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On Europe and the world – a recap on ACA’s Annual Conference 2014

With fine wine and dine the ACA Annual Conference 2014 convened between 15 and 17 June in the wonderful city of Bordeaux, for its 10th edition. Close to 250 participants were actively engaged over the 2.5 conference days in social activities, dynamic sessions and parallel discussions around the overarching theme – Europe in the world. Higher education developments across the globe. Among other compelling topics, speakers and participants alike looked into the attractiveness of the European higher education area, the geopolitics and future of global higher education, and Europe’s cooperation and position towards the Mediterranean, the US, China, Africa, Russia, India and the Gulf states.

ACA’s main partner for this event was one of its two member organisations from France, the Agence Europe-Education-Formation France (2e2f). Additionally, the Université de Bordeaux 1 hosted the event, while the City of Bordeaux held the welcome reception. The ACA Secretariat is very grateful to the co-organisers and to all the people that worked towards making this event a success.

ACA is particularly thankful to all those who managed to arrive at the event (despite a massive French railways strike) – speakers, chairs, participants, and supporting staff – and who made the conference not only possible, but also very enjoyable, by engaging in very dynamic exchanges of ideas. As with all ACA events, all speakers were marvellous, but ACA would like to particularly thank its two keynote speakers. Cédric Villani, a brilliant French mathematician and a fervent promoter of Europe, and Georges Haddad, who needs no further introduction, helped setting the right tone and respectively ending this event in the right way.

Information on the 2015 ACA Annual Conference will follow soon. In the meantime, the next ACA European Policy Seminar will be organised on 9 October 2014 in Brussels and will be devoted to liberal arts and science colleges.