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ACA spring 2024 General Assembly and Erasmus+ staff mobility conference

ACA member, the Icelandic Centre for Research (Rannis) hosted the ACA Spring 2024 General Assembly meeting in Reykjavik, Iceland, earlier this month. ACA members exchanged national updates on key internationalisation policies and trends, discussed the added value of international higher education cooperation and joint efforts to promote this topic both in the context of the future Erasmus+ programme and in national settings. Peer exchanges on these crucial topics will continue at leadership level during the ACA Strategic Summit planned for 8-9 October 2024 in Brussels.  

The General Assembly elected Roman Klepetko, Deputy Director of the Czech National Agency for International Education and Research (DZS) into the Administrative Council as ACA Treasurer. He will start his mandate from 1 January 2025. 

The ACA Secretariat reported on its major activities in 2024, including, among others, an Erasmus Mundus impact study and the 20th anniversary conference (see ACA Newsletter – Education Europe, May 2024), the launch of the Study in Europe project (see ACA Newsletter – Education Europe, June 2024)and the publication of a study on the institutional impact of Erasmus+ outgoing academic mobility 

The latter topic provided background for a back-to-back TCA conference on strategic approaches to Erasmus+ academic staff mobility, which took place on 20 and 21 June, in Reykjavik, as well. The conference was co-organised by the ACA Secretariat and six ACA members acting as National Agencies for Erasmus+: Rannís (Iceland), AMEUP (Croatia), CMEPIUS (Slovenia), DZS (Czechia), OeAD (Austria) and TPF (Hungary).  

Participants and panellists discussed national contexts, institutional approaches, challenges, and good practices within the broader topic of strategic approaches to academic staff mobility. Beyond the plenaries, the conference’s parallel sessions allowed participants to dive deeper in the various dimensions of staff mobility by looking at links to other university missions, particularly learning and teaching and partnerships, and approaches to widening participation in staff mobility, disseminating knowledge gained and recognising its outcomes. The key takeaways from the conference highlight:  

  • The vital role of staff in motivating other staff and students to be mobile;  
  • The importance of funding and support for early-career academics, as an early investment in establishing a culture open to mobility;  
  • The need to involve HR departments to integrate staff mobility in career advancement and professional development;  
  • The importance of re-integrating mobile staff and disseminating results, rewarding and recognising staff mobility, while linking the internationalisation strategy to outreach efforts and creating a culture conducive of mobility.  

The co-organising partners will continue the discussions on the strategic role of staff mobility at the EAIE conference in Toulouse and organise a series of training events for university coordinators in the second half of 2024 and the first half of 2025.