EQAsce has asked some questions about the current situation to Dr. Oliver Breuer. He is Chairman of the German-Dutch GIQS network. That is a non-profit organization that takes over a catalytic role in the cross-border work in research and development. From his studies of “Dutch Studies” he speaks both languages fluently and knows about common cases and differences in both cultures – especially in the field of handling crises.
EQAsce: How has your world of working chanced through the corona crisis (regarding the job as network-manager, certification body, standard provider, service provider, system developer)?
Dr. Breuer: The base for networking and work in projects consists of personal cooperation and communication at almost all areas. Additionally, the GIQS networks and projects are targeted at cross-border engagement: That is true for intercultural affairs between the Netherlands and Germany as well as for interorganizational affairs between enterprises, research institutions and authorities. Since the beginning of the corona crisis, a lot of routines in the GIQS everyday work has changed through the restrictions.
Many GIQS-members feel that the most limiting restriction is the cutting out of personal meetings: These are taken as self-evident but now we become aware of how important personal contact is for a trustful cooperation in projects and the planning of new common activities. A special challenge is the search for new contacts that we need for projects and events: Especially in this field personal contact is essential.
Another aspect that becomes visible though the corona crisis is the compatibility of family and work. In time of closed kindergartens and schools more flexibility is needed than before. On the one hand this leads to a higher load for families, colleagues, and customers. On the other hand, it is a positive development that holds the chance for creating more appreciation and for developing new systems that might lead to a lasting higher level of flexibility after corona.
It is a natural thing that humans and organizations react in different ways to a critical phase. Pushing work in currently running GIQS-projects to progress and solving problems of project work despite the corona situation, is a huge challenge.
EQAsce: In how far is there a chance in this crisis to connect digitalization and qualification as a life long learning concept?
Dr. Breuer: Basically, a lot of us experience that digitalization has made precious progress – as well for the field of profession as also in private life – and that it offers a lot of chances in many difficult situations. This enables people to stay in touch more easily after corona crisis, to use chances of personal qualification in a better way and to improve processes in organizations and enterprises. A crucial point for this is the willingness of decision-makers to be open to the developments of digitalization. I the best case, all people involved benefit: Additional value is generated that might lead to improvements in science and qualification, flexibility, quality, efficiency and the comparability of family and profession.
EQAsce: How can the attractivity of the EQA Digital Academic Career Card for students and additional qualification be improved in times of the corona crisis?
Surely by talking to people that deal with digitalization more than ever before. A lot of people are forced to make new personal experience with digital chances. This can be used to improve EQAsce-offers. And that again leads to a higher attractivity of the offers and to a higher perception of EQA-services.