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20-22 November witnessed this year’s ACA Annual Conference, organised in cooperation with our Hungarian member, the Tempus Public Foundation, which celebrates its 20th anniversary this year. Budapest was the perfect setting for the conference entitled UniverCities. Higher Education Institutions and their ‘habitat’. What is the ideal ‘habitat’ for a higher education institution was the overarching question. Not unexpectedly, the conference found that universities and colleges can thrive in very different environments.
About 30 speakers from Europe, the US and Asia enlightened participants on sub-issues, such as universities in metropolises, small and medium-sized towns and (rural) regions. They also addressed and gave examples of good practice of cooperation between universities, city administrations, civil society actors and businesses. Speakers represented a wide range of stakeholders, from higher education, city administrations, enterprises, to urban planning as well as international supranational organisations, such as UNESCO, OECD and the European Union. Participants rated the quality of the event as outstanding. They particularly appreciated the many different angles and forward-looking perspectives from which the conference approached this fast emerging theme of University-city interaction, more than ever in the spotlight of the contemporary higher education eco-system and its challenges.
ACA expresses its great appreciation for the superb cooperation with the Tempus Public Foundation team on this successful event, and the unique insights into Budapest’s remarkable city and university environment.