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2017 in rearview mirror: future reflections

Embracing the old and the new that 2018 will bring, ACA and the ACA Secretariat would like to acknowledge the people, groups and activities that have marked ACA’s year 2017 and yielded the new ACA Strategy 2017-2021, driving many more thrilling activities in the years to come. 

In 2017 ACA hosted three European Policy Seminars (EPSs) – the traditional What’s new in Brussels? focusing on recent developments in EU programmes and policies, the second EPS looking into the perils and opportunities in recent political developments in the UK and US and their impact on higher education policies and international cooperation, and finally, the third EPS, which symbolically looked into the analogies between university partnerships and marital unions in order to explore what works well and how in a strong and sustainable partnership.  

Much more is to come in 2018 with three EPSs again, a joint seminar of ACA and its Greek member IKY and an ACA seminar in the Western Balkans, in support of the recently welcomed enlargement process to extend the EU family. We are also celebrating ACA’s 25th anniversary in 2018 and the impact it has had on international higher education in Europe and beyond. More information on 2018 events can be found here

ACA’s spring from March to May was busy implementing four Study in Europe (SiE) seminars in South Africa, India, Brazil and Russia, and meeting with the European Higher Education Experts who have largely contributed to the success of this project with over 23 000 students involved in SiE information sessions, through which relevant information was shared on opportunities for studying and living in 33 European countries. Warm thanks to all the experts for their contribution to the project! As this project is approaching its end, a new one of the same name is stepping in to be led by the same consortium until 2020 and we look forward to the upcoming fairs, webinars and other activities the new project will bring. 

Impala,  an Erasmus+ capacity-building project, resulted in 2017 in a training week in March for South African university staff, a visit to European universities by a South African delegation of university leadership in June, and it will continue in 2018 through a range of activities, one of which is coordinated by ACA – a workshop for universities in February on institutional internationalisation strategies.  

ACA continued successful cooperation with the European Parliament (EP) through a commissioned study on the renewed modernisation agenda for HE. The study was produced in the summer of 2017 and presented on 19 October in the EP under the title “Modernisation of higher education”. 

We greet 2018 another new project, which aims to support the integration of refugee students and scholars in Europe, and which will start in the spring of 2018, funded under Horizon 2020. We look forward to working with ACA members DAAD and EDUFI as partners, and with many more ACA members as participants in the project. More information will be available soon.

In ACA’s last General Assembly some changes in governance and membership took place: read about our new president, new board members and a new member here.

As always, ACA’s Newsletter – Education Europe provided news and analysis on EU, national and global developments in higher education in its monthly publications to over 25 000 recipients, guiding policymakers and practitioners through the HE landscape as well as through existing networking and funding opportunities.  

With very best wishes for the festive season, ACA would like to thank its members, partners, readers and friends for another year of hard work, commitment, vision and friendship. To a fruitful 2018!