Irina Ferencz

Irina Ferencz is Deputy Director at the Brussels-based Academic Cooperation Association (ACA), a mainly European umbrella organisation, which brings together national-level agencies from many European countries that act as higher education internationalisation vectors in and for the respective higher education systems.

Irina’s main interests and expertise are in the fields of international student mobility (both quantitative and qualitative analyses) and in internationalisation policies at the university and national level, including the assessment of internationalisation via indicators and the internationalisation of the curriculum. 

Irina holds a Bachelor (License) in International Relations and European Studies of Babes-Bolyai University in Cluj-Napoca, Romania and a Master in European Politics and Policies (magna cum laude) of the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven.

Irina speaks Romanian (mother tongue), English, French, Italian and some German. She also reads Spanish and is learning ‘Larish’, a language of the under-two-year-olds.


Markus Laitinen

Markus Laitinen is the President of the European Association for Higher Education (EAIE) and holds the position of Head of International Affairs at the University of Helsinki, Finland. As President, he chairs the Association’s Board, heads the EAIE’s advocacy efforts and represents the organisation externally.  He also lead the development of the EAIE’s 2016-2020 Strategy.

He has 25 years of experience in international higher education, initially within student services, but subsequently as an Erasmus Institutional Co-ordinator, manager of international partnerships and finally in a leadership role. He has been an active speaker and promoter of comprehensive internationalisation Markus holds a Master’s of Social Sciences, international politics, and is an avid runner.

To top

Mark Frederiks

Dr Mark Frederiks is coordinator international policy and member of Team Flanders of NVAO, the Accreditation Organisation of the Netherlands and Flanders. Since 2004 he is also Coordinator of the European Consortium for Accreditation in Higher Education (ECA). For 5 years he was Administrator of the world-wide network of QA agencies INQAAHE. He was a member of the Bologna Expert Group that prepared the European Approach for QA of Joint Programmes which was adopted by the EHEA Ministers in Yerevan. Mark coordinated four EU funded projects and was an expert or process coordinator in QA reviews in Austria, Germany, Ireland, Luxembourg, Slovenia and Sweden. He coordinated the verification of the alignment of the Dutch and Flemish NQFs with the EHEA QF, participated as an expert in the NQF verification committee in Portugal, and advised on the NQF in Georgia.

Before joining NVAO he worked with the Netherlands Association of Universities of Applied Sciences, and was a researcher with CHEPS/University of Twente and Open University UK. He is (co-) author of some forty publications in the field of quality assurance in higher education.



To top

Elena Tegovska

Elena Tegovska is currently working as Policy Officer for the European Commission's Higher Education Erasmus+ team. Previously, she worked for the international relations office in a Belgian based university.

She has experience as well working with the non-governmental sector and civil society organisations in the Balkans.

She has a Master of Arts degree in International politics from Université libre de Bruxelles.

To top

Vidar Pedersen

Vidar Pedersen studied English, German and Scandinavian languages at the University of Bergen, where he received his cand. philol. degree in 1991. During the period of 1992-1993 Pedersen was a Visiting Fellow at Harvard University Upon his return to Norway, he taught and researched at the University of Bergen. Subsequently, Pedersen worked as a lecturer at Agder University College (now: University of Agder) from 1996 to 2000. He started his career at the Norwegian Centre for International Cooperation in Education (SIU) as an adviser in 2001. In 2005, he was appointed to his first leadership position and worked in various functions until he took over as Head of Department of Higher Education at SIU in 2012, a position he currently holds. 

Between 2005-2013 he served as National Agency Director for the EU-funded Socrates II and Lifelong Learning Programmes respectively.



To top

Alenka Flander

Dr Alenka Flander is the Director of the Centre of the Republic of Slovenia for Mobility and European Educational and Training Programmes (CMEPIUS), leading Slovene institution in the field of internationalisation of education and training. In that capacity she is responsible for very successful implementation of EU programmes (Erasmus+) in Slovenia with a strong focus on achieving sustainable impact of the projects and programme and ensuring effective dissemination and integration of programme results into institutional and national systems and practices.

Alenka was trained as an electrical engineer and completed her PhD in the Political Science. Her research work is interdisciplinary in nature and encompasses monitoring and measuring the impact of European Programmes in the area of education and training, and research on internationalisation and higher education. She contributed to national or international expert groups (i.e EUROSTUDENT, EAIE Task Force) and is author of several publications and articles on internationalisation in higher education and academic profession.

In internationalisation she was behind the preparation of Slovene Strategy for internationalisation of higher education adopted in 2016.





To top

Kees Kouwenaar

Kees Kouwenaar is senior advisor international strategy at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, where he also was director of the Centre for International Cooperation. He was responsible for a new comprehensive internationalisation strategy and a reorganised comprehensive VU International office.

From September 2014 to September 2017 he was leading coordinating the Mastermind Europe project (supported under ERASMUS+ as a KA2 strategic partnership).

Currently, his main task is the coordination of the Aurora network of societally engaged research universities, set up by the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and the University of East Anglia.

 Since 2013, he edits the biweekly digital VU International News & Reviews.

Before 2008, he director of the Center for International Legal Cooperation and group director at Nuffic for Higher Education internationalisation and for Credential Evaluation. He was lead expert, workshop chair and final rapporteur for the Lisbon Recognition Convention of 1997. He served as chairman of the NARIC network and EAIE´s professional section for admission& credential evaluation. Kees has presented and chaired at numerous conferences in Europe, North America, Africa and Asia.


To top

Fiona Hunter

Fiona Hunter is based in Italy where she is Associate Director at the Centre for Higher Education Internationalisation (CHEI) at the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore in Milan.  She also works as a higher education consultant helping universities to think more strategically, either for organisational improvement in general or with a specific focus on internationalisation.  She is co-editor of the Journal of Studies in International Education (JSIE), holds a Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) in Higher Education Management from the University of Bath in the United Kingdom and is Past President of the European Association for International Education. 

In all her work she brings together the knowledge she has gained through research, training and consultancy, believing firmly in a strong partnership between research and practice, and in the university itself, between academic and administrative endeavour.


To top

Hasan Sinemillioglu

Hasan Sinemillioglu is a team member of Landscape Ecology and Landscape Planning at the School of Spatial Planning, TU Dortmund University, Germany (since 2002), visiting professor at the Faculty of Spatial Planning and Applied Science at the University of Duhok. He is the Chairmen of the NGO Dortmunder helfen in Kooperation e.V. (DhK) in Dortmund. Hasan Sinemillioglu studied at Middle East Technical University City and Regional Planning (METU) in Ankara, Turkey. He hold a master and PhD degree from the University of Dortmund He organised with DhK the reconstruction of 65 destroyed Kurdish villages in North Iraq, where more than 15 000 returnees have been resettled.

Since 2000 he manages the cooperation programme between the Iraqi Universities and TU Dortmund University, which led to establishing the study programme “Spatial Planning in Iraq” at the University of Duhok. Between 2002 and 2008 he was the course coordinator and lecturer at the graduates programme SPRING (Spatial Planning for Regions in Growing Economies) at the School of Planning. Since 2013 he organises the cooperation between University of Dicle in Diyarbakir and TU Dortmund University.

Further information: www.llp.tu-dortmund.de/index.php

To top

Gruehn Dietwald

Dietwald Gruehn is a full professor of Landscape Ecology and Landscape Planning at the School of Spatial Planning, TU Dortmund University, Germany (since 2006), adjunct professor at the School of Planning, Construction and Design, Michigan State University, USA (since 2010), adjunct professor at the Graduate School of National Public Policy at Chungnam National University, Republic of Korea (since 2014), and member of the German Academy for Urban and Regional Spatial Planning.

From 2014 to 2015 Gruehn was dean of the School of Spatial Planning. From 2005-2006 he was heading the Environmental Planning Department of today’s Austrian Institute of Technology, Vienna (Austria). 2004 he was a visiting professor at the Institute of Landscape Planning, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (Sweden).

Dietwald Gruehn holds a master degree in landscape planning (1991) from Berlin University of Technology, where he also obtained his PhD in 1997 as well as the “venia legendi” (Habilitation) in nature conservation and landscape management in 2004.

Further information: www.llp.tu-dortmund.de/index.php

To top

Wicher Schreuders

Wicher Schreuders (born in Rotterdam, 1955) graduated from the Erasmus University Rotterdam’s School of Economics in 1980. He joined the Erasmus University as a staff member (Assistant Professor) in January 1982. Wicher taught a variety of courses in economic theory as well as an Introduction to the Economic Analysis of Law. His research and publications mainly dealt with topics of economic policy and the history of economic thought.

Currently, Wicher’s main activity is related to his position of being the EM/E+ Assistant Coordinator (from 2004 onwards) in the Erasmus Mundus Joint Master Degree programme ‘European Master in Law and Economics’ (EMLE). Moreover, starting October 2014, Wicher again is the Assistant Director in the EMLE programme, as he was in 2000-2005 as well.


Wicher has a lot of experience in presentations and consultancy all over the world on a lot of topics related to Erasmus Mundus master programmes and to Joint International Programmes in general. From July 2013 onwards, he is a Member of the Executive Board of the ‘International Association for the Promotion and Development of Joint International Programmes’ (ProDeJIP). Apart from that, starting December 2015 he is a member of the Working Group on mutual recognition and joint programmes of the European Consortium for Accreditation in higher education (ECA). Next, from October 2016 onwards he is an ECA Expert on the European Approach for Quality Assurance of Joint Programmes. 

Nataliya Butych

Nataliya Butych is the Regional Coordinator for Central and Eastern Europe at the International Office of Leibniz Universität Hannover, Germany. She is responsible for the concept development, implementation of the internationalisation strategy, and fostering of the university cooperation in the region. Since 2010 Nataliya has been managing and supervising the exchange and mobility projects of the DAAD, such as Eastern Partnership, Go East, BIDS, and Strategic Partnership with St. Petersburg at Leibniz Universität Hannover. Nataliya holds a M.A. in Translation and Interpreting Science from Kyiv National Linguistic University, Ukraine and a M.A. in Cultural Studies, Sociology and Economics from Leibniz Universität Hannover.

She completed an advanced training as a coach for intercultural competence at universities at the International DAAD Academy.

Her international experience includes managerial and consultancy work in the field of international cooperation, communication, and higher education. 

To top

Paul Leys

Paul Leys is working as a policy advisor responsible for monitoring and analysis of data in internationalisation. In this capacity he advises the UGent management in making data informed decisions. Together with a colleague he created eQuATIC, a tool where available data is brought together in a structural way, in order to improve the quality of international partnerships. He is responsible within Ghent University for reshaping procedures to reduce the administrative burden for students and staff involved in international mobility. He is also involved in the coordinating team of the European Erasmus Without Paper project that seeks to reduce the administrative workload at a European level. The correct application of ECTS at Ghent University is another area of his expertise.

Paul Leys graduated as MA of Science in EU-Studies at Ghent University and started working at his alma mater soon after his graduation. After more than five years at the Office of Counselling, he joined the International Relations Office of Ghent University in May 2012.


To top

Riva Nepomuk

Dr.Nepomuk Riva, German project coordinator of the DAAD-Graduate School „PerformingSustainability“ at the Center for World Music (University of Hildesheim,Germany). Assistant lecturer in ethnomusicology at the University for Music, Dramaand Media (HMTM Hannover, Germany); dissertation about oral and writtentransmission of church music in West-Cameroon.

Producer of ethnographic filmsabout church music in Cameroon and the EastCape Opera Company in South Africa

To top

Tijani Abba Isa

Dr. Tijani is currently an Associate Professor of Museology and Anthropology at the University of Maiduguri and the Ag. Director of the Centre for the Study and Promotion of Cultural Sustainability. He was the Head of Department of Fine Arts and Creative Arts as well as the Deputy Director of the Archive and Records Unit of the University of Maiduguri from August 2012 to October 2016.

His PhD Thesis at the University of London “Tradition and Modernity – The Gamergu (Malgwa) of North-Eastern Nigeria” is a detailed anthropological study of an autochthonous group in Borno State called Gamergu (Malgwa) in present-day Borno State, North Eastern Nigeria. Dr. Tijani has worked in the UK from 2005 to  2008 with the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) University of London in a research Project funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) which examined and catalogued a unique collection of Kanurị/Kanembu manuscripts. He has also participated in other international research projects such as the the University of Frankfurt coordinated SFB 268 Sonderforschungsbereich Research Project (1992-1998) and the Franco-British Initiative on Derived Rights Land Tenure in West Africa (1998-2000) administered by the International Institute of Environment and Development (IIED).

To top

Eyram Fiagbedzi

Eyram Fiagbedzi is an Ethnomusicologist with research interests in Ghanaian traditional and popular music performances in both secular and religious contexts. He was a grant recipient of the Volkswagen Stiftung scholarship Project, Formation and Transformation of Musical Archives in West African Societies. He has worked as Assistant Lecturer at the School of Performing Arts, University of Ghana where he taught courses in African music, Musical Traditions of the African Diaspora, and Introduction to gender. He also directed the African Ensemble, and coordinated both local and international programs (workshops, performances, seminars) at the department of music.  He is currently pursuing a PhD in Ethnomusicology at the Department of Music and Dance, University of Cape Coast, Ghana. He is also the Local Coordinator of the DAAD funded SGD-Graduate School Performing Sustainability. Cultures and Development in West Africa which is a collaborative project between the University of Cape Coast (Ghana), University of Maiduguri (Nigeria) and University of Hildesheim (Germany). 

To top

Caspar de Bok

Caspar de Bok is Head of International Affairs of the Faculty of Law, Economics and Governance. In this position he oversees the internationalisation initiatives at the Faculty in all fields: education, research and organisation. His main tasks are in policy making, strategic advice, international relations management and project management (development and implementation).

He chairs the Internationalisation team at the Faculty and coordinates the diversity programma.Previously he worked as senior policy advisor (Internationalisation / Research) to the Executive Board of Utrecht University at the Corporate Office of Academic Affairs where he was responsible for international partnerships. He also coordinated various EU funded projects in science and society relations.He was researcher/teacher in Environmental Sciences at Leiden University.http://www.uu.nl/staff/CFMdeBok


To top

Aäron Plovie

Aäron Plovie is coordinator of the International Office of University College Ghent, Belgium, since October 2017.

He worked as international relations officer at the International Training Centre of the Faculty of Bioscience Engineering of Ghent University, Belgium, where he was responsible for funding, networking, student recruitment and marketing.

From 2010 until 2015, Aäron Plovie was research and teaching assistant at the Laboratory of Aquaculture and Artemia Reference Center of Ghent University. There, he coordinated the Master of Science in Aquaculture, a programme mainly offered to students from developing countries.

He graduated in 2010 as Master of Science in Biochemistry and Biotechnology at Ghent University.


To top

Baiba Pētersone

Baiba Pētersone has held the position of Director of the International Department at Rīga Stradiņš University (RSU) in Latvia since December 2014. She is responsible for the University’s internationalisation strategy, including international admissions, mobilities and collaborations. Her experience in higher education spans 15 years during which she has held various administrative, teaching and research positions at several universities. Before joining RSU, she was at Middlesex University in London, Zayed University in Dubai and the University of Maryland College Park in the USA. Prior to her career in higher education, she worked in the non-profit sector in Washington, D.C., including The U.S.

Civilian Research and Development Foundation and The Johns Hopkins University’s American Institute for Contemporary German Studies. She earned a master’s degree at the University of Maryland College Park and holds the doctor of philosophy degree from the University of Georgia, both in the United States.

To top

Anne-Sophie Lohmeier

Anne-Sophie Lohmeier holds a double degree in International Cultural and Business Studies from Passau University, Germany, and Universidad del Salvador de Buenos Aires, Argentina. Since graduating she´s been coordinating international projects: first in the cultural field, for Instituto Cervantes in Munich and after that for the German cultural institute Goethe Institut Córdoba/Buenos Aires, where she was managing cultural projects between Argentina and Germany. Since 2010, her coordinating work is dedicated to science and research management: between 2010-2013 she was engaged as a network manager for Alumniportal Deutschland, a cooperative network of high professionals of German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), Goethe Institut, Alexander von Humboldt-Foundation and Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), acquiring new partners from science, industry and public agencies in Latinamerica.

Since 2013 she is managing director of AWARE (Applied Network on Automotive Research and Education), a strategic partnership out of partners from industry, politics and academia from Germany and Brazil.


To top

Fabio Reway

Fabio Reway graduated in Electrical Engineering from Federal University of Parana (UFPR), Brazil. During his studies, he completed an exchange program having studied Electrical Engineering and Computer Science between 2012-2013 at the Leibniz University of Hannover, where he also worked as Student Assistant at the departments of Real Time Systems and Human-Computer Interaction. In 2013, he moved to South Korea to complete an internship focused on mobile devices programming - Android and iOS. After that, in 2014, he completed another internship in Brazil at a telecommunication company as an embedded software developer for network switches. In 2015, he was selected for an AWARE-scholarship in order to write his diploma thesis at Technische Hochschule Ingolstadt (THI), Germany, in cooperation with Airbus Defense & Space. Within the AWARE network, he finally stayed at THI and became the first PhD candidate realizing his cooperative doctorate project at THI´s Center of Automotive Research on Integrated Safety Systems and Measurement Area (CARISSMA) in cooperation with his Brazilian home university UFPR on the topic of simulation-based test drives

To top

Neil Kemp

Neil Kemp is an international higher education consultant and researcher. His interests relate to the economics of education, higher education internationalisation strategies for universities and governments, transnational education and international student mobility (including recruitment, market analysis & communication strategies). Neil has contributed to education and training projects in some 20 countries and his clients include over 30 universities in UK, Europe and Asia; international public and private sector organisations; UK government and Universities UK; the British Council; and the Malaysian, Swedish, Indian and New Zealand governments.

Neil studied physical sciences and completed a PhD in electron spectroscopy at Swansea University. He developed an interest in the economics of education while working in India and was a visiting fellow at the Institute of Education, (part of University College, London). This led him to his interest in the global market for higher education and internationalisation strategies for higher education.

Neil lived in Asia for 20 years including in Indonesia, India, Sri Lanka, Malaysia and Pakistan. He held various positions in the British Council including Country Director, Director of Education UK and Director, Science and Technology. His current and previous responsibilities include Board member at the Council for Education in the Commonwealth; Professional adviser to the UK-India Education and Research Initiative (UKIERI); Visiting lecturer, Edge Hill University (MA International Higher Education Management); Board member at the Institute for Development Studies, University of Sussex; Board member, Open University Worldwide.His other interests include cycling and athletics as well as blues, jazz and the theatre. 



To top

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 University of Kassel, the British Council, and the Fachhochschule Darmstadt, before joining The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) as the head of their EU division.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. He is the editor of the ACA Papers on International Cooperation in Education.

He has been the team leader of ACA’s research projects and speaks frequently at major governmental and stakeholder conferences, in Europe and beyond, on the issue of mobility and internationalisation. Bernd Wächter has two children. He is married to Thora Magnusdottir, a delightful lady from Iceland.

To top