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In the past few weeks, the ACA’s Thematic Peer Groups (TPGs) convened their third annual meetings, gathering select experts from ACA member organisations to discuss evolving topics in their respective areas of interest in internationalisation.
TPG Impact of Covid-19
Participating ACA members reported about Covid-19 related developments in their respective countries, including the restart of classes and international enrolments in the winter term 2021/22. While the admission data is not yet fully available for this term, the general trend from the past period points to a decrease in credit mobility and staff mobility, with degree mobility being less impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The situation however remains uncertain due to the recent growth in the number of cases across Europe.
TPG Research on international education
Members of this TPG took stock of developments related to credit mobility data based on the recent EUROSTUDENT mobility data presented by Hendrik Schirmer from the German Centre for Higher Education Research and Science Studies (DZHW) and evidence shared by David Crosier from the Eurydice Network.
TPG European policies and programmes
This meeting focused on the state-of-the-art in the co-creation process of the European Strategy for Universities and the full roll-out of the European Universities Initiative, a process which has been actively supported by ACA through its participation in the related stakeholder meetings organised by the European Commission. The participants also exchanged views with Filip Van Depoele, Head of Unit – International Higher Education at DG EAC, on the global dimension of the Erasmus+ programme and the key policy initiatives in the field of higher education and research.
TPG Widening inclusion in international higher education
Members of this TPG reported on the latest updates in the field from the perspective of their respective countries and organisations. Karen Bush, YUFE Strategic Lead, Diversity and Inclusivity, also presented YUFE’s experience in building and implementing the inclusion and diversity strategy of the alliance.
TPG New mobility formats
The members discussed the results of a snapshot survey on students' motivations for blended and virtual mobilities, conducted over the summer and brainstormed on key topics for discussion in 2022, including collecting good practice in online and hybrid mobility, development of intercultural competences through online formats, and building trust in online and hybrid mobility.
The next round of formal meetings is planned for January 2022.