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2022 in rearview and a sneak peek into 2023

December is the month to reminisce about the past year and to visualise the one ahead – celebrate the past accomplishments and note the remaining défis, while making some healthy and bold wishes for the coming year(s). All in all, 2022 was for ACA a year of deep reflections, groundbreaking actions and of visionary planning for the period ahead.

Russia’s war against Ukraine directed ACA members into a wave of diverse support measures continued throughout the year, and into regular mutual exchanges and coordination in the framework of ACA’s Thematic Peer Group (TPG) Global developments. It also propelled ACA as an organisation into a deep reflection and multiple conversations on the role of higher education cooperation and knowledge diplomacy in times of crisis, as covered at external and internally-oriented leadership-level events (e.g. ACA Strategic Summit 2022), and as captured in a related Reflection Paper released this November. The common ground was set – we have to find reasonable ways of cooperation with our counterparts, even when the iron curtains are descendent again.

This debate has also framed ACA’s work during 2022 on developing the association’s next five-year strategy, adopted in November, in Warsaw, after an intense and rewarding co-design process with ACA members and valued external partners.

Despite the challenges, 2022 was also a year of further growth for ACA, both in terms of

  • membership, with four organisations joining the network and actively taking part – SEPIE (Spain), Nuffic (the Netherlands), the Swedish Council for Higher Education (UHR) and the Portuguese National Erasmus+ Agency (A.NE+EF), and of
  • scope and types of activities, covering the work of the other four Thematic Peer Groups (TPGs), the Think Pieces series on Digitalisation in International Higher Education, continued work on the Study in Europe initiative, as well as in new projects, from the Erasmus+ staff mobility impact study, to new projects that will come to life as of 2023 – HIBLend and ECEM, amongst many others. And last but not least, continued policy work under the wider framework of the European Strategy for Universities and some of its flagships.

What’s in the pipeline for 2023? Apart from comprehensive capacity building, policy development and project work, there are three events to begin with:

  • ACA’s flagship seminar – What’s new in Brussels? Recent developments on European Policies and programmes, scheduled for 2-3 February 2023 in Brussels (registrations open), and two events with member organisations
  • Digitalisation in International Higher Education: Forward Looking Perspectives, 1-2 March 2023, Prague with ACA member DZS
  • Fostering digital pedagogies through international cooperation, 7-9 June 2023, Bled with ACA member CMEPIUS

More updates will be released gradually, so make sure to stay tuned also in the coming year, after a restful break and memorable holidays.