Digital Transformation in Germany and Estonia – a collaborative learning experience between Tallinn University of Technology and the University of Konstanz
An innovative learning project took place between the two universities with Ragnar Nurkse Department of Innovation and Governance director Prof. Erkki Karo and e-Governance Prof. Robert Krimmer on the Tallinn University of Technology side and Prof. Ines Mergel on the University of Konstanz side.
The project focused on important e-government issues and was innovative in its methods - emphasizing the online cross-border collaboration. The idea got support from various institutions: DAAD – German Academic Exchange Service, Hochschulkontor – The Baltic-German University Liaison Office, VEUK – Alumni Association of the University of Konstanz, Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union and Dr. Eberle Stiftung.
15 students from each university were chosen to participate in the project. All of the students first met face-to-face at Tallinn University of Technology, Estonia, on 10-11 May 2018. During the two days, there were intensive seminars, e-Estonia Showroom visit and working lunch with two e-government experts. After that, a one-month long online collaboration period followed - the time that allowed students to engage in international cross-border online teamwork activities and do independent research. The second study session took place 14-15 June 2018 at the University of Konstanz, Germany. During the project, the German and Estonian approaches to e-governance were contrasted and analysed. In addition, it was discussed what and how the two countries could learn from each other.
It is interesting that this project began rather from personal and not so much institutional level. Prof. Robert Krimmer and Prof. Ines Mergel are successfully cooperating in the framework of Government Information Quarterly journal. They have met during numerous conferences like EGOV, CeDEM, dg.O and EGPA and held guest lectures in each other´s universities. This innovative learning project was a great way to continue and strengthen the cooperation between the two universities.