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Brussels, 13 October 2016

ACA European Policy Seminar - Crisis management in international higher education


International cooperation in education or any other field, in all its beauty, was never without its perils. Crises of different kinds and magnitudes are part and parcel of moving globally and out of one’s own yard. Despite decades of dynamic international activity of Europe’s higher education institutions (HEIs), there seems to be a recently renewed need for discussion and exchange of information about crisis management in higher education. HEIs are looking for the right approaches in dealing with crisis situations, in an attempt to move beyond immediate, ad hoc responses towards a more strategic approach at the institutional level. 

For this reason, this ACA seminar provides a forum for the much needed debate on this dark aspect of internationalisation in higher education – potential risks and the level of contingency involved in international activities of HEIs. Individual tragedies, natural disasters and health hazards, political turmoil and accidents, to name but few of the ugly faces of crisis, remind us that going international demands preparedness, responsibility and good division of labour at the higher education institution. 

ACA European Policy Seminars are platforms for European and global discussions. This seminar is no exception. Our speakers from different parts of Europe and from the US bring along extensive international experience, relevant expertise and sound presentations. A mix of plenary sessions and workshops, the event will offer the opportunity to listen to valuable first-hand experiences as well as to engage in practical activities. 


12 October 2016

18:00 Guided tour of Brussels 

19:30 Seminar dinner

13 October 2016

9:00 – 9:15

Welcome and introduction by the ACA Secretariat

9:15 – 10:00

Opening keynote – Crisis management, what is international about it?

Robert Coelen, Professor of Internationalisation of Higher Education, Stenden University of Applied Sciences, The Netherlands

10:00 – 11:00

Dealing with the shock and its aftermath 

Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB)

Nicolas Dassonville, Spokesman and Deputy Head of the Communication Office, ULB, Belgium

Pierre Quertenmont, Head of International Office, ULB, Belgium

University of Barcelona (UB)

Maria Callejón, Vice-rector for International Policy, UB, Spain

11:00 – 11:30

Coffee break

11:30 – 13:00

Parallel sessions: Strategy and communication – round 1

Discussion session – Safety concerns and preparedness

Erin Wolf, International Risk and Insurance Analyst, University of Texas System, USA  

Workshop – Crisis management plan – Whys & Hows

Karin Granevi, Director of the International Office, Stockholm University, Sweden




Parallel sessions: Strategy and communication – round 2

Discussion session – Safety concerns and preparedness

Erin Wolf, International Risk and Insurance Analyst, University of Texas System, USA 

Workshop – Crisis management plan – Whys & Hows

Karin Granevi, Director of the International Office, Stockholm University, Sweden


Coffee break


Closing panel

Mohammad Salman, Head of the ‘Welcome Student-refugees Programme’ , Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB), Belgiu

Erin Wolf, International Risk and Insurance Analyst, University of Texas System, US

Prof. Bernard Ribémont, Professor, ex-Vice President for international relations, University of Orléans, France 





Robert Coelen

Robert is currently Professor of Internationalisation of Higher Education at Stenden University of Applied Sciences. Prior to this he spent about 20 years as a university executive in Australia and the Netherlands concerned with internationalisation at James Cook University, The University of Queensland, Leiden University, and at Stenden University of Applied Sciences.He was a member of the EAIE Executive Board and Editorial Committee. He is a member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Studies in International Education. He was the Founding President of EuroScholars, an initiative of 12 continental LERU universities. He was the Chairman of the Leiden University Global Ranking Symposia.
Robert speaks and writes regularly on internationalisation of education in the national and international arenas.His particular focus is on the evidence-based establishment of learning lines in internationalisation that extend from primary education through to higher education to ensure our graduates are maximally prepared for the globalised work and living environment. The connection of internationalisation in higher education with the workplace is a current focus.

Nicolas Dassonville

Nicolas Dassonville is Deputy Head of the Communication Office and Spokesman for the Université libre de Bruxelles. He coordinates the institutional communication strategy, counsels the university’s authorities, answers to the media and is in charge of the crisis situations management for the university.
Prior to this, he has been working as a Spokesman and Counselor for the Mayor of Brussels, worked closely with the Brussels Police Department and managed numerous crisis situations. Nicolas graduated from political sciences and economical sciences at the Université libre de Bruxelles.

Pierre Quertenmont

Pierre Quertenmont has been Head of the Université libre de Bruxelles’ (ULB) International Office since 2007. He served as International Relations Officer in the same office from 2001 to 2007. Prior to that, he was Scientific Officer in the ULB’s technology transfer office.
He has been invited as guest speaker and moderator in several conferences and seminars related to the internationalization of higher education.In addition, he has been acting as an expert for the International Association of Universities (IAU), ISAS (Internationalization Strategies Advisory Service), since 2013.
Pierre Quertenmont holds a Ph.D. in Biochemistry, a Master in Chemistry and a Master in Environmental Management. He is an alumnus of the Fulbright program for international educators, USA (2004).

Maria Callejon

Professor Maria Callejon is full Professor of Economics at the University of Barcelona (UB), and Vice-rector for International Policy since 2014 at the University of Barcelona.
Professor Callejon academic fields in teaching and research are: theory of economic policy, industrial policy, technology and innovation policy, business demography. She is the author of more than 60 articles and books mainly in industrial economics, agglomeration economics, entrepreneurship economics, and innovation policy, She has been involved as principal researcher or team-member in several research projects funded by competitive grants from the EU, Spanish Government, and other funding international organizations.
Professor Callejon has been visiting scholar at Berkeley University, Johns Hopkins University, University of Milwaukee, and Harvard University.
In the period 2004-2008 she was General Director of Small and Medium Enterprises Policy at the Spanish Ministry of Industry, and President of the Board of three Spanish public enterprises in charge of innovation policy programs.

Erin Wolf

Erin Wolf is the International Risk & Insurance Analyst at The University of Texas System, where she works closely with each of the 14 University of Texas institutions to develop and coordinate comprehensive System-wide policies, procedures, risk assessments, and best practices for faculty, staff, and student international travel. Her focus is site assessment, high risk travel analysis, emergency preparedness, and crisis management (UT System conducts roughly 17,000 international trips to over 150 countries around the world each year).  Prior to her role at UT System, Erin was the International Risk Analyst at The University of Texas at Austin, where she was the 24/7 first responder and crisis manager for all international emergencies involving students.
Erin has an M.A. in Interpersonal Communication from The University of Texas at Austin, and a B.A. in Speech Communication from Stephen F. Austin State University.  She served as a US Peace Corps Volunteer in Zambia from 2006-2009.  She is an active member of The Forum on Education Abroad, University Risk Management & Insurance Association (URMIA), Pulse: Higher Education International Health and Safety Professionals, the US Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC), and the OSAC Academia Working Group.

Karin Granevi

Mrs. Karin Granevi is Director of the International Office, Head of the Section for Student Support, Study and Career counselling and International Mobility, as well as Deputy Head of the Student Services department at Stockholm University.She has a M.Sc. in Political Science from Linköping University, Sweden. After finishing her university studies she worked as an administrator in the European Commission, in the Directorate General for Economic and Financial Affairs (DG ECFIN), in Brussels, Belgium.
When returning to Sweden, Mrs. Granevi worked for a long period at the International Program Office for Education and Training (a Swedish government agency now named The Swedish Council for Higher Education). It is the national agency for programmes funded by the European Commission, the Nordic Council of Ministers and the Swedish state and it promotes international academic exchanges and cooperation. During that time she initially worked first as an officer for the Erasmus Program and subsequently as head of the Higher Education Unit. Before coming to Stockholm University she worked for the Government Offices of Sweden with preparations for the Swedish Chairmanship of the European Union in 2009.
In her current position she has operational and personnel responsibility for three areas within the Student Services Department and as Director of the International Office the responsibility for international cooperation and mobility within education on a university-wide level.

Mohammad Salman

Dr. Mohammad Salman, Ph.D. in Political Science, is a doctoral researcher at the Department of Political Science, Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB). He is head of academic programme at VUB which helps refugee students. This programme is called ‘Welcome Student-refugees Programme’ that aims to put highly educated refugees on the fast track to a better future.
He has been invited as guest speaker and moderator in several conferences and seminars to discuss the role of public authorities in easing access to higher education to refugee students and staff and how universities can organize themselves on the ground.

Bernard Ribémont

Born in 1954 : After studies in Mathematics (and in parallel Fine Arts) ending with a PhD (numerical Analysis of PDE) in 1973, Bernard Ribémont worked as Engineer in Computer Sciences for Hewlett Packard Company. He got his first position in 1980 at the Faculty of Sciences of Orléans. He began new studies in Humanities in 1985 and had his first position at the Faculty for Humanities as ‘Maître de Conférences’ in History of Medieval Literature in 1991, professor in 2000. He assumed several charges : Chairman of the French Literature Department during 7 years, director of the lab META 2 years, founder and director of the research team POLEN. He is also the founder of the Cahiers de Recherches Médiévales et Humanistes. A Journal for Medieval and Humanistic Studies (1995) that he managed till 2012. He assumed the charge of Vice-Président of the University of Orléans (International Relations) from 2012 to 2016. He is the director of several Collections devoted to the Medieval Culture (Classiques Garnier, Honoré Champion, Klincksieck). He published more than 150 articles in specialized Reviews, wrote and directed 36 books, organized 27 international colloquiums and taught in many Universities all around the world (Spain, Italy, USA, England, Germany, Poland, Netherlands, Finland, China, Japan).


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