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Brussels, 14 June 2015

ACA Annual Conference 2015: Internationalisation: from strategy to implementation


This year’s ACA Annual Conference, to be held in Brussels, is dedicated to the theme of institutional internationalisation strategies and their (successful) implementation. The Conference is expected to draw an audience of some 300, including central actors and decision-makers from universities and colleges as well as policy-makers and practitioners from government departments, international institutions, non-governmental organisations and think tanks. As always, we are striving to offer high-quality information, analysis and discussion on this year’s theme.


The 2015 ACA Annual Conference will address the theme of internationalisation strategies for higher education institutions from a double perspective. First, it will consider different concepts and approaches to internationalisation strategies, and at ways to design them. Second, it will address issues around the implementation of such strategies.  We aim for a global perspective, with the majority of speakers coming from Europe, and presenting European approaches, but with several notable presenters originating from elsewhere in the world. 

Sub-themes of the conference include mainstreaming of internationalisation as a strategic approach, branding a higher education institution, resourcing internationalisation strategies, and generating internal ‘buy in’ for them. We might even pose the heretical question of whether or not an internationalisation strategy is necessary for success in the international arena. Further, we will look at particular challenges to internationalisation efforts and how to overcome them, such as the integration of foreign students, teaching in English, incentivising short-term mobility of students and staff, and international marketing and student recruitment.


The ACA Annual Conference 2015 will take place on the 15 and 16 June, and is to be preceded by a social programme and opening reception the evening prior. The conference itself will feature a mix of plenary and parallel workshops. Plenary sessions will include ‘classical’ presentations, panel discussions and ‘debates’.  In addition, there will be three highly interactive parallel workshops which will be repeated once, allowing participants to attend two such dynamic sessions instead of only one. The programme also includes the by now legendary conference dinner. 

Overall, we aim at an event that not only provides useful information, reflection and analysis, but also ample opportunities for discussion, peer learning, and networking. 

The conference language is English.


Traditionally, ACA Annual Conferences are organised in cooperation with ACA members and other important local partners. This year, ACA is very proud to partner with its member organisations Wallonia Brussels Campus and Flanders Knowledge Area, as well as with the Flemish Ministry of Education and Training.


In our choice of speakers we remain very ‘conservative’. We invite only speakers who have something to say and who are able to say this well. Presenters at ACA Annual Conferences are chosen exclusively from a small group of internationally reputed experts in higher education research, policy and practice. In the coming weeks, we will present some of these outstanding personalities to you.


Pre-conference day: Sunday 14 June

14:00 – 17:00     Registrations (Hotel Motel One)

17:00 – 18:15     Discovering Brussels (Starts @ Hotel Motel One)

18:30                       Welcome Reception (BELvue Museum)

1st conference day: Monday 15 June – Overall theme: Internationalisation Strategies


08:30 Registrations
09:00 Welcome
Sijbolt Noorda, President, ACA (Amsterdam, The Netherlands)
09:15 Opening keynote
Town-gown relationships in a Globalised World
Eric Corijn, Professor in Urban Studies, Department of Geography, VUB (Brussels, Belgium)
09:45 50 Years of Internationalisation – Main trends and pointers to the future
Hans de Wit, Director Designate, Center for International Higher Education, Boston College   (Boston, USA)
10:30 Coffee break


Panel: Internationalisation strategies
Chair: Jean-Pierre de Greve, former Deputy-Rector International Relations, VUB (Brussels, Belgium)
Strategies across the Globe
Eva Egron-Polak, Secretary General, IAU (Paris, France)
Internationalisation Strategies in The Netherlands
Adinda van Gaalen, Senior Policy Officer, EP-Nuffic (The Hague, The Netherlands)
Internationalisation Strategies in Norway
Dag Stenvoll, Senior Adviser, SIU (Bergen, Norway)

  12:30 Over 10 years of mainstreaming internationalisation: some lessons learned
Markus Laitinen, Head International Affairs, University of Helsinki, (Helsinki, Finland)
13:00 Lunch


 Parallel sessions: Sharing experiences
 Round 1 (14.00 – 15.10)

1. Developing internal buy-in
Moderator: Bernd Wächter, Director, ACA (Brussels, Belgium)
Stephan Fuchs, Head of Project HRK Audit, Hochschulrektorenkonferenz (Bonn, Germany)

2. Funding the internationalisation strategy
Moderator: Irina Ferencz, Policy Officer, ACA (Brussels, Belgium)
Uwe Brandenburg, Managing Partner, CHE Consult (Berlin, Germany)

3. Building a brand name
Moderator: Queenie K.H. Lam-Schöch, Project Manager, ACA (Brussels, Belgium)
Megan Brenn-White, Managing Director, Brenn-White Group (New York, USA)

Coffee break

Round 2 (15.40 – 16.50)

1. Developing internal buy-in
Moderator: Bernd Wächter, Director, ACA (Brussels, Belgium)
Stephan Keuck, Project Manager HRK Audit, Hochschulrektorenkonferenz (Bonn, Germany)

2. Funding the internationalisation strategy
Moderator: Irina Ferencz, Policy Officer, ACA (Brussels, Belgium)
Uwe Brandenburg, Managing Partner, CHE Consult (Berlin, Germany)

3. Building a brand name
Moderator: Marija Mitic, Project Officer, ACA (Brussels, Belgium) 
Megan Brenn-White, Managing Director, Brenn-White Group (New York, USA) 


Round table: are strategies ‘a must’ for succesful internationalisation?
Chair: Bernd Wächter, Director, ACA (Brussels, Belgium)

Jeroen Huisman, professor of Higher Education at CHEGG, University of Ghent (Ghent, Belgium)
Sir Peter Scott, Professor of Higher Education Studies, University of London (London, UK)
Ligia Deca, Researcher, University of Luxembourg (Walferdange, Luxembourg)
Margaret Waters, HE Policy coordinator, European Commission (Brussels, Belgium) 


End of first conference day


Conference dinner (Area 42)


    2nd conference day: Tuesday 16 June 2015 – Overall theme: Challenges in Implementation


09:00 An American view on implementation challenges
Laura Rumbley, Associate Director, Center for International Higher Education, Boston College (Boston, USA)
09:30 Integrating ‘the internationals’ – the unreachable goal?1. Avoiding ‘ghettoisation’ by (foreign) nationality
Shivleta Tagirova, Director of International Relations, Higher School of Economics (Moscow, Russia)
2. Internationalisation@Home: International Campus Programme
Hans-Georg van Liempd, Managing Director, Tilburg School of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Tilburg University (Tilburg, The Netherlands)
10:30 Coffee break
11:00 Teaching in foreign languages1. Going English at Master level
Giancarlo Spinelli, Rector’s Delegate for International Networks, Politecnico di Milano (Milan, Italy)
2. Certifying the quality of EMI
Janina Cünnen, Head of Language Centre, Universität Freiburg (Freiburg, Germany)
12:00 Lunch
13:00 Incentivising short-term mobility of students1. Promoting mobility via mobility windows
Thijs Verbeurgt and Gijs Coucke, International Relations Office, Ghent University (Ghent, Belgium)
2. Motivating students to be mobile 
Carla Locatelli, Vice-Rector, University of Trento (Trento, Italy)
14:00 Staff mobility1. Supporting staff mobility
Dorothy Kelly, Vice-Rector for International Relations and Development Cooperation, Universidad de Granada (Granada, Spain)
2. The integration of international activities into the staff performance assessment system
Asta Radzeviciene, Vice-rector for international relations, Vilnius Gediminas Technical University (Vilnius, Lithuania)
15:00 Coffee break
15:30 International student recruitment – DOs and DON’Ts1. Marketing for international students
Jeanine Gregersen Hermans, Director for Student Recruitment, University of Hull (Hull, UK)
2. Agents and how to use them properly
Robert Coelen, Professor of Internationalisation of Higher Education Stenden University of Applied Sciences (Leeuwarden, The Netherlands)
16:30 What we learnt from this conference
Ulrich Teichler, Professor at INCHER, University of Kassel (Kassel, Germany)
17:00 End of the conference




Sijbolt Noorda

Sijbolt Noorda is the President of the Academic Cooperation Association (ACA) and also of the Magna Charta Observatory. He is a former president of the University of Amsterdam and the Dutch Association of Universities (VSNU). He is a graduate of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Universiteit Utrecht and Union Theological Seminary/Columbia University New York. He served and serves on various boards of institutions for health care, public broadcasting, fine arts and culture, information technology, publishing, university quality assessment and civic development.

In Germany he is a member of Akkreditierungsrat. He is an advisor to universities in Austria, Germany, The Netherlands, Romania and Turkey, and lectures and writes on European cultural history, university strategies, international cooperation and educational policy.

Hans de Wit

Hans de Wit is as of September 1, 2015 Professor and Director of the Center for International Higher Education at Boston College, USA. Currently he is Director of the Centre for Higher Education Internationalisation’ at the Università Cattolica Sacro Cuore in Milan, Italy, and Professor (lector) of Internationalisation of Higher Education at the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences. He is the Founding Editor of the ‘Journal of Studies in International Education’ (Association for Studies in International Education/SAGE publishers). He is a Research Associate at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, Port Elizabeth, South Africa.

His latest book is Darla Deardorff, Hans de Wit, John D. Heyl and Tony Adams (Eds.) (2012), The SAGE Handbook on International Higher Education. He publishes a monthly blog in University World News on internationalisation of higher education, He has (co)written several other books and articles on international education and is actively involved in assessment and consultancy in international education, for organisations like the European Commission, IAU, UNESCO, World Bank, IMHE/OECD.

In 2005-2006 He was a New Century Scholar of the Fulbright Program Higher Education in the 21st Century, and in 1995 and 2006 a visiting scholar in the USA and in 2002 in Australia. He is working in the Europe, United States, Latin America, Asia and Africa in projects. Hans de Wit is founding member and past president of the European Association for International Education (EAIE).

Eric Corijn

Cultural philosopher and social scientist. Is actually Professor em. in Social and Cultural Geography at the Free University of Brussels (Belgium). Is the founder of COSMOPOLIS, Centre for Urban Research at the VUB, vice-chair of the Brussels Studies Institute and director of the Brussels Academy. He has been running three international Erasmus master programmes and is actually coordinator of the Erasmus Mundus Master in Urban Studies 4Cities, with the universities of Brussels ( VUB and ULB), Vienna, Copenhagen and Madrid (Complutense and Autonoma) He is the author of more than 250 publications. Latest book is The Brussels Reader. A small world city to become the capital of Europe.

Jean-Pierre de Greve

Professor emeritus in Astrophysics, Chair Teacher Trainers Working Group Faculty of Sciences VUB, Chair VUB Steering Committee Sustainability Policy. Member of the Science Committee of Technopolis (since 1996). President of the Brussels Diplomacy Academy. Advisor to the President of the Brussels University Association. Member of Task Force 1 of the Office for Astronomy Development of the IAU, President of IAU Commission 46 (Astronomy Education and Development), Director of the IAU International School for Young Astronomers, Chair of the university’s Working Group on Science Communication.

Former Vice-rector for International Relations (2010-2012). Former member of the Steering Committee of UNICA (the network of Universities of European Capital Cities) 2011-2013. 

Chair Department of Physics 2006-2009. Faculty coordinator for Student Mobility 2006-2009. Dean of Vesalius College: 2000-2006. Member of  French Comité Nationale d’Evaluation de la Recherche (CNER, Paris, France, 2006-2007). Belgian member of the Nato Science Committee (1994-1999). Member of the Open University Validation Board UK, 1999-2001. Scientific Council of the Royal Observatory of Belgium, 1995-2003 (chairman since 1998).

Eva Egron-Polak

Eva Egron-Polak was educated in the Czech Republic, Canada and France.  She studied French Literature, Political Science and International Political Economy.  During nearly 20 years at the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC) she has held several senior positions including Vice President, International, prior to becoming the Secretary General of IAU in 2002.    

At IAU, an independent, global association of universities and associations of higher education institutions based at UNESCO in Paris, Eva Egron-Polak  is involved in various policy issues in higher education – internationalization,  provision of equitable access to and success in higher education, the contribution of higher education to sustainable development, to the Millennium Development Goals, among others, with a continuing preoccupation with issues of ethics, academic values and higher education’s responsibility to society.  

Eva Egron-Polak is a member of many committees at UNESCO, the European Commission, OECD, etc.  She is has been a member of international advisory bodies in the Netherlands, Ireland and Romania and is a member of the Magna Charta Observatory Council. She has taken part in system level reviews of higher education in Egypt and Spain. She has co-authored the two last editions of the Global Survey Report on Internationalization of Higher Education in 2010 and 2014 respectively, and written and presented numerous papers on a variety of higher education topics.  In 2015 she was awarded a Doctorate honoris causa by Mykolas Romeris University in Lithuania.

Adinda van Gaalen

Adinda van Gaalen works as a senior policy officer and researcher at EP-Nuffic, the Dutch organization for internationalising education. She has conducted studies on internationalisation strategies of Dutch higher education institutions and on various other topics such as a recent study for the Dutch Ministry of Education on internationalisation at home. Adinda has been involved in the development of a number of quality assurance tools for internationalisation of higher education. She is the author of several publications among which the EAIE toolkit on internationalization and quality assurance. In addition she works as an adviser and trainer in short courses and workshops. Adinda is an elected member of the General Council of EAIE. She has recently expanded the focus of her work to include internationalisation of secondary education. Adinda previously worked as a policy adviser, head of the international office and teacher at the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences. She holds a master’s degree in Social Sciences from the VU University in Amsterdam.

Dag Stenvoll

Dag Stenvoll’s ongoing projects are on higher educational institutions’ strategies for internationalisation, on Nordic HE institutions’ Erasmus Charter for Higher Education applications, and on the curiously generous Norwegian student loan and stipend scheme. He has also analysed education and research cooperation with BRICS countries and Japan.

Stenvoll is Senior Adviser in the Section for Policy and Analysis at the Norwegian Centre for International Cooperation in Education (SIU). His has a doctoral degree in Comparative Politics from the University of Bergen (2003). Before he came to SIU in 2011, he worked for eight years as Senior Researcher at the Uni Rokkan Centre for Social Studies.

Markus Laitinen

Markus Laitinen is the Head of International Affairs at the University of Helsinki, Finland. He has been part of the university’s internationalisation efforts in various roles for more than two decades. Currently his tasks comprise of overseeing and co-ordinating international affairs and providing strategic advice for the university leadership. Markus holds a Master’s of Social Sciences in international politics but has not considered an academic career and identifies himself as practitioner of higher education internationalisation.

The University of Helsinki was awarded the European Association for International Education (EAIE) Award for Innovation in Internationalisation based on a decade-long development of embedded internationalisation in 2013 and these experiences are reflected in ”Comprehensive Internationalization, Institutional Pathways to Success”, John Hudzik (ed) 2015.

In 2014 Markus Laitinen was elected as Vice President for EAIE and he assumed this office in September and will first serve two years in this position, to be followed by two years as President. He is a member of the Association’s Board and chairs the Awards and Talent Committee.

Stephan Fuchs

Dr. Stephan Fuchs is Head of the Audit “Internationalisation of Universities” at the German Rectors’ Conference, a position he has held since the beginning of 2014. His career has taken him through several stations in international exchange and academic administration, including as the programme manager for international projects with the German national science fair (Jugend forscht), as managing director of the Bavarian American Academy, as the Director of the International Office of the University of Munich (LMU) and most recently as Head of Conferences with the Alexander von Humboldt – Foundation. He received his academic training at the University of Munich (M.A. and Ph.D. in American Cultural History, Social Geography and Law) and at the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University.

Stephan Keuck

Stephan Keuck is Programme Manager with the Audit “Internationalisation of Universities” since 2010. Previously, he spent three years as a Foreign Language lecturer at the University of Oxford. He received his academic training at the Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn and at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver (in North American Studies, Political Science, Art History, and Law). 

Uwe Brandenburg

Uwe Brandenburg is project manager at CHE Consult and an expert on strategic development, internal communication and internal project quality assurance. He was the head of CHE Excellence Ranking (a pan-European quality assessment project of Master’s programmes), project coordinator of the IMPI project (Indicators for Mapping and Profiling Internationalisation), and leads a number of advisory projects in the fields of internationalisation, controlling, strategy development, organisation development, diversity management, benchmarking, and quality control. He has published on financing models for studying abroad, international education systems (inter alia on China with more than 53,000 downloads to date), foreign marketing, internationalisation, EU projects regarding benchmarking, internationalisation, and Change Management at European universities. He has cooperated in the International Deans’ Course for further education and training of deans from developing countries, and is a member of the Deutsche Assoziation für Internationalen Bildungsaustausch (DAIA) e.V. (German Association for International Exchange of Education) (Chairman until 2006), European Association for International Educators (EAIE), Fulbright Alumni e. V., and CHER (Consortium of Higher Education Researchers). He has been invited as core expert to the IAU (International Association of Universities) and to the Ad Hoc expert group on internationalisation.

Megan Brenn-White

Megan Brenn-White is Founder and Managing Director of The Brenn-White Group, a New York City-based company providing international marketing, editorial, staff training, and strategy services to global higher education institutions and related organizations. Prior to this role, Ms. Brenn-White held senior management positions at global websites such as, E*TRADE, and She has worked in the field of international education for over a decade, having served as Deputy Director of DAAD New York, Executive Director of the Hessen Universities New York Office, and Director for International Partnerships at Parsons School of Design. Ms. Brenn-White publishes and presents regularly on topics related to international higher education and is a member of the Editorial Board of AIEA and Marketing & Recruitment Steering Committee of EAIE. She earned her BA in Government at Harvard University and an MSc in European Studies at The London School of Economics.

Bernd Wächter

Bernd Wächter is the Director of the Academic Cooperation Association (ACA). He studied at the universities of Hull (UK), Giessen and Marburg (Germany). His career has been focused on international higher education. He worked for the University of Kassel, the British Council, and the Fachhochschule Darmstadt, before joining The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) as the head of their EU division. He subsequently became the director for Higher Education (Erasmus) in the Brussels Socrates Office. In 1998, he took up his present post as ACA Director.

Bernd Wächter has published and lectured widely on international higher education. He is the editor of the ACA Papers on International Cooperation in Education. He has been the team leader of ACA’s research projects and speaks frequently at major governmental and stakeholder conferences, in Europe and beyond, on the issue of mobility and internationalisation.  

Bernd Wächter has two children. He is married to Thora Magnusdottir, a delightful lady from Iceland.

Irina Ferencz

Irina Ferencz (neé Lungu), a Romanian national, holds a Bachelor (License) in International Relations and European Studies of Babes-Bolyai University in Cluj-Napoca, and a Master in European Politics and Policies (magna cum laude) of the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven. She is currently enrolled in a PhD programme at the International Centre for Higher Education (INCHER) at the University of Kassel (on student mobility in the Bologna Process). After joining ACA as a trainee in August 2008, she became a Policy Officer in the spring of 2009. Still young in years, Irina Ferencz has already authored and co-authored or co-edited six books, as well as further book chapters and articles.

Her main interests and expertise are in the fields of international student mobility (both quantitative and qualitative analyses) and in internationalisation policies at the university and national level, including the assessment of internationalisation through the use of indicators. Irina led ACA’s Mapping mobility in European higher education study (2011) and European and national mobility policies study (2012), both of which involved EU -wide surveys of 30+ countries. She often represents ACA at international conferences as a speaker, moderator or panellist.

Irina speaks Romanian (mother tongue), English, French, Italian and some German. She also reads Spanish and she understands Larish, a language of the under-two-year-olds.

Queenie K.H. Lam-Schöch

Queenie joined ACA as Project Officer in late 2010. She is currently ACA’s Project Manager, responsible for a mixed portfolio of project development, policy research and membership services. Within ACA, she is a specialist in international education marketing and communication, rankings, EU-China mobility and funding. She has consistently developed new projects, published and organised events related to these specific themes over the years. Recently, she’s been deeply involved with the mapping of EU -China researcher mobility and a critical assessment of the quality indicators of global university rankings, as well as a series of internationalisation audits in Hungary in which she serves as an external expert. 

Queenie holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Translation from The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) (2002) (with an exchange year spent at Georgetown University, USA), as well as an MPhil in Communication from the same university (2006). After four years of employment as Executive Officer at CUHK (2004-2008), where she dealt with international staff recruitment and student mobility, she studied in Germany and obtained a Master’s degree in International Higher Education and Research at the University of Kassel (2008-2012), where she also worked briefly as Research Assistant at INCHER-Kassel and as Senior Advisor for the university’s summer and winter schools.

Since October 2014, Queenie has embarked on a doctoral journey to trace the so-called “world-class universities” in the public(ity) sphere constructed by and through global rankings. The project is jointly supervised by Jeroen Huisman of the Centre for Higher Education Governance Ghent (Belgium) and Ulrich Teichler of INCHERKassel (Germany).

Marija Mitic

Marija Mitic started as a trainee at ACA from March until September 2014 and then joined the team as a Project Officer. She has since taken part in several ACA projects: a study on English-taught programmes in Europe,a policy support document on innovation in higher education, and in research on Open Education in five higher education systems in the EU . Before joining ACA, Marija was a trainee at the European Commission, in the International Cooperation and Programmes Unit of DG EAC. M arija is a certified trainer with international experience in youth work and adult education. She is an Erasmus Mundus Alumna with a Master’s Degree in Lifelong Learning: Policy and Management from Aarhus University, Denmark and Universidad de Deusto, Spain.

Jeroen Huisman

Jeroen Huisman is professor of Higher Education at the Centre for Higher Education Governance Ghent (CHEGG,, department of Sociology, Ghent University, Belgium. He was researcher at the Center for Higher Education Policy Studies (CHEPS), University of Twente, the Netherlands (1991-2005) and professor of Higher Education Management, University of Bath, UK (2005-2013). He is editor of the journal Higher Education Policy, co-editor of the Routledge/SRHE Higher Education book series, co-editor of the Emerald book series on Theory and Method in Higher Education Research (with Malcolm Tight) and member of the editorial board of several higher education journals. His research interests are: higher education policy, higher education governance, organizational change in higher education and internationalization and Europeanisation. , higher education governance, organizational change in higher education and internationalization and Europeanisation.

Sir Peter Scott

Peter Scott is Professor of Higher Education Studies at the UCL Institute of Education. From 1998 until 2010 he was Vice-Chancellor of Kingston University in London. Before that he was a professor at the University of Leeds, and Pro-Vice-Chancellor (responsible for external affairs), and was Editor of ‘The Times Higher Education Supplement’ from 1976 until 1992.

He was President of ACA from 2000 until 2008. He is Treasurer of the Academia Europaea, and chair of its Behavioural Sciences Section, and also a member of the British Council’s Education Advisory Panel. He has published books on mass higher education, new patterns of knowledge production, the governance and management of universities, and the internationalisation of higher education.

Ligia Deca

Ligia Deca is a PhD researcher in political science at the University of Luxembourg, working on internationalization of higher education. She is also currently coordinating the development of the Romanian strategy for internationalization of higher education, as part of a strategic project coordinated by the Executive Agency for Higher Education, Research, Development and Innovation Funding (UEFISCDI) in Romania.

Previously, Ligia Deca was the Head of the Bologna Follow-Up Group Secretariat (2010-2012), which supported the activities of the 2009-2012 Bologna Process’ work plan and prepared the 2012 Bucharest Ministerial Conference and Third Bologna Policy Forum. In 2008-2010, she was the Chairperson of the European Students’ Union (ESU). Previously, Ligia also worked as a policy officer at the European Quality Assurance Register for Higher Education (EQAR) and was involved as an external expert in various projects by the Council of Europe and the European Commission.

Since 2012, Ligia has been a member of the European Award for Excellence in Teaching in the Social Sciences and Humanities Jury, awarded by the Central European University (CEU). In 2008, she led the Coalition for Clean Universities – a pilot project aimed at fostering academic integrity in Romania.

Margaret Waters

Margie Waters is deputy head of unit in the unit responsible for EU higher education policies and the higher education strand of the Erasmus+ programmes at the European Commission’s Directorate General for Education and Culture, with particular focus on policy development. She previously worked in policy coordination in the Directorate General, and before joining the Commission worked in academic publishing.

Laura Rumbley

Laura E. Rumbley is associate director and lecturer at the Boston College Center for International Higher Education. Her research and teaching focus largely on internationalization of US and European higher education. She serves as co-editor of the Journal of Studies in International Education and is Publications Committee chair for the European Association for International Education (EAIE).

Shivleta Tagirova

Shivleta Tagirova is the Director of International Relations at the National Research University Higher School of Economics (HSE-University), Moscow Russia. Prior to her arrival at the Higher School of Economics, Shivleta Tagirova headed the Department Europe at the Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia.

Tagirova received her degrees in Public Administration and Translation (French) from the same university. In 2009, she defended her dissertation entitled ‘Policy of Strategic Management in Higher Education: a Comparative Analysis of Western and Russian Experience (through the example of France, the United Kingdom and the Russian Federation’).

Tagirova has worked as Coordinator of the Global Education Programme of the North-South Centre of the Council of Europe and the first joint Russian Master’s programme in human rights carried out with support of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. She also briefly led the Division for International Organizations and Programs of Russia’s Ministry of Education and Science. She has published on the topic of the market for educational services and management of innovation processes in higher education.

Hans-Georg van Liempd

Hans-Georg van Liempd has been the Managing Director at the Tilburg School of Social and Behavioral Sciences at Tilburg University, the Netherlands since November 2014. 

From September 2010 until September 2014 is served as (vice-) President of the European Association for International Education (EAIE). As Immediate Past President he is still a member of the General Council of the EAIE. 

In the past he held several positions at Tilburg University. In 2005, he set up the Central International Office at Tilburg University and served as its Director until mid-2010, when he became elected as Vice President of the EAIE. During his (vice-) Presidency he worked as Senior Programme Manager at Tilburg on university wide programmes such as Internationalising the Campus and Corporate Social Responsibility. Lastly, he was interim Director Strategy & Policy from March until October 2014 at the university. He is member of the international expert team for the Romanian Government project for internationalizing the strategy of 21 Romanian universities. 

In his role he was and still is a frequent presenter at institutions and conferences around the world. He is also a senior EAIE Trainer. His area of expertise concerns International Strategy in Higher Education, Leading and Managing International Operations and EU Strategy, Policies and Partnerships. He was member of the ISEP Council of Advisors in Washington DC from 2002 to 2006. Furthermore he is a member of several Advisory Boards in Higher Education and Culture in the Netherlands and abroad.

Giancarlo Spinelli

Giancarlo Spinelli is the Rector’s Delegate for International Networks at the Politecnico di Milano in Italy. He graduated in Nuclear Engineering at the Politecnico di Milano. He has published widely on special and general relativity and on continuum mechanics. In 1980 he became full professor in Mathematical Physics and his first Chair was at the Università degli Studi di Padova, Italy. Since 1981 he has been full professor of Rational Mechanics at the Politecnico di Milano.

He was Vice-Dean of the College of Engineering (1987-1994) and Pro-Rector for International Relations (1990-94). He was the President of the Centre for International Relations during its existence from 1995 to 2003. In 2004, when internationalisation was ‘streamlined’ at the Politecnico di Milano, he became the Rector’s Delegate for International Relations (2004-10) and, in 2011, also for International Networks. 

In 1997, Giancarlo was the President of the EAIE. From 2000 to 2004, he served on the Board of the Educational Testing Service (Princeton, US A). Since 2008, he has been the Chair of the Admission Committee of the T.I.M.E. Association based at École Centrale Paris and, since 2009, Chair of the “T.I.M.E. label certificate” Committee. Since 2012, he has been a member of the Advisory Council for Engineering at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Massachusetts, USA. In 2009, he received the – first ever – Transatlantic Award of the EAIE. He also received honorary doctorates from the American University of Science and Technology in Beirut (Lebanon), Lund University (Sweden) and École Centrale de Nantes (France).

Janina Cünnen

Dr. Janina Cünnen is Director of the Language Teaching Center at Freiburg University, Germany. Besides her doctoral degree she holds Diplomas from NUI, Galway/IRL, Rennes II/F and Jesus College, Oxford/GB. She studied German, English and Celtic Philology and has extensive experience in language teaching and testing. Moreover, she has gained expert knowledge in intercultural communication through both research and teaching various types of intercultural courses at Freiburg University, FHNW Basel/CH, UHA-Mulhouse/F, and St. Clara University, California. She has given lectures and presentations in numerous countries in Europe as well as Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and the USA.

J.C. is member of the advisory board for quality assurance of the Center for Key Qualifications at Freiburg University. As a member of the European Language Council she has contributed to two EU-Projects. Currently she is collaborating in the IntlUni-Project and is responsible for a five year project (English Medium Instruction) at her home university. Her specialized fields of interest include language policy, multilingualism, linguistic diversity and minority languages.

Thijs Verbeurgt

Thijs Verbeurgt studied Eastern European Languages and Cultures at Ghent University and was a student representative at different levels. In 2008-2009 he was elected as member of the Board of Governors at Ghent University and of the Flemish Student Union (VVS). At the same time, he worked as an educational administrative assistant at the department of Pediatrics at the faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences of Ghent University. In 2009, he started as a policy advisor at the International Relations Office where he was successively responsible for non-European bilateral agreements and the start-up of a branch campus in Korea. In 2011, he become project manager at the faculty of Arts and Philosophy where he was responsible for promoting part time learning. In 2012, he returned to the International Relations Office as part-time project manager of the EU funded Expanding Opportunities – ExpandO project and part-time policy advisor commissioned with drafting the integrated policy plan for internationalisation, Ghent University’s strategic plan in this field for 2014-2018. In the framework of this plan, he was also closely involved in the development of specific action concerning quality of international cooperation and increasing outgoing student mobility numbers. 

After the approval of Integrated Policy Plan for Internationalisation, he was appointed policy advisor for internationalisation responsible for the implementation, under the Policy Coordinator of Internationalisation. Thijs Verbeurgt is a frequently asked speaker at national and international conferences on both widening participation and internationalisation strategies.

Gijs Coucke

Gijs Coucke has been working at the International Relations Office of Ghent University since 2009. His main duties are the development and the daily management of the strategic and regional cooperation on an institutional basis. In this context he is a.o. responsible for the central coordination of the U4 network with the universities of Groningen, Göttingen and Uppsala. Further, next to his involvement in a variety of internationalization policy related issues Gijs Coucke is in charge of several dimensions of the external and internal communication on internationalization and of the development of online resources. In the framework of Ghent University’s strategic plan for internationalization he has been involved in organizing the English offer for exchange students and the development of mobility windows. 

Prior to his appointment by Ghent University Gijs Coucke was a researcher at KU Leuven at the Institute of Philosophy where he obtained his doctoral degree in 2008 and spent a short period as postdoc.

Carla Locatelli

Carla Locatelli is Vice-Rector for International Agreements at the University of Trento (Italy) and also a Member of the Academic Senate. She is Professor of Literary Theory and Comparative Literature in the Department of Cognitive Sciences at Trento, and Adjunct Professor in the English Department at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia (PA, USA).

She is the European Coordinator of Asea-Uninet (Asean European Academic University Network), and acted as its President from 2009 to 2011. She has been a member of the Italian National Committee for the Evaluation of Research of the Italian Ministry of Education. 

She is a member of the Editorial Boards of the journals Testuale; The European Journal of Women’s Studies and of the electronic Journal Limite(e) Beckett ( She is also on the International Advisory Board of The Philippine Humanities Review, and is an international contributor on higher education to the Global Business Review Journal (Burapha University).

Carla Locatelli has been Exchange Research Fellow at the University of California, Santa Cruz in 2004, and Senior Fulbright Fellow at the University of Notre Dame, Indiana in 2002. Among her publications are 14 volumes (some edited), and approximately 150 articles and contributions to volumes, and reference works. In 2013 she received a Certificate for Outstanding Contribution to the ASEAN Network in the field of Higher Education from the Minister of Higher Education, Malaysia (YB Dato’ Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin).

Dorothy Kelly

Dorothy Kelly is Vice Rector for International Relations at the University of Granada, where she is also professor of Translation. She obtained her B.A. in Translating and Interpreting at Heriot-Watt University, and her doctoral degree from the University of Granada. Her main research interests are translator training, directionality in translation, intercultural competence and student mobility. She was a member of Spain’s national Bologna Experts Team until 2013, and has been Chair of the Executive Board of the Coimbra Group of Universities since 2010.

Asta Radzeviciene

Asta Radzeviciene is the Vice-Rector for International Relations at Vilnius Gediminas Technical University and the Head of the International Relations Committee at the Lithuanian University Rectors’ Conference. Next to these core functions, she is a member of numerous committees and working groups, such as the National EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region Monitoring Group; National EU Programme Committee; National Appeals Commission for the Recognition of Foreign Degrees and Qualifications; amongst others.

Both a practitioner of and a researcher on higher education management, Asta produced over 20 scientific publications and co-authored the National Programme for Enhancing the Internationalisation of Lithuanian Higher Education (2008-2010). Her research interests range from strategic management of higher education institutions to human resource management and internationalisation of private and public sector institutions.

Asta holds a PhD in Social Sciences, a Master in Engineering Economics and Management, and a Diploma in Russian Philology. She is a dedicated promoter of ‘internationalisation at home’ and believes in professional networking’s power to bring about change.

Jeanine Gregersen-Hermans

Jeanine Gregersen-Hermans is the director for Student Recruitment at the University of Hull in the UK. Previously Jeanine worked at Maastricht University, Netherlands as the director of Marketing and Communications and Spokesperson of the Executive Board. In this capacity she is also was appointed as a director of Maastricht Education and Research center pt. Ltd. Bangalore, India.

Internationalization of higher education forms a red line in Jeanine’s professional life. She has worked in areas as advising international students; intercultural competence building and teaching in the international classroom; marketing and recruitment of international students.

Jeanine has published and taught on topics of intercultural communication and marketing of higher education. She is member of the editorial advisory board of the Journal of Studies in International Education (JSIE). Currently she serves as a member of the General Council of the EAIE. 

Jeanine has been awarded the official status of EAIE senior trainer and is a member of the professional development committee of the EAIE. In 2008 Jeanine received the Bo Gregersen Award for Best Practice for an innovative contribution to international education of the EAIE. Since June 2011 Jeanine has been appointed Honorary Member of the IRO ICA network, the standing committee for internationalization of ICA, the European Association of Life Science universities.

Jeanine is a certified administrator of the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI) since 2002; and a certified administrator of the Global Competency Inventory (GCI) and the Intercultural Effectiveness Survey (IES), Kozai group since 2012.

Jeanine studied Clinical Psychology holds a post-graduate degree in Psychology of Radboud University, Netherlands, and graduated in 1984. Until 1997 Jeanine worked as dean for international students at Wageningen University, Netherlands. After a period as secretary general of the UNICA university network in Brussels, from 2000 to 2005 she took up the position of head of educational marketing at Wageningen.

Robert Coelen

Robert John Coelen is Professor of Internationalisation of Higher Education at Stenden University in the Netherlands. Prior to this appointment he was Vice-President International at Leiden University. He has worked for about 20 years in the field of international education. He returned to work in Europe after an absence of 30 years. Most of these 30 years were spent in Australia. During his time in Australia he spent about 5 years altogether in South-East Asia, particularly in Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand.

Dr Coelen is a regular speaker at international and national conferences on issues related to internationalisation of higher education. In particular ranking, international positioning, the services to international students and admission are amongst the topics he addresses. More recently he is talking about quality in internationalisation as a pressing issue. He was the organiser of the Leiden University Global Ranking Symposium Series. He is the initiator and president of Euroscholars, a new study abroad education project in collaboration with 12 continental LERU universities.

Ulrich Teichler

Ulrich Teichler has been a Professor at the International Centre for Higher Education Research (INCHER-Kassel), University of Kassel (Germany), since 1978. He also served as director of the Centre for 16 years.

Born in 1942, Prof Teichler has a diploma and doctoral degree in sociology. He was a researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Educational Research in Berlin, and has done extensive research in Japan, The Netherlands, and the US. Prof Teichler has been a part-time or visiting professor at Northwestern University, the College of Europe, Hiroshima University, and the Open University (UK). His research focuses on higher education and the world of work, comparison of higher education systems, and international mobility. He has authored or co-authored more than 1,000 publications.

Prof Teichler is a member of the International Academy of Education and the Academia Europea. He has been the president or chair of many international research networks, including the Consortium of Higher Education Researchers and EAIR (where he is also a distinguished member). Prof Teichler has received the Comenius Prize of UNESCO and Dr. h.c. of the University of Turku.


Flemish Parliament
Leuvenseweg 86/ Rue de Louvain 86
1000 Brussels


Does Brussels need an introduction? The ‘capital of Europe’ and, of course, Belgium, is a charming metropolis of human size. It is the seat of most EU institutions, and thus always offers the extra benefit of a rendezvous with your counterparts in the European Commission. Brussels is one of the most multicultural cities in Europe, with a population composed of dozens of nationalities and speaking even more languages. 

It is also a city of gastronomic delights where, as the legendary gourmand John Steak once famously pointed out, it is almost impossible to be served a bad meal. The city of Belgium fries, mussels, fine chocolates and a delightful diversity of beers. The city of legends like the singer Jacques Brel, the painter René Margritte and the cartoonist Hergé.  A place of famous architecture and architects, such as Victor Horta and Henry van de Velde. And the seat of the ACA team, inclusive of the famous hippopotamus.