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Spring 2024 round of ACA TPG meetings

The month of March facilitated important gatherings and exchanges between specialist staff of ACA member organisations in three Thematic Peer Groups (TPGs).  

On 15 March, the members of the TPG “Global Developments – Knowledge security and responsible internationalisation” gathered, under the moderation of ACA President, Gro Tjore, to take stock of the evolving European policy context and institutional approaches on this topic. The exchange was facilitated by two informative presentations by Mirko van Muijen, DG RTD, European Commission, on the European Commission’s recent proposal for a Council recommendation on enhancing research security and by Peter Gill, TU Delft, on the institution’s policy and link with national guidelines, tools and practical experiences in tackling issues related to research security. The group also started creating a resource page on the ACA website, listing emerging strategic documents and guidelines in ACA members’ countries, that will be further updated.  

Kickstarting 2024 with their first official meeting, the TPG New Mobility Formats met on 20 March to discuss blended mobility, with a particular focus on Blended Intensive Programmes (BIPs). During the meeting, co-chair Angeliki Psychogyiou, presented the results of the WP2: Approaches to Blended Student Mobility of the HIBLend Project. Current and emerging practices and approaches to student blended mobility were discussed while the members of the TPG also shared insights and statistics about BIPs from their respective countries. The meeting concluded with considerations for the upcoming work of the team considering interest in finding out if and how BIPs can be a jumpstart for other longer term mobilities.   

Following the first exchange of views s on the recently adopted European Higher Education package 2024 in late January, members of the TPG European policies and programmes convened on 26 March and discussed in more detail the European Commission’s communication on a blueprint for a European degree. Special attention was paid to different pathways for a European degree and the related list of European criteria presented by Yann-Maël Bideau from DG EAC, Higher Education Unit, European Commission, followed by the discussion on the key lessons learnt within one of the pilot projects (EDlab) from testing the criteria in practice and considerations for the future implementation, with inputs by Dorothy Kelly, University of Granada, Coordinator of the EDLab project and Laura Howard, University of Cadiz, Coordinator of the work package on criteria within EDLab.