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.

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Mark Frederiks


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Luca Pirozzi


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Vidar Pedersen

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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.





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Kees Kouwenaar


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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.


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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. 

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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.

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