What's new in Brussels?
Recent developments in European policies and programmes

Brussels, 1 February 2008 


Peter van der Hijden

Peter van der Hijden is Deputy Head of the School Education and Higher Education Unit of DG Education and Culture of the European Commission. Mr. van der Hijden coordinates the EU contribution to the Bologna process, in particular as regards quality assurance, credit transfer (ECTS) and joint degrees.

Peter van der Hijden was born in Sittard in the Netherlands. He studied Law at the Universities of Nijmegen, Leiden and Maastricht before becoming an university administrator at the University of Maastricht, where he worked for ten years. He joined the European Commission in 1991 and, apart from a short period in the Directorate General responsible for Transport, worked mostly in the field of higher education. The development of Erasmus in general, and of Quality Assurance, joint degrees and ECTS in particular, has been focal point of his career.

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Siegbert Wuttig

Dr Siegbert Wuttig is the Head of Department for “EU Programmes and the Bologna Process” in the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). In this capacity, he is, amongst other tasks, responsible for the implementation of (the decentralised parts of) the entire Erasmus Programme in Germany, as well as for Erasmus Mundus. He also represents his country on various EU programme committees. In recent years, Siegbert has been involved at a high level in the Bologna Process activities of his country.  He organised, for example, together with the German Rectors’ Conference the 2003 Bologna Ministerial Meeting in Berlin. He also has a track record in international traineeships, having been the national secretary of IAESTE Germany for a number of years.

Siegbert is a psychologist and specialist on Romance languages and literature with a Ph.D. from Würzburg University.

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Angeliki Verli

Angeliki Verli is a senior Commission official in the Directorate-General for Education and Culture at the European Commission in Brussels. She currently heads the Unit responsible for International cooperation and programmes in the field of education and culture and particularly EU higher education initiatives with non-EU countries. Her responsibilities include the Tempus MEDA, CARDS and TACIS programmes, the Erasmus Mundus European Masters and global exchange programme and bilateral cooperation agreements in higher education with the United States, Canada and other industrialised countries among others.

Angeliki has worked on a broad range of the European Union's educational initiatives during her career at the Commission. She was one of the motors behind the Erasmus programme in its earlier phases and was until recently the Head of the Unit responsible for school and higher education policy development. She has been involved in the development of the ECTS credit transfer system, the general framework for basic educational competencies and skills, and the EIT.

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Michael Teutsch

Michael Teutsch is Deputy Head of Unit for "Lifelong learning: contribution to the Lisbon process" in DG Education and Culture. His main activities include the coordination of the education and training contribution to the Lisbon process, in particular the "Education & Training 2010" work programme. He was strongly involved in the development of the European Qualifications Framework for lifelong learning.

Michael Teutsch worked for the German Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs in Berlin before joining the European Commission in 2001. He worked on mobility issues in DG Employment and Social Affairs and joined DG Education and Culture in 2004.

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John Smith

Dr. John Smith has worked at the EUA since September 2004 with responsibility for its activities in the fields of research and innovation. After completing his Ph.D. in political science (University of Kent, Canterbury, UK) he took up a career in the field of science administration and policy at the Economic and Social Research Council, London, UK (1976-84), and the European Science Foundation, Strasbourg, (1985-2000). Based in Vienna from 2000-2003, he was Executive Director of the Institute for Human Sciences until December 2001 and then worked as a Research Consultant on several commissioned studies, including those for the Austrian Ministry of Education, Science and Culture; the European Centre for Social Welfare Policy and Research; and the European Commission Directorate-General for Research. From October 2003 to September 2004, he was based in Lisbon, Portugal, as a Gulbenkian Foundation Visiting Professor in European Science Policy at the Instituto Superior De Ciencias Do Trabalho E Da Empresa (ISCTE) of the University of Lisbon.

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Bernd Wächter

Bernd Wächter is the Director of the Academic Cooperation Association (ACA), a consortium of European and global agencies which support international cooperation in higher education. ACA is a think-tank which promotes innovation and internationalisation in higher education. Bernd was born in Giessen (Germany) and studied at the universities of Hull (UK), Giessen and Marburg (Germany).  He lives in Brussels (Belgium) and is married to Thora Magnusdottir, a delightful lady from Iceland.

Bernd’s career has been focused on international higher education. In his first post, at the University of Kassel (Germany), he devised international degree programmes in cooperation with universities abroad. He later joined the British Council, before becoming the Director of the international office of the Fachhochschule Darmstadt. Moving on to Germany’s internationalisation agency DAAD, he became the head of this organisation’s European section. He subsequently became Director of Higher Education in the Brussels Socrates Office, with overall responsibility for the Erasmus Programme in Europe. In 1998, he took up his present post as the director of ACA. Bernd has published widely on international matters in higher education, and he is a frequent speaker at European and international education conferences. He is the editor of the ACA Papers on International Cooperation in Higher Education and.  He also works, as an expert advisor, for many international organisations. 

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