Daegu / Coventry / Mülheim an der Ruhr, 4th February 2022.
Students of HRW Business Master Programs met the challenges of an international conference and presented their strategic analyses of well-known companies worldwide via a public stream. In order to open up international perspectives for students during the Corona pandemic, Sathees Kunjuthamby, Lecturer in International Business from Coventry University, UK, and Prof. Dr. Isabel Lausberg from the Institute of Economics, Ruhr West University of Applied Sciences, initiated a cooperation as a COIL (Collaborative Online International Learning) project in 2021. In a COIL project students from different Universitys learn and collaborate online and gain intercultural experiences together with their peers. This semester, the cooperation was joined by Professor Dong-Wook Kwak and his students from the Kyungpook National University which further enhanced the international perspective.
The aim of the project was to organise an international student conference. At first, mixed groups were formed. Each group included at least one participant from each university. Every group had the task of analysing a company with at least one strategic analysis tool in relation to the ongoing COVID19 pandemic. Moreover, each team had to apply for an organisational tasks within a pitch. Students were given freedom paired with responsibility in the project, both for the organizational work and for the content. The results were presented in the "Virtual Student Conference on Strategies in a Post-COVID World - Ways out of the Crisis“.
The big challenge was the intercultural cooperation at a distance, with a large time shift and students from a different university with a different home language. Not only because of Corona, but also because of the physical distance, it was not possible to meet in person. "We had to rely on virtual communication, like we are used to during the last two years. But the project also confronted us with many challenges: poor network connections, time difference, language barriers and many tasks were difficult to coordinate. Teamwork seemed almost impossible at times," explains student Nico Kaplik. No reasons to give up! Because precisely that what was so challenging was at the same time what was most motivating and fun: the cooperation across national and language borders.
An exchange of different experiences and different views made this project an impressive learning experience. Through a lot of time invested, a successful conference could finally take place, starting with a welcome by the President of the HRW, Professor Susanne Staude, and ending with round table discussions. Special mention should be made of the excellent presentations by all students, which helped to make the conference very professional.
The students would like to thank the professors for their good impulses and timely feedback. Together, the lecturers and students were able to accomplish an interesting and exciting collaboration with a great result.
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