Conference: Asia and Africa in Transition

IARU Roundtable on Global Transformation: Strengthening institutional capacities within African or Asian research and education hubs 

28 June 2021 – 15:45-17:45 (local time – GMT+2), room 23.0.49
IARU Global Transformation Roundtable

A roundtable session with invited short presentations from IARU institutional members and their partners. Hybrid meeting with both online and in-person participation. 


Global Transformation Working Group - International Alliance of Research Universities[1]

Prof. Khatharya Um, UC Berkeley, USA
Dr. Andreas Egelund Christensen, University of Copenhagen, Denmark
Patricia Heuberger, ETH Zurich, Switzerland

Session Description

The aim of this roundtable is to establish a forum for exchange and networking among research and education programs with a focus on Asia or Africa that span across continents. The goal is to share  information, experiences, inspire each other and pave the way for future collaboration. To this end, we have invited short presentations by heads/directors/chairs or other representatives of different African or Asian focused research and education hubs.

Key topics to be addressed

  • Innovative formats for collaboration and institutional benefits
  • Insights into how partners found each other and started the collaboration
  • Challenges with trans-continental collaborations - examples of projects/ideas that didn’t work and learning outcomes
  • Advice for universities engaged in trans-continental collaborations
  • Suggestions on how to strengthen current collaborations and how start new ones

Chairing the Roundtable

Prof. Angela Owusu Ansah, Provost at Ashesi University, Ghana
Dr. Adina Rom, Executive Director ETH4D, ETH Zurich






Prof. Khatharya Um, Chair of IARU Global Transformation Initiative



University of Cape Town, South Africa

Prof. Horman Chitonge, Head of the Centre for African Studies

Prof. Shahid Vawda, Director of the School of African and Gender Studies, Anthropology and Linguistics



National University of Singapore, Singapore 

Prof. Maitrii Victoriano Aung Thwin, Deputy Director Asia Research Institute


University of California, Berkeley, USA

Prof. Khatharya Um, Core Faculty of the Center for Southeast Asian Studies

Dr. Martha Saavedra, Associate Director of the Center for African Studies


Ashesi University, Ghana

Dr. Nathan Amanquah, Acting Dean Engineering Department, Ashesi University, Ghana


ETH Zurich, Switzerland 

Maximilian Grau, Programme Manager of joint Mechatronics Master Programme with Ashesi University, Ghana  


University of Copenhagen, Denmark

Prof. Duncan McCargo, Director of Nordic Institute of Asian Studies, Chair of Asian Dynamics Initiative

Prof. Karen Lauterbach, Head of Centre for African Studies


Short break


Roundtable Discussion chaired by 
Prof. Angela Owusu Ansah, Provost at Ashesi University, Ghana and Dr. Adina Rom, Executive Director ETH4D, ETH Zurich 


Closing remarks by Prof. Bjarke Oxlund, Vice Chair of IARU Global Transformation Initiative


[1] International Alliance of Research Universities (IARU): Australian National University, ETH Zurich, National University of Singapore, Peking University, University of California, Berkeley, University of Cambridge, University of Cape Town, University of Copenhagen, University of Oxford, the University of Tokyo and Yale University.