Dialog on Water – Integrated River Basin Management in Iran and Germany (DiWa)
Funded by DAAD from means of the Federal Foreign Office (AA)
The Ostfalia University of Applied Sciences in Suderburg and Sari Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources University in Iran have already been cooperating specifically in the water sector for over 10 years. As a result of the previous activities, it became clear that due to the boundary conditions it is difficult to achieve long-term cooperation between the students of both sides beyond the joint excursions and summer academies and to make the activities and contacts sustainable. DiWa created this opportunity to extend the existing cooperation towards its sustainability.
The concept of DiWa is to jointly develop an e-learning course on integrated river basin management as part of “Higher Education Dialogue with the Muslim World” funded by DAAD from the means of the Federal Foreign Office. Within the framework of the project in three years (2020-2022), it was initially planned to start intensively with face-to-face activities in order to develop an e-learning course by students who participate in workshops and exchange programs. Due to the Corona pandemic, the first project phase could not be implemented as planned. The adapted strategy now foresees the implementation of the e-learning course first, the face-to-face activities will then start in the second half of 2021 and will take place completely in 2022.
Since water is an inseparable part of life and its related topics always have cultural and social dimensions; this is used here to initiate a social/cultural dialogue and ultimately to stimulate a discussion with society on water bodies to make them familiar with the renaturalization concept in river restoration.
Working with students for the course design strengthens students‘ intercultural competencies, presentation skills and abilities to stimulate social discussion, e.g. for implementation of restoration measures in the future. The DiWa emphasis particularly on strengthening the competencies of women in engineering professions in Iran. With this aim, the possibilities offered by blended learning will be investigated as well. The current dialog contributes not only to the development of the water bodies but also to the development of involved universities and societies.
At the end of the project, the course will be available in two versions. One version can be used for autodidactic learning without connection to the university and another version will be offered as a blended learning course in connection with offline lectures. At Ostfalia, participation in the course is already offered as an elective course.
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