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The beautiful city of Bergen was the setting of the ACA 2006 conference “Destination Europe? Players, goals and strategies in enhancing the attractiveness of European universities”, which ended on 20th June with a lot of positive feedback from over 200 participants. ACA organised the conference in cooperation with its Norwegian member SIU.
The conference addressed the attractiveness of European higher education on a global scale. The keynote speech was delivered by Alan Smith (European Commission), who gave a comprehensive overview of different paths towards an external relations strategy for European higher education, focusing on four “p”s or “pathways to a new mix”: policy, programmes, partnership and promotion. The main findings of the two latest ACA studies, EURODATA and Perceptions of European higher education in third countries, were presented at the conference. It also devoted time to “neighbouring themes”, like the role of cooperation in the global attractiveness contest, and developments in higher education and internationalisation in Asia’s emerging economies.
Debates focused on how Europe 'should put itself on the global map': by means of partnership, or by means of competitive strategies. Beyond the different positions taken by speakers and participants, however, a consensus emerged. Europe needs to move: it needs to improve its higher education, and to increase its visibility in other parts of the world.Destination Europe? Players, goals and strategies in enhancing the attractiveness of European universities