Online Guest Lecture at Osaka University of Economics and Law (OUEL) with a View of the COVID-19 PandemicAalen University’s international exchange with partner universities in the pandemic situation

Prof. Dr. Härting holds a guest lecture for students of OUEL in Japan.

Tu, 24. November 2020

An international exchange between students and teachers cannot currently take place under the difficult conditions of the COVID-19 pandemic. But cooperation between partner universities still requires coninuous care. Online lectures at Aalen University are a current proven opportunity for communications, which are offered especially for international students at partner universities. In the framework of the cooperation with the OUEL in Japan, Prof. Dr. Ralf-Christian Härting held one of these guest lectures for Japanese students.

Japan is one of the most interesting industrial countries, and is well known for its high degree of innovation, coupled with a special cultural background. In the year 2017, Aalen University and the Management and Business Science Faculty gained the Osaka University of Economics and Law (OUEL) as an engaged partner in exchanging teachings and research. By the invitation of the OUEL, Prof. Dr. Ralf Härting, Vice-Dean for internationalization, recently presented an online lecture, as well as the various education opportunities through the faculty.

The lecture dealt with the topic “History and Economic Development in Europe – Challenges in the Context of Current Crises and Digitalization”. The first part of the lecture was about the history of European integration. The lecture clarified how the six countries founded the European Economic Community (EEC) and developed into the current European Union (EU) with 27 countries. Topics like increasing economic inequality, Brexit and nationalistic problems currently facing the EU were also addressed. In the second part of the guest lecture, Prof. Dr. Härting explained the special challenges of COVID-19 and the economic effects that the pandemic has brought. He also went into more detail about the additional positive effects which have also come about through a rapid digitalization, new digital business models and technologies like big data, cloud computing, social software or industry 4.0.

With consideration of the new approaches to digitalization, COVID-19 is not simply a crisis, but also an opportunity for industrial and social transitions in the EU.

Although the lecture was not held in Japanese, around 50 students from the Osaka University of Economics and Law participated. The majority of the students were excited about a guest lecture held in English and further information regarding studying at Aalen University.