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Alumni conference held by DAAD and Humboldt-Stiftung in Cape Town was a success
Under the slogan "Change by Exchange: Higher Education and Research Transformation in South Africa and Germany", an alumni conference was held in Cape Town from 13 to 15 April 2012 by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and the Alexander von Humboldt-Stiftung foundation in partnership with the University of Cape Town. Around 150 former scholars heard talks by leading academics and held discussions in workshops and debating rooms. The event also offered a variety of opportunities to exchange views with representatives of research organisations and the University of Cape Town, as well as with partners from cooperation projects run by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) in South Africa.
During the official opening ceremony, Prof. Neville Alexander, South Africa's leading educationalist and alumnus of the Humboldt-Stiftung, spoke about the enhanced responsibility of the universities in changing living environments. Another highlight of the conference was the plenum discussion on the subject of "University and Research Cooperation" on 15 April. The discussion panel comprised Prof. Margret Wintermantel, President of the DAAD, Prof. Helmut Schwarz, President of the Humboldt-Stiftung, and Dr. Max Price, Rector of the University of Cape Town, as well as Prof. Dr. Annette Schavan, German Federal Minister of Education and Research, Naledi Pandor, South Africa's Minister of Science and Technology, and Prof. Hlengiwe Mkhizeteil, the South African Deputy Minister of Higher Education.
After the plenum discussion, the participants were invited to a reception in the residence of Germany's Ambassador to South Africa, Dr. Horst Freitag.
On the following day, many alumni also attended the ceremonial opening of the German-South African Science Year 2012/2013.