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Latest ACA seminar provides whirlwind tour of the ‘BRICs’

Brazil, Russia, India, and China. Key points on the European higher education compass? was the title of ACA’s second European Policy Seminar of 2011 on 18 March. The day-long event (the 29th instalment in this successful ongoing series) brought together a full house of nearly 100 participants from across Europe (and beyond), with a common interest in learning more about developments in the higher education systems of these four very unique and fast-developing countries. Opportunities and challenges for engagement in these contexts – at the institutional, national, and supra-national level – were fundamental themes throughout the day.

The morning programme was devoted to providing an overview of key trends and issues – including economic, demographic, political and cultural considerations – in Brazil, Russia, India and China. Here, Neil Kemp (University of London), Jing Men (College of Europe), Christian Müller (DAAD, Brazil) and Maria Yudkevich (Higher School of Economics) provided outstanding insight in their respective areas of expertise. The country-specific presentations were complemented by a discussion (lead by the European Commission’s Claire Morel, Deputy Head of Unit - Cooperation and International Programmes, DG Education and Culture) of the efforts underway at the European level to advance the cooperative agenda in higher education with the BRICs. Meanwhile, the afternoon sessions provided more specific examples of how some European higher education institutions and organisations are engaging with partners in these countries. Krista Knopper (Maastricht University), Achim Meyer auf der Heyde (Deutches Studentenwerk), and Liisa Tahvanainen (Cross-Border University), graciously provided candid and extensive information about their experiences. ACA is sincerely grateful for the contributions of these individuals and the dynamic interventions from the audience, as well.

Next up on the ACA agenda is the ACA Annual Conference to be held on 22-24 May 2011 in Vienna, under the title The excellence imperative. World-class aspirations and real-world needs. Registrations are moving along swiftly for the conference, which features a very strong line-up of particularly well-informed and high-calibre speakers. We hope you will consider joining us for this, or another, upcoming ACA event.
ACA Annual Conference