The Future of Digital
Student Data Portability

Opening Keynote: Shared Global Visions, Shared Global Concerns

May 18, 2016
9:20 a.m.-10 a.m.


dr. Daan du Toit
Deputy Director-General
Department of Science & Technology
Daan du Toit (BA LLB LLM – born 1971) Daan du Toit has held various positions, first in the South African Department of Foreign Affairs and since 2002 in the newly established Department of Science and Technology, related to South Africa’s international scientific and technological (S&T) cooperation. This included responsibility for establishing and managing the European - South African Science and Technology Advancement Programme (ESASTAP) - a dedicated platform to promote scientific and technological cooperation between South Africa and the European Union. He has also represented South Africa in various multilateral forums dedicated to international S&T cooperation, including for example the OECD Global Science Forum, the Group on Earth Observations in which establishment he had played a central role, and bodies of the United Nations. He has also managed strategic S&T bilateral cooperation partnerships, notably establishing an innovation systems cooperation programme between South Africa and Finland. In October 2006, he was appointed as the South African Department of Science and Technology’s Senior Science and Technology Representative to the European Union, a position based at the South African Mission to the European Union in Brussels where he held the position of Minister Counsellor. In this capacity, in addition to overseeing South Africa and Europe, he currently represented South Africa on the Joint Expert Group of the Africa-EU Science, Information Society and Space Partnership and in the Bureau of the Africa-EU High-Level Policy Dialogue on Science, Technology and Innovation. He is also intimately involved in South Africa’s participation in the global Square Kilometer Array (SKA) project, to construct the world’s largest radio telescope. He is currently a member of the SKA Organisation’s Strategy and Business Development Committee. In April 2014, he was appointed as Deputy Director-General for International Cooperation and Resources in the South African Department of Science and Technology, responsible for all aspects of South Africa’s international science, technology and innovation partnerships.


In our increasingly inter-connected world, data travel at the speed of light. Not so with human capital mobility, which has a different pace (and happily so ...). Still, for the planet to flourish, people need to travel, be able to pick up skills, and subsequently bring their skills in - be it as a student, an academic researcher, a skilled worker or otherwise. While physical movement of humans at he speed of light may perhaps never occur, we all appreciate if the administrative processes that govern human mobility do. And this Network is convinced they can. If we agree on this, what can we do to further foster human capital mobility? Which avenues for cooperation are waiting to be brought to life and benefit the global community in furthering bona fide human capital mobility?

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