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IMPALA site visits in Graz, Leuven and Antwerp

As part of the IMPALA project, the last week of June was dedicated to the visits of 16 South African university representatives - Vice-Chancellors, Deputy Vice-Chancellors, Deans, Directors and Heads of international offices - to three higher education institutions (HEIs) in Europe – the University of Graz, University College Leuven-Limburg and the University of Antwerp. The main goal of the visits is to familiarise South African colleagues with the international activities of their European counterparts and their institutional approach to internationalisation, and facilitate exchange of experiences and on different contexts in which internationalisation is being advanced. Part of the programme is also dedicated to discussing cooperation opportunities and areas where universities can build new or expand existing international partnerships. The visiting delegation represents four historically disadvantaged South African universities - the universities of Fort Hare, Limpopo and Venda, and the Cape Peninsula University of Technology. 

The visit started at the University of Graz on 26 June by introducing the delegation to the university’s international activities, and continued in Antwerp on 28 June with the opening panel featuring Prof Sijbolt Noorda, ACA President, Markus Laitinen, EAIE President and Mathieu Savary, representative of the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Education and Culture. The next meeting took place at the University College Leuven-Limburg on 29 June addressing different elements of internationalisation and the final day of the visits, 30 June, was dedicated to the presentation of the University of Antwerp and its internationalisation approach in education and research.

These visits are very timely as they coincide with major discussions among South Africa's higher education institutions on the recently published country's draft national framework for internationalisation of higher education, which will have a bearing on the activities pertaining to the site visits. More details on the outcomes of the site visits and the most relevant discussions will follow in the next edition of the ACA Newsletter.