promotion and higher education structural programmes to detailed analyses of the scientific and innovation system that serves as a basis for recommendations to public policy-makers.
Why we are participating in the project
Stifterverband and its partners, the German Rector’s Conference (HRK) and the Center for Higher Education (CHE), have been running a National Forum for Higher Education in the Digital Age since 2014, the so called Hochschulforum Digitalisierung (HFD). HFD is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research until 2020 and has created a network of more than 500 experts on digital higher education. As a centre of innovation and competence, HFD informs, advises and connects higher education institutions and policy makers on the path towards education in the digital age. In its network for higher education teaching, HFD connects university teachers, higher education staff and students. It is designed to promote exchanges across disciplines and HEIs and to build competence in the field of digital teaching and learning. Each year, HFD offers individualised peer-to-peer consulting services to six higher education institutions concerning their institutional strategy for the digital age. In addition, the Forum conducts studies and develops overarching strategies for HEIs. HFD also forms regular working groups to address current issues and challenges and to develop solutions for higher education practice. The findings of the working groups are made available to the public through studies, guidelines and other publications. From 2017 to 2018, HFD organises the following working groups: “Curriculum 4.0 – Curriculum development in the 21st century”; “Teacher education and digitalisation”, and “Recognition and transfer credit for digital teaching formats”.
The issues identified within our networks and working groups perfectly match the goals of the OEPass project. The need for creating a standard, transparent and trustworthy format for describing digital, open education and virtual mobility experiences has been previously expressed within our community as well and we trust in the strength of joint European efforts that German higher education can significantly benefit from. We aim at continuously disseminating the work done within the OEPass project in our community and making best use of exchange formats on all levels.
Our role in the project
Stifterverband will engage its active national network and working groups on open and digital learning from Germany in the project. Through Hochschulforum Digitalisierung, we will organize peer-reviews of concepts developed within OEPass with experts in the field and contribute research on examples of good practice. We will accordingly publish and disseminate outputs of the project with a focus on the German higher education community.
As a major task within the project Stifterverband will create a roadmap and define requirements for the roll-out of a system of “open credentials” on national and European level. We will also host several events and exchange formats for the dissemination and further development of the project, including a national event on open learning recognition in Germany.