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ACA’s 2023 Strategic Summit & 30th anniversary celebration

Leadership in higher education is a trending topic as higher education institutions, university associations, student unions, and other stakeholders including national funding agencies increasingly need to support their leaders in constantly adapting their set of skills and knowledge to respond to and provide vision in a rapidly changing and ever more complex academic and geopolitical context.

For the third year in a row, ACA organised its annual Strategic Summit bringing together the top leadership of its 25 members, national funding agencies for internationalisation across Europe as well as in the United States, and several invited guests from like agencies and other sister organisations. Convened on 10 and 11 October in Brussels, the third Strategic Summit tackled common issues in advancing internationalisation of higher education in a changing context and provided a dedicated space for top leadership to exchange on key internationalisation and leadership topics, provide peer support, and benefit from insightful contributions by invited guests from ACA’s partner organisations.

The panellists’ insights touched on the importance of including diverse stakeholders in international higher education cooperation; being aware of the who – how – and why when forecasting, assessing the net positive and holding space for the unpredictable; the value and benefits of internationalisation in light of potential and emerging risks; and what it means to be a leader of such organisations in 2023 and beyond. Beyond the inspirational panels, there were also peer to peer sessions to share experiences and expertise on challenging internationalisation scenarios.

The Strategic Summit also integrated a celebratory moment marking ACA’s 30th anniversary, which brought together the association’s visionaries and past leaders as well as the closest partners from across Europe, for a look back, summarizing some of ACA’s contributions and a look forward into what’s next for the organisation. On this occasion, ACA members and the ACA Secretariat also warmly thanked Ulrich Grothus, ACA President, who will be completing his 6th and last year in this role, for his extraordinary guidance and support for the association, which significantly contributed to it becoming the stronger actor and voice that it is today at European level.