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Seasonal greetings from ACA 2022

Dear ACA Newsletter readers,

For us at ACA, this is not only the moment to deliver our wrap up of the year Newsletter, mailing you a last batch of relevant higher education news before the fast-approaching and well-deserved winter holidays. It is also an excellent opportunity to briefly look back and take stock of our association’s highlights this year, and share them with you, with a glimpse of what is to come in 2022.

2021 has been another packed, challenging, and yet highly rewarding year, all at once. All in all, it’s been a year of growth; on all fronts.

  • We’ve expanded our network with two valuable member organisations – AMEUP (Croatia) and Uni-Italia (Italy). We’ve steadily grown, in parallel, the highly competent group of colleagues from member organisations that are actively involved in our activities, and support their further professional development via our Thematic Peer Groups (TPGs).
  • We’ve reconnected at leadership level, via ACA’s Strategic Summit 2021, to discuss wider trends and approaches shaping the future of international education and the work of internationalisation funding agencies (ACA members and beyond).
  • We’ve supported the further professionalisation of international higher education professionals in the Czech Republic, through our STUDY IN ACAdemy series, together with our member DZS.
  • And we’ve successfully piloted together with our members two hybrid events – one in Brussels, on Towards comprehensive mobility approaches and one in Zürich, on Innovation through internationalisation, both greatly appreciated by the sector.
  • Externally, we’ve upped our policy-related work, steadily contributing to big policy files, from the co-design of the upcoming European Strategy for Universities, the full roll-out of the European Universities Initiative, to emerging files like the European Degree and the European statute, via related policy papers and statements.
  • We’ve also strongly advocated for the full re-association of Switzerland to both the Erasmus+ and Horizon Europe programmes, and continue to do so.
  • We’ve released another Think Pieces series on Inclusion in International Higher Education, bringing forward expert insights and voices from the field, and published a comprehensive report on Internationalisation on Higher Education for Society (IHES), to empower more inclusive international higher education in Europe and beyond.

What we’re most proud of are the meaningful connections we’ve further developed in the course of this year and the impact we have delivered through these collaborative activities, most of them being the fruit of our long-lasting partnerships with many of you. We’re also glad to work with a reinforced team in the ACA Secretariat as of 2021.

What does 2022 hold is store? In a nutshell, a continuation of the above and more. On 3 and 4 February 2022, I warmly invite you to take part in ACA’s flagship What’s new in Brussels? seminar (online; registrations open on 5 January 2022). From March 2022, we count on you as an avid reader of our upcoming Think Pieces series on Digitalisation of international education. In autumn, we await to see you in Prague, at a conference on digitalisation co-organised with DZS and affiliated to the Czech Presidency of the European Union. In-between, we hold many surprises in store.

Until we get to meet again in 2022, I warmly wish you a peaceful and restful holiday season, along your families and loved ones, and a smooth and safe glide into a better New Year, for all of us! And of course, finally, enjoy the read!

Irina Ferencz
ACA Director