Joint & double degree programmes as an international dimension in higher education

Prague, 29 October 2015

Bernd Wächter

Bernd Wächter is the Director of the Academic Cooperation Association (ACA). He studied at the universities of Hull (UK), Giessen and Marburg (Germany).  His career has been focused on international higher education. He worked for the British Council, the University of Kassel, and the University of Applied Sciences Darmstadt, before joining the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) as the head of their EU division and German National Agency for the Erasmus Programme. He subsequently became the Director for Higher Education (Erasmus) in the Brussels Socrates Office. In 1998, he took up his present post as ACA Director.

Bernd Wächter has published and lectured widely on international higher education. His focal areas of research comprise the internationalisation of higher education, with a particular emphasis on international student and staff mobility, language policy, excellence and rankings. Importantly, he has co-authored three studies on English-medium Instruction across Europe (2001, 2008 and 2014) and been involved in large-scale projects on student mobility. He is also the editor of the ACA Papers on International Cooperation in Education.  In 2012, he was awarded the Constance Meldrum Award for Vision and Leadership of the EAIE.  

Bernd Wächter has two children. He is married to Thora Magnusdottir, a delightful lady from Iceland.

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Iva Tatarková

Iva Tatarková is the director of the Centre for International Cooperation in Education (DZS), the institution responsible for a number of international programmes in the field of education and carrying out activities relating to the promotion of Czech education abroad. She is in charge of the implementation of educational programmes covering various areas of education such as the Erasmus+ programme, Aktion, CEEPUS, EEA, Norway Grants, etc. She has been involved in a range of studies and research projects, as well as in the development of strategic materials concerning lifelong learning. Thanks to her previous international work experience, she was engaged in the implementation of European educational programmes in the Czech Republic in the early 1990s. Since then, her commitment has been to ensure that all those interested get a chance to gain experience working or studying abroad.   

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Marija Mitic

Marija Mitic started as a trainee at ACA from March until September 2014 and then joined the team as a Project Officer. She has since taken part in several ACA projects: a study on English-taught programmes in Europe, a policy support document on innovation in higher education, and in research on Open Education in five higher education systems in the EU. Before joining ACA, Marija was a trainee at the European Commission, in the International Cooperation and Programmes Unit of DG EAC. Marija is a certified trainer with international experience in youth work and adult education. She is an Erasmus Mundus Alumna with a Master’s Degree in Lifelong Learning: Policy and Management from Aarhus University, Denmark and Universidad de Deusto, Spain.

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Sonja Schwarz

Dr. Sonja Schwarz has been coordinating the Bologna Process at Saarland University since 2006. She is currently working as Personal Advisor to the Vice-President for Teaching and Learning as well as Quality Manager at Saarland University, where she is specialized in the following topics:

  • Quality-oriented introduction of Bachelor and Master programmes including curriculum design, modularisation, ECTS system, Diploma Supplement
  • Internationalisation of study programmes (recognition procedures, mobility windows, cross-border cooperation in teaching and learning)
  • Quality management in teaching and learning (accreditations, evaluations, surveys, monitoring, complaint management)

Furthermore she is actively engaged as Higher Education Reform Expert in the STEERING project, in which international experts support German Higher Education Institutions in the implementation of critical issues of the Bologna Process.

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Ludmila Štěrbová

Ludmila Štěrbová is the Associate Professor of International Trade and the Vice-dean of the Faculty of International Relations, University of Economics, Prague. She is also the academic Director of the English taught Bachelor's and Master's double degree programmes in International Business. She lectures at universities in Lyon, Moscow, Yekaterinburg, Mainz, Innsbruck and Shandong China. She specialises in international trade, trade aspects of intellectual property rights, the World Trade Organization and the EU Common Commercial Policy. She gained experience in the mentioned issues during her career at the Czech Ministry of Industry and Trade and as a Czech diplomat to the United Nations, WTO and other international organizations in Geneva. She was elected a President of the Consortium of International Double Degrees (CIDD) in 2015.

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Michael Šebek

Michael Šebek is a Professor and Head of the Department of Control Engineering at the Czech Technical University in Prague (CVUT).  Since 2014, he has also been the Head of the Research Direction of the Czech Institute for Informatics, Robotics and Cybernetics. He earlier worked at the Institute of Information Theory and Automation at the Academy of Science of the Czech Republic. Michael Šebek has held visiting professorships at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zürich, the University of Twente, the University of Toronto, Strathclyde University and the University of Padova. He has published over 280 research papers, of which 70 in international high impact journals and is a highly cited scholar. Michael  Šebek has received the Czech Young Scientist Award (1986) as well as the National Prize of the Czech Republic (1989).  He has been involved in many international projects. Of particular relevance for this seminar was his role as the Czech Section Leader of the Erasmus Mundus Project “SpaceMaster”. 

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Márton Beke

Márton Beke graduated from Pázmány Péter Catholic University and holds a PhD from Eötvös Loránd University in Budapest. His teaching and research activities covered the areas of Literature and Cultural Studies, especially in the field of Czech and Central European Studies.

He has been working for the Erasmus Mundus National Structure and Tempus National Contact Point of the Tempus Public Foundation since 2012. He has been involved in several European projects promoting international joint degree programmes, and he was the coordinator of the recently completed ECCE Mundus (Enhancing Cross-regional Cooperation in Erasmus Mundus) initiative that promoted joint degrees and cooperation in Central and Eastern Europe, the Western Balkans and Central Asia. He is currently responsible for Erasmus+ Joint Master Degrees and Capacity Building projects. He is also active in the field of internationalisation of Higher Education, for instance as contributor to the Campus Hungary programme or the EHEA Reforms project. 

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Volker Gehmlich

Volker Gehmlich has been Professor of Business Management at the University of Applied Sciences Osnabrück, Germany since 1992. He was course director of undergraduate and postgraduate double degree programmes. As a Bologna Promoter, he has been the main initiator of the restructuring in terms of modularising study programmes, introducing ECTS and defining a grid of learning outcomes for Bachelor and Master students. 

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Tim Barnes

Tim Barnes is the Director of the Illinois Strategic International Partnerships (ISIP) initiative for the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The ISIP initiative focuses on identifying, cultivating, evaluating and sustaining broadly and deeply impactful institutional relationships with a small, highly selective group of peer institutions around the world. In addition to ISIP, Tim has managed hundreds of individual institutional partnerships, as well as negotiating and tracking all written memoranda of understanding or contractual instruments that formalize institutional linkages for the Urbana-Champaign campus, since 1998. Tim has presented workshops on strategic international partnerships for NAFSA and AIEA national conferences, and contributed two chapters to the book Developing Strategic International Partnerships (ACE/IIE, 2011). 

Prior to assuming full-time administrative duties in international education administration, Tim’s academic work focused on historical musicology and ethnomusicology, with scholarly conference presentations in 16th-century Spanish instrumental music, 19th- and 20th-century Japanese traditional koto music, and Christian heavy metal. His current scholarship focuses on the role of popular Hawaiian music on the US mainland, circa 1908-1960.

Attila Pausits

Dr. Habil. Attila Pausits PHD is head of the Centre for Educational Management and Higher Education Development at Danube University Krems in Austria and academic director of the Erasmus Mundus Master Programme “Research and Innovation in Higher Education”. He worked in many international research and developments projects related to the modernisation and development of higher education. Dr. Pausits led a number of international projects especially at the Western Balkan region to improve university management and structures. He is recently involved in student services development and modernisation of higher education in Eastern Europe and Africa. Dr. Pausits is guest lecturer at many international universities across Europe and vice chairman of EAIR, The European Association for Institutional Research and editor of the e-journal “Working Papers in Higher Education Studies”. His resent research interests are related to third mission, real time university, continuing education and leadership. 

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Dana Petrova

Dana Petrova is senior project manager at CHE Consult GmbH, Germany. Dana graduated from the University of Economics in Prague, majoring in International Politics and Diplomacy. From 2000 to 2005 she worked at the Centre for Higher Education Studies in Prague, focusing mainly on the administration of EU educational projects. In 2007 she became head of the Erasmus Unit at the Centre for International Services in Prague. She was responsible for the overall implementation of the LLP/Erasmus programme in the Czech Republic. From 2011 to 2013 she held the position of Director of the Office for International Studies at Masaryk University in Brno, Czech Republic. Dana has extensive experience with international strategy development and implementation, IRO leadership and quality assessment of international projects. In the last years she focuses mainly on tools measuring impact of international mobility of students on employability. In 2013–2014, Dana was member of the EAIE Conference Programme Committee. Currently she is a steering group member of the IRM (International Relation Managers) Expert Community of the EAIE.

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Veronika Pitrová

Veronika Pitrová is a journalist, currently working at the foreign news desk at Czech Television, a public service broadcaster. She has been working there since her graduation three years ago. She is covering various topics (mainly foreign politics), preparing news for the main evening bulletin.  As a reporter, she covered several events abroad (i.e. Greek presidency of EU Council, EP elections 2014) and also interviewed a few interesting people (e.g. Leon Panetta or Martin Luther King III.). 

Veronika completed her Erasmus Mundus Master degree in Journalism, Media and Globalisation ( at the University of Amsterdam. She had started the two-year Master programme in Denmark at the University of Aarhus and the second semester of the initial year she spent at the University of Technology in Sydney.

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Jan de Jong

Jan de Jong graduated in June 2015 from the TEMA Erasmus Mundus Master’s Programme, having studied at Charles University in Prague and ELTE University in Budapest. He is also active as promotion assistant for the TEMA programme, both online and offline. Furthermore, he is the current Programme Representative for TEMA within the Erasmus Mundus Association (EMA), providing a link between the programme, its students, and EMA.  He will continue his research as a doctoral student at ELTE University Budapest, where he will write his PhD on European identity.

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Pavel Zgaga

Pavel Zgaga is Professor of Philosophy of Education at the Faculty of Education, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia. He is also the Director of the Centre for Educational Policy Studies (CEPS) at the same university. He has held several research grants and directed and/or cooperated in a number of national and international research projects. These projects have focused on education policies and in particular higher education in the contemporary European context as well as with teacher education as a specific area of higher education. Pavel Zgaga has been cooperating with the major international actors, such as the European Commission, the Council of Europe, UNESCO, OECD, etc. He has also been consultant and invited speaker in a number of countries and involved in several Tempus projects.

In the 1990s, during the period of social and political transition in Slovenia he was State Secretary for Higher Education (1992 – 1999) and Minister of Education and Sport (1999 – 2000). After his return to academe, he served as a Dean of the Education Faculty (2002 – 2004). He was engaged in the early years of the Bologna Process, serving as general rapporteur (2001-2003), as a member of the Board of the Bologna Follow-up Group (2004-2005) and as the rapporteur of the BFUG Working Group on External Dimension of the Bologna Process (2006-2007). He is a member of the editorial boards of the Journal of Educational Policy, Theory and Research in Education, European Journal of Higher Education, Voprosy Obrazovaniya, and CEPS Journal, amongst others.   In 2006, he received the Slovenian National Prize for research in education. In 2007, he received a honorary doctorate from University of Umeå. In 2007 he also received the Golden Sign of the University of Ljubljana.

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