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ACA voices @ EAIE 2019 Helsinki

ACA wraps up a week of active exchanges, networking and dialogue at the EAIE 2019 Annual Conference in Helsinki, Finland. The ACA members and the ACA Secretariat delivered together 18 sessions on a wide variety of relevant aspects of international education, hosted multiple social events, and were represented in the exhibition fair with 13 booths. Below are just a few of the conference highlights.
On Wednesday, 25 September the Access and Diversity expert community, hosted a session on inclusion in the next Erasmus+ programme. The session consisted of a panel discussion and group work in the audience, combining a conceptual debate through Aminata Cairo’s research work, the practicalities of addressing inclusion in Erasmus+ as a National Agency – presented by Andrea Fielenbach of DAAD, and participants’ input on what should be improved or introduced in the next programme to support more and better inclusion in higher education at national and EU level. The main conclusions from the session will soon be available on the expert community’s page.


In the afternoon, ACA and its member ETS Global were engaged in a session discussing the benefits and challenges of English-taught programmes (ETPs) for European universities, with an audience of over 90 knowledgeable and dedicated international officers. The session, which also featured an institutional example – from the Middle East Technical University (METU) in Turkey – revealed the persisting challenges, as well as some institutional solutions, while exposing a great need for further comparative analyses and for data on ETPs in Europe.


On 26 September, ACA and EDUFI hosted a networking lunch for ACA members, partners and sister organisations to exchange, within the conference framework, on the latest trends and key questions in international higher education.

In the second part of the day, ACA and EDUFI had a poster session on the GREET and CARe projects, which support the integration of students and scholars with refugee background via the science4refugees initiative. The poster session format was a good opportunity to meet national-level agencies and higher education institutions from Europe and the US and discuss cooperation opportunities and information exchange on good practices and support structures for the highly skilled population with refugee background.


The evening was marked by the award ceremony of the Institute of International Education (IIE), with ACA being acknowledged through the IIE Centennial Medal for being a “valued IIE partner.” ACA enabled IIE through its leadership and guidance to maintain the standard of excellence in international education, especially in Europe. The award was received by ACA President Ulrich Grothus.