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Budapest, 20 November 2016

ACA Annual Conference 2016: UniverCities. Higher education institutions and their habitat


This year’s ACA Annual Conference, to be held in the beautiful city of Budapest, bears the title UniverCities. Higher education institutions and their ‘habitat’. The event will explore the relationship between universities and colleges and the cities, towns and regions where they are located. The conference is expected to draw an audience of some 300 participants, including central actors and decision-makers from universities and colleges as well as policy-makers and practitioners from government departments, international organisations, non-governmental organisations, municipalities, enterprises and think tanks. As always, we are striving to offer high-quality information, analysis and discussion.

The theme of the conference is being hotly debated these days. Which ‘habitat’ do higher education institutions and the knowledge industries require, where do they thrive? In metropolises and megapolises, which attract talent because of the tolerant environment and the advanced technology they provide, as the American urban studies theorist Richard Florida argues? Probably, but is this the only ‘environment’ in which higher education institutions flourish. What about all these cosy little towns, of the type of Oxbridge, Freiburg or Lund, which are hosts to well-reputed and even world-class universities? And, not to forget, remote or underdeveloped regions with declining demographies or regions undergoing economic transformation, where higher education institutions are being founded as catalysts of regional rejuvenation and growth. In these cases, it is the university or college which is to strengthen the town or region - and not the other way round. 

The ACA Annual Conference 2016 will address all of these different ‘habitats’ – big cities, small towns and remote and challenged regions. In doing so, it will not only explore the relationship between higher education institutions and municipalities, but also of university-enterprise interaction and cooperation between academic institutions and civil society actors in their city, town or region. Speakers will be higher education researchers and representatives, but also business representatives and civil society actors.  


The ACA Annual Conference 2016 will take place on 21 and 22 November, and is to be preceded by a social programme and opening reception in the afternoon and evening of 20 November. The conference itself will feature a mix of plenary and parallel sessions. Plenary sessions will include ‘classical’ presentations, panel discussions and ‘debates’.  In addition, there will be three interactive parallel sessions 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. 

Tempus Public Foundation

Traditionally, ACA Annual Conferences are organised in cooperation with ACA members and other important local partners. This year, ACA is very proud to co-organise its Annual Conference together with the Tempus Public Foundation (TPF), its Hungarian member organisation. TPF celebrates its 20th anniversary this year and the conference is part of the anniversary festivities. 


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.

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.


Sunday, 20 November

14:00 – 16:00 Pre-registrations, Novotel Budapest Centrum

16:00 – 18:00  Guided tour(s) of Budapest

18:00 – 20:00  Opening reception, Akademia Club

Monday, 21 November

    09:00 – 09:15      

Sijbolt Noorda, President, ACA
András Nemeslaki, President, Tempus Public Foundation

    09:15 – 10:00   

Opening keynote
Margie Waters, European Commission, DG Education and Culture, Brussels
The contribution of higher education to regional development and innovation
An international university in the city: natural-odd encounters

10:00 – 11:00

Theme 1:  Universities in big cities

Liviu Matei, Provost and Pro-Rector, Central European University, Budapest
Murray Pratt, Professor, Dean, Amsterdam University College, Amsterdam
Learnig opportunities and the city
Mark Lazar, Vice-President, Institute of International Education,  New York
Serving a global city: NYU, Colombia and the CUNY

11:00 – 11:30

Coffee break

11:30 – 12:30

Theme 1(cont.): Universities in big cities (cont.)

Eric Corijn, Professor in Urban Studies, Vrije Universiteit, Brussels
Reinventing the university in an urban era
Ida Kiss, Architect, senior consultant, member of the advisory board at KEK, Budapest

How can sustainable campus development support our cities’resilience?
Daria K. Kozlova, Vice Rector for International Relations, ITMO University, St. Petersburg
The university and the city: does location help education?

12:30 – 13:30


13:30 – 16:00

PARALLEL SESSIONS – repeated once

Round 1 (13.30 – 14:45) and
Round 2 (14.45 – 16.00)

Session 1: HEIs and municipalities. Acting hand in hand?
Alicia Bettshead of projects + Josep Vilalta, Executive Secretary- of the Catlan Association of Public Universities (ACUP), Barcelona
Maria Fogelström Kylberg, Managing Director, Stockholms Academiska Forum, Stockholm + Lars Strannegård, Professor, President of the Stockholm School of Economics, Chairman, Stockholm Academic Forum, Stockholm

Session 2: HEIs and businesses. Seeking win-win situations
Zsuzsa Várhalmi, Deputy Director, EIT Digital,  Budapest

Session 3: Virtual habitats
János Ollé, Eszterházy Károly University of Applied Sciences, Eger

16:00 – 16:20

Coffee break

16:20 – 17:20

Debate: What is the best habitat for HEIs?

Arthur Mettinger, Rector,  FH Campus UAS, Vienna
Eric Corijn, Professor in Urban Studies, Vrije Universiteit, Brussels
Gábor Bojár, Board member, European Institute of Technology, Graphisoft SE, Budapest 


Conference dinner

Tuesday, 22 November


09:00 – 10:30

Theme 2: Universities and colleges in small- and medium-sized towns

Bernd Kortmann, Professor of English Language and Linguistics, Director FRIAS (Freiburg Institute for Advanced Studies), Albert-Ludwigs-University Freiburg
The University of Freiburg: A driver of innovation, outreach and regional development across borders
Vanessa Mayoraz, Scientific Collaborator, External Relations Office of the City of Geneva + Frédéric Esposito, Professor and Director of the University Observatory on Security, University of Geneva
UniverCities: a new way to promote globalized knowledge

10:30 – 11:00

Coffee break

11:30 – 13:00

Theme 3: HEIs and regional development

Eva Werner, Rector, IMC University of Applied Sciences, Krems
Small and beautiful= regional impact
Outi Snellman, Director of International Relations, UArctic VP Organization, University of Lapland, Rovianiemi
From the margins to the centre: how the University of Lapland has used local and regional cooperation for building its strategy
Katalin Erdös, Research Fellow, MTA-PTE Innovation and Economic Growth Research Group; University of Pécs
Universities as Regional Development Actors in Hungary

13:00 – 14:00

Lunch break

   14:00 – 15:30     

Innovation in regional and European Partnerships
Andrea Hofer, OECD, Trento 
HEInnovate- a joint initiative of the OEAC and the European Union
Dániel Barcza, Vice Rector of Strategy, Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design Budapest
MOME Campus 2020: building a creative innovation hub
Sung Lee, Project Officer, UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning, Hamburg
Learning cities unlocking the potential of communities

15:30 – 15:45

Coffee break                                                

15:45 – 16:30

Closing Keynote
Sijbolt Noorda, President, ACA
Education cities. Where internationalisation is at home


Good bye



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

András Nemeslaki

Dr. András Nemeslaki – a graduate of the Technical University of Budapest – is a Professor of Information Systems and Head of the E-Government Institute at the National University of Public Service in Hungary. His field of expertise and research interest is organizational use and value of information communication technologies, ICT innovations in business and public organizations. He has taught courses at several universities as a Visiting Professor, for instance at the Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, University College Dublin, University of Cologne or Bocconi University Milano. His interest in developing international collaboration and educational capacities has been also longstanding; for eight years he has served as Associate Dean for International Affairs and the Academic Director of the CEMS Master in International Management program at Corvinus University in Budapest. He was also the founding Vice-Rector for Research and International Affairs at the National University of Public Service.Since 2014 Professor Nemeslaki is the president of the Tempus Public Foundation in which capacity he further pursues his devotion to enhance the internationalization of Hungarian higher education.

Margie 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. She previously worked in policy coordination in the Directorate General, and before joining the Commission worked in educational publishing in Ireland.

Liviu Matei

Liviu Matei is CEU’s Provost and Pro-Rector, and Professor at the School of Public Policy. He served as Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer from 2008 to 2014, and as Academic Secretary of CEU from 1999 to 2008. He taught at universities in Romania, Hungary and the U.S. and consulted extensively in the area of higher education policy and conducted applied policy research project for the World Bank, UNESCO, OSCE, the Council of Europe, the European Commission, and other international organizations (intergovernmental and non-governmental), national authorities and universities from Europe and Asia. He is a member of the Board of Trustees of the American University of Central Asia and serves on the editorial board of the Journal of the European Higher Education Area. He studied philosophy and psychology at Babeș-Bolyai University Cluj, and Sociology at Bucharest University, Romania. He received his PhD from the latter. He benefited from fellowships at the Institut Supérieur de Formation Sociale et de Communication, Bruxelles, The New School for Social Research, Université Paris X Nanterre, Université de Savoie, and the Salzburg Seminar.

Murray Pratt

Professor Murray Pratt is Dean of Amsterdam University College (AUC) and holds a chair at the Amsterdam School of Cultural Analysis, University of Amsterdam as Professor of Contemporary Literature and Culture.
He obtained a MA (Hons.) in English and French from the University of Glasgow, also studied at the Universities of Lyon II and Coventry, and holds a D.Phil. in Modern and Medieval Languages and Literature from the University of Oxford for his thesis, Autobiography, Fiction and Identity in the works of Alain Robbe-Grillet, Hervé Guibert and Roland Barthes. Murray has researched and published extensively on French and international cinema, literature and culture (including graphic novels) with a focus on identity and belonging, with his most recent publications including essays on transnational narratives in Jo Nesbø’s Harry Hole novels and the concept of heterotopia as a way of reading the socio-cultural intersectionalities around the 2015 publication of Michel Houellebecq’s Soumission.
From 2010 to 2015, Murray was Dean of the School of Arts and Humanities at Nottingham Trent University, where he also held a chair in French and International Studies. Prior to this, he was a Lecturer in French Studies at the University of Warwick, before moving to Australia where he established and led the department of European Studies at the University of Technology Sydney, and served as Deputy Director of the Institute for International Studies.
In each of these roles, Murray has developed innovative educational pathways for students with civic and cultural partners, including galleries, museums and media companies, and supported active student participation in Nottingham’s city centre based National Videogame Arcade and its pioneering local television station, Notts TV. He has a keen interest in promoting digital learning with urban applications, and his pioneering work involving students in the production, dissemination and enhancement of an online graphic novel about Nottingham’s literary history was awarded the 2015 Guardian prize for teaching excellence. Since arriving in Amsterdam he has supported AUC students and academics in a range of exciting city based social and cultural initiatives that extend learning opportunities relating to the liberal arts and sciences curriculum, and has begun scoping potential city partnerships and developing a summer course with a focus on the European City of Culture.

Mark S. Lazar

Mark S. Lazar, Vice President for Global Scholarship and Learning Programs at the Institute of International Education, supervises the scholarship and training programs that the Institute manages on behalf of corporations, foundations, individuals, international organizations and US government agencies. He also oversees IIE’s Global EducationUSA Services division that supports educational advising development, outreach and training activities around the globe.
Prior to this position, Mark served as Vice President for Scholarship Programs and International Operations, Executive Director of Scholarship and Training Programs, Director for International Operations and Assistant Director for Development at the Institute.
Mark lived in Budapest, Hungary for over 8 years where he was Regional Director of IIE’s office for Europe from 1995-98. Before joining IIE in 1994, he served as a program coordinator for the Soros Foundations and the Central European University.
Mark’s academic interests include international urban development and the role of the university in building knowledge economies around the world.  He holds Master’s degrees from New York University in Urban Planning and Columbia University in European History. He has a Bachelor’s degree in History from University of Wisconsin-Madison.

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

Ida Kiss

Ida Kiss is an architect, urban and facility energy engineer, leading international research projects at ABUD. In her practice she integrates her experience from the field of architectural design and project management with research results on state-of-the-art knowledge. She is the author of several articles and book chapters on sustainable and energy efficient urban planning, and co-author of the Energy efficiency and climate strategy in the Budapest 2030 development concept. Ida is a member of the advisory board at Contemporary Architecture Centre and as former curator she was the organizer of various events on cities and sustainability. Her main research field is energy-efficient urban rehabilitation and smart & sustainable city assessment systems. She was a member of the scientific committee of the SBE2016 Torino conference, with the topic “Towards post carbon cities”. Ida is consulting municipalities and developers on urban sustainability, optimization of urban energy use and metabolism of cities with the integration of conventional urban design tools and the newest smart city technologies.

Daria K. Kozlova

Dr. Daria Kozlova is vice rector for International Relations of ITMO University and director of ITMO’s Institute of International Development and Partnership. She completed her PhD in Economics at St. Petersburg State Polytechnic University (SPbPU) where she focused her research on international education. While at SPbPU, she served as deputy dean and head of international programs in management at International Graduate Management School (IGMS) and was recognized with several awards, including SPbPU Award “Active Scientist” in 2008, “Dashkova Award” in humanities and social sciences for scientists under 35 by the Government of St. Petersburg and St. Petersburg Scientific Center of the Russian Academy of Sciences, SPbPU Award “Young Talents – the future of science Polytechnic University” in 2010, and Award of V. Potatin Foundation “Best University Instructor in Russia, 2013.”Dr. Kozlova joined ITMO University in 2014 to lead its international efforts, including educational, scientific, and branding projects. She has been instrumental in developing an English-language environment on campus and ensuring the university’s success in the “5-100 excellence initiative.”

Alícia Betts

Alícia Betts is Head of projects at the Catalan Association for Public Universities (ACUP) since 2009 and at the Global University Network for Innovation (GUNi) since 2014. Her main interests and expertise are in the fields of internationalisation of higher education (strategy development and implementation), university governance, funding and management policies, and university-business collaboration.
She has been actively involved in the “Internationalisation Plan of the Catalan Public Universities 2010-2015” (2010), the OECD Reviews of Higher Education in Regional Development (Catalonia region), the European Drivers for a Regional Innovation Platform project (funded by the LLP) and the Platform for Knowledge, Territory and Innovation initiative (university-business collaboration). She has coordinated the elaboration of different strategic documents for the Catalan higher education system and reports on various higher education topics. She has regularly collaborated with the Centre for Higher Education Policy Studies (CHEPS) on several of its research projects regarding the Catalan and Spanish higher education system.
She studied Audiovisual Communication and International Relations at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB) and is a graduate of the European Master in Higher Education (Erasmus Mundus – HEEM, University of Oslo, University of Tampere, University of Aveiro).

Josep M. Vilalta

Josep M. Vilalta is Executive Secretary of the Catalan Association of Public Universities (ACUP), formed by the eight public universities in Catalonia (Spain).  He is also Executive Director of the Global University Network for Innovation (GUNi), formed by UNESCO, the United Nations University (UNU) and ACUP.
He has held different positions like Deputy Director General for Research of the Government of Catalonia, Head of the Evaluation, Studies and University Cooperation of the Government of Catalonia, Head of the Strategic Planning Unit of the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, Coordinator of the UNESCO Chair for University Management, Deputy Director of Management of the Ocean Engineering Laboratory (LIM/UPC) and Executive Secretary of the International Centre for Coast Resources. He has lectured in the fields of public management, public policy and university and research management in different universities and centers. He also promoted and coordinated a Master in University Management and Policy and was being part of some expert groups in the area of public policy, public management, higher education policy and research and innovation policies and management.
In the past years he has collaborated with projects and initiatives in different ministries, departments and organisms of the Government of Spain, the Government of Catalonia as well as with institutions like the European Commission, OECD, UNESCO and European Association of Universities, and with governments and universities of different countries.
He has published more than 60 articles, chapters, reports and books in the following areas: university leadership, management and public policies, organization, management and university funding, university policies and governance, research management and policy, knowledge management and innovation. Josep M. Vilalta holds a degree in History and Geography (Universitat de Barcelona), a Master in Public Management (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona), a Master in Political and Social Theory (Universitat Pompeu Fabra) and a postgraduate degree in Higher Education Management (Open University and Universiteit Twente). He has been a visiting lecturer at the University of London (Great Britain) and at the University of Twente (The Netherlands).

Maria Fogelström Kylberg

Maria Fogelström Kylberg is Managing Director of Stockholms Akademiska Forum, which is an association of 17 universities and university colleges together with the City of Stockholm. She has wide experience of management, strategic communications, organizational change, regional development, PR and Public Affairs. Maria Fogelström Kylberg has often worked for organizations with several owners with both common but also different interests and sees that as a great opportunity. She is convinced that strong support from the organization’s executive board together with creativity, strategic communication and a dynamic network almost everything can be done. She has worked as acting director at the French Chamber of Commerce in Sweden, PR Manager at Stockholm Business Region, Managing Director at Central Sweden Brussels and Public Affairs consultant at BNG Sweden before Managing Director at Stockholms Akademiska Forum. She is also a board member in several organizations.

Lars Strannegård

Lars Strannegård is President of the Stockholm School of Economics in Sweden. He is Professor and holder of the Bo Rydin and SCA Chair in Leadership. His research interests focus on aspects of leadership, aesthetics, branding and organization. Dr. Strannegård has carried out research on organizing and management practice in multinational organizations. His work has been published in journals like Organization, Journal of Organization Change Management, European Journal of Marketing, Leadership, Annals of Tourism Research and Marketing Theory. He is chairman of the board of Stockholms Akademiska Forum. He is vice chairman of the board of the Swedish Arts Council and a member of the jury for the August Prize (nonfiction category), the Scientific Council and Board of Trustees of the Centre for Business and Policy Studies (SNS), the jury for Michael Treschow’s scholarship for design students, and the board of the Ingmar Bergman Estate on Fårö Foundation. He has also been a visiting scholar at Stanford University and professor at Uppsala University.

Zsuzsa Várhalmi

Zsuzsa Várhalmi, joined the EIT Digital (former EIT ICT Labs) as an education manager in 2012. The EIT Digital aims to bring digital innovations to life, and she participates in the diversified mission by empowering entrepreneurial talents in digital technology. She was nominated as the deputy director of the Budapest Associate Partner Group in 2013, and besides her previous tasks, she additionally started to work on bringing together the Hungarian innovation ecosystem and linking it to EIT Digital’s pan-European network. Zsuzsa is an expert on international higher education as she had been coordinating international joint programmes at university level for three and a half years at Eötvös Loránd University. In her role of deputy director and thanks to her communication and relationship-building skills, she liaises with high-level partners and stakeholders. She likes working in an international environment thanks to the experience she gained during the semester spent in Paris at the Université Sorbonne Nouvelle-Paris 3, and the two years when she lived in Lille, France. Zsuzsa graduated from at Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest, Hungary (MA in French language and literature and Hungarian language and literature), and completed her doctoral studies at the University of Debrecen, Hungary in Comparative literature.

Vanessa Mayoraz

Vanessa Mayoraz completed in 2010 a Bachelor in French Language and Literature and History of Religions at the Faculty of Humanities of the University of Geneva and obtained a Master degree in this second discipline early in 2013.She was then Teaching Assistant for two semesters at the Faculty of Theology of Geneva University for an introductory course in History of Religions and religious anthropology. In September 2014, she joined the External Relations Service of the City of Geneva as a Scientific Collaborator. Her main missions are to contribute to the implementation of External Relation policy of the Municipality, monitor international issues for the Executive Council and participate in Geneva promotional campaigns.
As part of her function, she notably works, in partnership with the University of Geneva, on the “UniversCities” project, network of governance between academic and municipal institutions, and contributed to the organisation of two international conferences held in Geneva in March and November 2015

Frédéric Esposito

Frédéric Esposito, PhD, Associate Professor, Global Studies Institute and Director of the University Observatory on Security, University of Geneva. Head of the project UniversCities Network.Former Executive Director of the Forum “Democracy and Terrorism », Law Faculty, University of Geneva and formerly responsible for the programme «Cities against Terrorism», a pilot project for victims of terrorist acts, European Commission. Fields of research; Counter-terrorism, European governance, E-democracy. Recent publications: Frédéric Esposito, “Le homegrown jihadism et la recomposition de l’action publique de sécurité dans les États démocratiques européens” in  Jean-Paul Nassaux et Alexandre Piraux, La démocratie sous contrainte, revue Pyramides no 25, CERAP-ULB, 2014, pp. 229-246.

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.

Arthur Mettinger

Arthur Mettinger has his academic background in English linguistics, holding the position of associate professor at the University of Vienna’s Department of English and American Studies. From 1999 to 2011 he served as the University of Vienna’s Vice Rector for Academic and International Affairs, in this capacity driving the modernisation agenda in one of Europe’s oldest Higher Education institutions: more than 100 degree programmes were re-conceptualised in the framework of the Bologna Process, new learning management tools and organisational structures were introduced, and a coherent institutional internationalisation strategy and a language centre were established. Moreover, between 2004 and 2007 he was President of the UNICA Network of Universities in Capital Cities of Europe. In 2012 Arthur Mettinger was elected Rector of FH Campus Wien University of Applied Sciences. Over the past 20 years he has been involved in many projects on the European level concerning curriculum development (including JD and Erasmus Mundus), ECTS and ECVET, and the training of HE reform and Bologna experts. In Austria he has been instrumental in the reform of teacher education. In 2015 Arthur Mettinger contracted complete paraplegia, had to undergo hospital treatment and to take leave of absence from his duties as rector. Currently, he is fighting his way back into academic leadership, serving as Chief Liaison for Academic Cooperation at FH Campus Wien UAS

Gábor Bojár

Gábor Bojár (67) was one of the very few entrepreneurs of Central-Eastern Europe to succeed in global business already in the years of state-socialism. With a degree in physics, obtained at the Eötvös Loránd University in 1973, he founded his own software development firm in 1982. Graphisoft grew rapidly, listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange in 1998, and by today became the top software vendor of the sector globally. Claiming the most prestigious awards of the trade, Graphisoft’s leading product, ArchiCAD® is used by hundreds of thousands of architects all over the world.

In 1996, Mr. Bojár founded a real-estate development company to re-cultivate a run down industrial site on the bank of the river Danube and to turn it into a state-of-the art science park, accommodating the research units of corporations including Microsoft, SAP, Apple Servier and others, becoming Budapest’s prime revitalization project and the recipient of several awards and recognitions. In 2007 Mr Bojár established a highly competitive school of information technology for an international student body pursuing under- and postgraduate degrees. Aquincum Institute of Technology is meant to be an example of social entrepreneurship demonstrating the viability of a self-sustaining investment in higher education.

Mr. Bojár was distinguished by numerous national and international awards for scientific and business excellence, including Szechenyi Prize (1997), Order of Merit (2002) and Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year in 2006, and an invited speaker of several prestigious events including the Davos World Economic Forum. Besides his other posts in the boards of various organizations, including EFER, and he is a member of the Governing Board of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology.

Bernd Kortmann

Bernd Kortmann is Full Professor of English Language and Linguistics at the University of Freiburg, Germany, and since October 2013 Executive Director of FRIAS, the Freiburg Institute for Advanced Studies.  He served as Dean of the Philological Faculty from 1997 to 1999 and 2010 to 2014, and has been the Chairman of the Board of the Language Teaching Centre ever since its foundation in 2003. Since 2012 he has been a member of the selection panel of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation Fellowships. In the field of English linguistics, Bernd Kortmann has widely and extensively published and is, among other things, the editor of a topranked international journal and two international book series. He holds an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Eastern Finland and is an elected member of the Academia Europaea.

Eva Werner

Eva Werner, who holds a degree from the University of Vienna in languages, studied also in France and Canada, is Rector of the IMC University of Applied Sciences Krems. In this capacity, she is responsible for the development as well as the quality assurance of the degree programs offered at the IMC Krems. She is furthermore, among others,  a member of the Steering Board of the Association of the Universities of Applied Sciences Austria, a member of several working groups of the Austrian University Conference, a member of the Board of Directors and the assessment group of Tourism and Hospitality Education (Center of Excellence, Australia), international expert in the ECA project Certificate for Quality in Internationalization (CeQuInt), chair of  the International Committee of the Association of Austrian Universities of Applied Sciences, as well as peer in international accreditation and certification procedures. Eva Werner was an Austrian Bologna Expert and also actively contributed to the implementation of the Bologna process in other countries. She is regarded as an expert in curriculum development, quality assurance  and the development of internationalization.

Outi Snellman

Outi Snellman, Vice-president, Organization, University of the Arctic and Director of International Relations, University of Lapland, Finland. Outi Snellman has been working on International Education and the development of cooperation in higher education in the Circumpolar Region for the past 30 years in her capacity as Educational Advisor in the Finnish Fulbright office (1987-1990), the Director of International Relations at the University of Lapland (1990- ) and Secretary General for the Circumpolar Universities Association (1992-1998) as well as Vice-President Organization of the University of the Arctic.  Among many northern projects, she was the European leader of the first circumpolar student mobility program, the North Consortium, funded by EU, as early as 1994-1997. As Secretary General of CUA she led the feasibility study for the University of the Arctic and has been the head of the UArctic International Secretariat since its establishment. In the recent years she has been highly active in enhancing higher education collaboration between the circumpolar north and non-Arctic countries like China, Korea and Japan as well as different central European countries in the context of UArctic’s Thematic Networks. As a part of her interest in Arctic cooperation, she has engaged in regional organizations like the Winter Cities Association and the Northern Forum

Katalin Erdős

Katalin Erdős is Research Fellow at the MTA-PTE Innovation and Economic Growth Research Group and Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Business and Economics of the University of Pécs. Her research focuses on the role of universities in regional social and economic development. She tries to explore various aspects of the entrepreneurial turn of universities, ranging from entrepreneurial education to spin-offs. Also her dissertation and many recent international publications dealt with the latter topic. She was a visiting researcher at outstanding institutions like University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, London School of Economics and Bocconi University. She was involved in many projects related to regional development and academic entrepreneurship. She also serves as a mentor at the Simonyi Business and Economic Development Center. Her teaching courses range from BA to PhD level and include subjects related to innovation and technological change, environmental economics, introduction to economics and microeconomics. She is a member of the Triple-Helix Association, the Hungarian Regional Science Association, and of the Working Committee for Spatial- and Settlement Sciences of the Pécs Academic Committee of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. 

Andrea Hofer

Andrea-Rosalinde HOFER, German national, has been working for the OECD since 2004 in the Trento Centre for Local Development of the LEED programme. Andrea manages several initiatives on promoting entrepreneurship through the formal education system. Part of this is HEInnovate (, a joint initiative with the European Commission (DG Education and Culture) to promote innovation in higher education across Europe through institutional development around teaching and learning, knowledge exchange and entrepreneurship. She holds Master degrees in agricultural engineering, political science, and a PhD on the role of external knowledge providers in the innovation processes of entrepreneurial firms.

Daniel Barcza

Associate professor, Vice-Rector of Strategy Daniel Barcza is an associate professor, designer and sustainability consultant, currently the Vice-Rector of Strategy at Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design Budapest, Hungary (MOME). He is in charge of the planning process and development program of the university’s new Creative Innovation Center and Technology Park and other new academic facilities. As a member of MOME Laboratory, the university’s strategic think-thank group, he helps envisions the future models of cutting edge creative education and design research and innovation activities at MOME. Daniel is also a co-founder of MOME EcoLab, a sustainability research group and the Cloud Factory social design field lab that operates in remote Hungarian villages collaborating with local communities living in extreme poverty. In 2015 Daniel was the recipient of the prestigious Otto Herman Innovation Award of the Hungarian Government

Sung Lee

Dr. Sung Lee has worked for the UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning since 01 July 2016. He had worked as a president of GyungGi-Do Provincial Institute for Lifelong Learning in Korea from January 2012 to December 2015. He also served as a chairperson of Korea Association of Provincial Lifelong Learning Institute from 2012 to 2015. He was a chairperson of Korean Academy of Action Learning from 2012 to 2014. Then he sevrved as a chairperson of Korean Action Learning Association. He worked for KRIVET (Korea Research Institute for Vocational Education and Training) for 4 years as a research fellow and worked as an educational policy advisor for the governor of GyungGi-Do province in Korea from 2010 to 2012. He used to work for Korean Presidential Commission on People-Centered Competitiveness Initiatives for 1one and half year.s He also worked for HRD (Human Resources Development) center of posco (posco has been ranked as a number one steel and iron making company in the world for several years). He received his Ph. D. in education from the University of Missouri-Columbia in 1998 and Bachelor and Master degree from Seoul National University in Korea.

Irina Ferencz

Irina Ferencz is Deputy Director at the Brussels-based Academic Cooperation Association (ACA), a mainly European umbrella organisation, which brings together national-level agencies from many European countries that act as higher education internationalisation vectors in and for the respective higher education systems. Irina’s 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 via indicators and the internationalisation of the curriculum. Irina holds a Bachelor (License) in International Relations and European Studies of Babes-Bolyai University in Cluj-Napoca, Romania and a Master in European Politics and Policies (magna cum laude) of the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven. Irina speaks Romanian (mother tongue), English, French, Italian and some German. She also reads Spanish and is learning ‘Larish’, a language of the under-two-year-olds.

Marija Mitić

Marija Mitić is Project Officer at ACA. She began her work at ACA as a trainee in March 2014 and then joined the team in her current position. She has since been responsible for several ACA projects and European Policy Seminars. Before joining ACA, Marija was a trainee at the European Commission, in the International Cooperation and Programmes Unit of DG EAC. While still in her native country, Serbia, Marija worked as an intercultural trainer and language teacher, and worked briefly for the national government. She has international experience in youth leadership and adult learning. Marija has a BA degree in English studies and an (Erasmus Mundus) MA in Lifelong Learning Policy and Management as well as training in intercultural youth leadership (Pestalozzi Children’s Foundation, Switzerland).


Novotel Budapest Centrum

Rakoczi ut 43-45 
1088 Budapest – Hungary