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Bergen, 18 June 2006

Destination Europe? Players, goals and strategies in enhancing the attractiveness of European universities


A joint ACA-SIU conference

ACA organised the annual ACA conference 2006 in cooperation with its Norwegian member, the Norwegian Centre for International Cooperation in Higher Education (SIU). The two-day conference took place in scenic Bergen on 19 and 20 June 2006, with a welcome programme on 18 June. The conference was attended by over 200 participants and speakers, from all parts of the higher education world in Europe and beyond.


Sunday, 18 June 2006


Tourist Programme meeting point Blue Stone


Conference registration at SIU for those who attend the reception  


Reception at SIU 

Monday 19 June 2006


Registrations and Coffee


Short welcome addresses
Knut Brautaset, SIU Chairman, Norway,
Peter Scott, ACA President, UK,
Sigmund Grønmo, Rector of the University of Bergen, Norway


Keynote speech
Alan Smith, European Commission, Belgium


Plenary Session: Setting the scene

Putting Europe on the map: Europe’s share of international students
Bernd Wächter, ACA, Belgium

Perceptions of Europe and its higher education in non-European countries
Franziska Muche, ACA, Belgium


Coffee Break


Plenary session
Emerging knowledge economies: from sending countries to competitors
Chair: Rolf Hoffmann, German-American Fulbright Commission, Germany

From sending countries to competitors: Asia’s rising stars
Neil Kemp, former Director of Education UK at the British Council, UK

More universities, world-class universities: China’s ambitious targets
Robert van KanNuffic, The Netherlands




Plenary session
Europe and the South: ways towards a meaningful relationship
Chair: Gunn Mangerud, SIU, Norway

No one-way street? Ways towards a mutually beneficial relationship
Piyushi Kotecha, Higher Education South Africa

Description: Centre of Excellence, location: Africa
Onesmo Ole-MoiYoi, ICIPE, Kenya 


Coffee break


Round Table Discussion and end of day oneDestination Europe, true potential or empty visions? Expectations versus reality
Chair: Ulrich Teichler, International Centre for Higher Education Research Kassel (INCHER-Kassel), GermanyPanelists: Ulf Lie, SIU, Norway,
Alan Smith, European Commission, Belgium,
Daithí Mac Síthigh, ESIB
Onesmo Ole-Moiyoi, ICIPE, Nairobi                     
Tuesday 20 June 2006


9:00 Plenary session
Positioning European universities: diversification and marketing
Chair: Christian Müller, DAAD, GermanyStrategies to position European universities in a global context: a bird’s eye view
Rolf Hoffmann, German-American Fulbright Commission, GermanyLessons from an Australian experience: what does (not) work for European universities
Robert Coelen, Leiden University, The NetherlandsRegional Europe in a global context: the case of the Nordic countries
Gard Titlestad, Nordic Council of Ministers
10:30 Coffee break
11:00 Parallel sessions
Positioning European universities: diversification and marketingMarketing European higher education: from national initiatives to the first European education fairs
Chair: Franziska Muche, ACA Belgium
Christian Müller, DAAD, Germany
Niklas Tranaeus, Swedish Institute, SwedenOffshore delivery, an option for Europe?
Chair: Neil Kemp, former Director of Education UK at the British Council, UK
Suzanne Alexander, Leicester University, UK
Christian Thimme, DAAD, GermanyForms of strategic cooperation – Erasmus Mundus and other partnership models
Chair: Jeanine Hermans, University of Maastricht, The Netherlands
Erik Forsberg, Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden and Zhejiang University, China
Bernt Lindtjørn, Centre for International Health (CIH), University of Bergen, NorwayStudent services and infrastructure – substance versus attractiveness rhetoric
Chair: Maria Kelo, ACA, Belgium
Daithí Mac Síthigh, ESIB 
13:00 Lunch  
14:00 Final Plenary Session; Debate
Europe’s internal agenda and the global context
Chair: Bernd Wächter, ACA, BelgiumPeter Scott, ACA President, UK
Ulrich Teichler, International Centre for Higher Education Research Kassel (INCHER-Kassel)
15:00 Wrap-up and closure: Bernd Wächter, ACA Director and Ulf Lie, SIU, Norway


Suzanne Alexander

Suzanne Alexander took up the post of Director of the International Office at the University of Leicester in March 2005. From 2001-2005 she was Director Promotions at the British Council, where she was responsible for providing strategic guidance and professional support for the promotion of the UK as a study destination for international students, and services to support UK education institutions in their international marketing and recruitment activities. In this role she built on experience gained in a career of more than twenty years in higher education management and education marketing, both in the UK and internationally, at the Universities of Warwick (where she held various administrative posts and latterly that of Administrative Director of the Distance Learning MBA programme at Warwick Business School) and Birmingham, where she was Director of the International Office and Director, Marketing Services.

Gerd Bjørhovde

Gerd Bjørhovde is a representative of the University of the Arctic (UArctic) network. UArctic is a cooperative network of universities, colleges, and other organizations committed to higher education and research in the North. Its members share resources, facilities, and expertise to build post-secondary education programmes that are relevant and accessible to northern students, with the aim to create a strong, sustainable circumpolar region by empowering northerners and northern communities through education and shared knowledge. Currently UArctic has about 100 members throughout the Circumpolar North, and a total of ten offices.

Gerd Bjørhovde is Pro-Rector of the University of Tromsø and professor of English literature. Her main fields of research include history of the novel, women writers and feminist perspectives on literature, and postcolonial studies. She has lectured in several Nordic universities as well as in the UK, the US and Canada. Since 2004, she is the Vice-Chair of the board of the Norwegian Center for Advanced Study. Gerd has also been active in committees and associations related to English studies, literature, and gender studies. She is the current Chair of the Tromsø International Film Festival and a Board member of the Tromsø Symphony Orchestra.

Knut Brautaset

Knut Brautaset is the Board Chairperson of The Norwegian Centre for International Cooperation in Higher Education (SIU). He is a professor at Agder University College, where he served as rector from 1994 to 2000.

Professor Brautaset’s academic field is mechanical engineering specialising in servo mechanisms and oil hydraulics. He worked in industrial research with the Sperry Rand Corporation in the US before going into higher education in Norway.

Professor Brautaset has served on several boards and committees on higher education in Norway. He has been a member of The Executive Board of The Research Council of Norway and was a member of The Norwegian Government’s Committee on Higher Education which presented its final report in 2000. The report was the forerunner of what – after a political process – has become “The Quality Reform” in Norwegian higher education.

Robert Coelen

Robert J. Coelen is Vice President International at Leiden University in The Netherlands. He holds a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree from the University of La Trobe, a PhD from the University of Western Australia and a Graduate Certificate in Education from James Cook University. Robert’s research revolved around the molecular evolution of mosquito-transmitted viruses. He is an accomplished author and was an editor of the World Journal of Microbiology and Biotechnology.

Before he took up his position at Leiden University in 2004, he spent all in all 30 years in Australia as a foreign student, researcher, and educator in microbiology. In the last decade of his time in Australia he was International Director at James Cook University and at the University of Queensland. At James Cook University, a regional university in Australia, he developed an international office from scratch and grew the international student population from 350 to about 1200 students with a profile distinctly more divergent than the average for Australia, with much less dependence on Asian students. At the University of Queensland he was responsible for an operation with 55 staff that managed the enrolment of about 6000 international students.

Erik Forsberg

Erik Forsberg obtained his M.Sc. degree in engineering physics and Ph.D. degree in photonics in 1996 and 2003 respectively, both from the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) in Stockholm, Sweden. His research has covered a wide range of topics such as optical networking, biophotonics, quantum optics, and nanoelectronics. During 2000 he was a visiting scientist at Hokkaido University, Japan. He was a post-doctoral fellow at KTH in 2003 and at Zhejiang University (ZJU), China during 2004 and 2005. Since 2006 he is an Associate Professor at ZJU where he besides research also teaches Communications Theory. In addition he is the coordinator for the Joint Research Center of Photonics which acts as a center of excellence of both its parent universities (KTH and ZJU), a position he has held since the center’s formation in 2003. Present research interests include plasmonics, photonic crystals, coherent light – matter interactions and reversible computing.

Sigmund Grønmo

Sigmund has been the Rector of the University of Bergen since August 2005, where he is Professor of Sociology. He has been Visiting Professor in Canada (Dalhousie University), in the USA (Illinois State University and University of California, Berkeley), and in Australia (University of Queensland).

He chaired the University Research Committee, the Council for Information, the Council for the First Semester Studies, and the Committee for Academic Profile and Quality at the University of Bergen.

Furthermore, he has presided over the Research Committee of the Norwegian University Council, and the board of NIFU STEP (Studies in Innovation, Research and Education). He has been vice chair of the board for the Culture and Society Division of the Research Council of Norway, member of the board of The Norwegian Agency for Quality Assurance in Education (NOKUT), and member of the board of the Norwegian Association of Higher Education Institutions (UHR). He was a member of the Nordic Science Policy Council, and member of the Research Working Group of the European University Association.

Jeanine Hermans

Jeanine Hermans currently is employed as director of Communication at Maastricht University, The Netherlands. She is responsible for all communication and marketing of the university and spokesperson for the Executive Board.

After a period as Secretary General of UNICA, the International Association of Universities of the Capitals from Europe, located in Brussels, Belgium, she returned to the Netherlands in January 2000, taking up a pioneer position as head of Marketing and Education at Wageningen University and Research Center. In 2005 she accepted her current position at Maastricht University.

In 1997-1998 she initiated and co-developed several successful EAIE courses, “Advising International Students”, “Making international education work .. “ and “Turning ambitions to results .. .” Jeanine often is invited to speak on the issue of intercultural communication among others by European Universities, non governmental organizations and business across the globe.
She is the author of “The X factor, Internationalisation with a small ‘c’” and co-author of “Culture Matters”.

Rolf Hoffmann

Rolf Hoffmann is Executive Director of the German-American Fulbright Commission in Berlin. He has been in this position since 2004.

Born in Cologne, Germany, Rolf Hoffmann studied biological sciences at Duke University, Durham, North Carolina, USA, and the University of Tübingen in Germany where he was awarded a doctoral degree in 1983. After two years as an assistant professor in zoology at the University of Karlsruhe he joined the policy division of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation in Bonn and later became Deputy Director of their selection division and the Feodor-Lynen Program. In 1990, he joined the newly created German Space Agency (DARA) as head of the international science and business relations policy office. Since 1991 he worked mainly for the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) in Bonn, first as Programme Director (for North American and European programs), then as Director of the DAAD North America office in New York, with an interim (1999-2000) as Director of the German-American Academic Council in Bonn and Washington, D.C.

In 2001, Rolf Hoffmann was appointed Director of DAAD’s new International Marketing Initiative, which combines GATE-Germany (the German Higher Education Institution’s marketing consortium) and the official Secretariat of the German Government’s Joint Initiative for the International Promotion of Study and Research in Germany.

Maria Kelo

Maria Kelo is Senior Officer at the Academic Cooperation Association (ACA). Working closely with the ACA Director, her responsibilities include the acquisition, development and implementation of ACA projects, the organisation of ACA Conferences and Seminars, as well as ACA’s public relations and information activities. She is the co-author of “Brain Drain and Brain Gain – migration in the European Union after Enlargement” (Kelo and Wächter, 2004), “The Admission of International Students into Higher Education” (Muche, Kelo and Wächter, 2004) as well as of the recently published “EURODATA – Student mobility in European higher education” (Kelo, Teichler, Wächter). She is currently coordinating a study on support and pathways for international students in higher education.

Before her appointment at ACA she worked as a researcher for Eurydice, the Information Network on Education in Europe. She has also worked as an intern at the DG for Education and Culture of the European Commission. There she worked especially on the development of the new Community programmes in the field of education. Maria has a BA in Modern European Studies from the University College London, and an MSc in Philosophy, Policy, and Social Value from the London School of Economics. She has also studied at the Scuola Normale di Pisa, Italy.

Neil Kemp

Neil Kemp has contributed to a wide range of education and training projects in over 20 countries. He has lived and worked in South and East Asia for 20 years, including eight years each in Indonesia and India. His career has involved several posts in the British Council: Country Director in Sri Lanka and Indonesia and in the UK as, Director of Science and Technology, Development Services, Education Services and Education UK Marketing.

For the last 12 months he has been managing his own international education consultancy and his clients include several UK universities, the UK’s Department for Education and Skills and Home Office, the British Council, Education Ireland, Kaplan International etc. His current professional interests concern the internationalisation of education, the role of the independent sector in higher education, particularly in developing countries, and international student mobility.

He has a number of part-time posts, including at the Institute of Education, University of London; as Adviser to the UK-India Education and Research Initiative; and Board Member for the Association of Independent Higher Education Providers in the UK. Over recent years he has been a member of the UK government’s Education and Training Export Group, the Higher Level Steering Group for the Prime Minister’s Initiative on International Students, the Education UK Board and the UK New Route PhD Committee. He is also a Trustee of the Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex, a Director of Open University Worldwide, and a member of the International Boards at the University of Westminster and Sussex Downs College.

Piyushi Kotecha

Piyushi Kotecha is the former interim CEO of Higher Education South Africa, HESA. HESA was formed following the coming together of the representative organisations for universities and universities of technology, the South African Universities Vice-Chancellors Association (SAUVCA) and the Committee of Technikon Principals (CTP) respectively. Previously she was the CEO of SAUVCA. Following her appointment in 1998 as the CEO of SAUVCA, she transformed the institution, making it a key participant in developing higher education policy perspectives, policy analysis and research. Over the past seven years, SAUVCA had increasingly acted as a vibrant hub that established partnerships between higher education and related stakeholders. She represented and promoted the interests of HESA in a number of national and international organisations, committees and working groups.

She takes up varied functions on the following boards or committees: Alternate member (Africa region) of the Administrative Board of the International Association of Universities; A member of the Working Group on Higher Education (WGHE) of the Association for the Development of Education in Africa (ADEA).

She has also served on the following boards or committees: Board director of the Tertiary Education Network (TENET); A member of the Committee of Heads of Organisations of Research and Technology (COHORT); A member of the South African National Research Network Steering Committee; A member of Board of Advisors for UNITECH; Executive: Southern African Regional Universities Association – SARUA.

She was previously national director of the SA Association for Academic Development and a director of the engineering academic development programmes at WITS University. She obtained her MA in Education from the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa.

Ulf Lie

Ulf Lie is Senior Advisor at Norway’s Centre for International University Cooperation (SIU) in Bergen. He created this organisation and has been its Director until the summer of 2004.

Earlier on, he was the Director of the Bergen Student Welfare Organisation and the Chairman the Norwegian Student Welfare Organisations. In a different career, he was a Professor of American Literature at Bergen University, and a Vice-Dean. He held a research fellowship from ACLS to SUNY at Buffalo and published books and articles on poetry, art and literature, discourse analysis and language competence in industry. His recent publications focus on internationalisation, commercialisation, and globalisation of higher education. Ulf Lie also has a distinguished track record in educational development cooperation, in which field he championed many successful projects.

He recently received the Constance Meldrum Award for Vision and Leadership from the European Association for International Education.

Bernt Lindtjørn

Bernt is the Director of the Centre for International Health at the University of Bergen. He has been affiliated to this institution since 1987, first as a researcher, later as a Professor. Earlier, he was the Interim Executive Director of the European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership. He has been active in health work in Ethiopia for more than 12 years. Furthermore, he works at the Haukeland University Hospital.

He is the Norwegian coordinator for the Erasmus Mundus programme “Erasmus Mundus European Masters in Science in International Health”. He gives guest lectures at various universities in Africa. He is a board member in diverse international organisations, like, a. o., the European Malaria Vaccine Initiative, tropEd, a network of European institutions for higher education in international health and he has been the Norwegian representative in the World Health Organisation for years. He has published in several medical journals.

Daithí Mac Síthigh

Daithí Mac Síthigh (LLB) is a PhD student in Trinity College Dublin, where he is currently researching the control of cross-border flows of media and information. He graduated there in 2004 with a law degree. He has served as a member of the Irish Higher Education Training and Awards Council, the Irish Higher Education Quality Network, and the national advisory group on Equity of Access to Higher Education. He also studied at Osgoode Hall Law School in Canada and is currently also affiliated with the Open University in the UK.

Having been a full-time student representative locally and nationally, he is now a member of the Bologna Process Committee of ESIB. Daithí is a member of the Bologna Follow-Up Working Group on the ‘External Dimension’ of European HE, and will speak at the seminar organized by the Holy See in association with UNESCO-CEPES on this subject in March 2006.

Gunn Mangerud

Gunn Mangerud is a Natural Scientist with long experience in research and technology management. Mangerud holds a Master’s degree in biology from the University in Trondheim and a PhD in geology from the University in Bergen. She also has a teacher education from Agder University College.

Before joining SIU, Mangerud held a position in Norsk Hydro’s Research and Technology Management where part of the work area was to develop the company’s total Research and Development strategy as well as keeping contact with academic institutions around the world. In cooperation with the University in Bergen Mangerud has supervised students and done teaching. Her own research both in SINTEF, Trondheim and later in Norsk Hy-dro’s Research Centre has been related to geology and exploration in the Artic Region as well as in the North Sea area. She has also held various positions managing research groups. Mangerud has performed field work in various parts of the world and has been a member of several boards including editorial, research and professional boards. As SIUs director is Mangerud responsible for the daily operations and development of the centre.

Franziska Muche

Franziska Muche is Senior Officer at the Academic Cooperation Association (ACA). In this capacity, which she has held since 2003, she is responsible for the acquisition, development, and implementation of ACA projects, as well as the organization of ACA conferences and seminars. She coordinated the ACA study on the perception of European higher education in third countries carried out in 2004/2005, which will be presented at this conference. Franziska Muche is also the main author of a publication on the admission of international students into higher education and the editor of a book on the external dimension of the Bologna Process, both published in the ACA Papers on International Cooperation in Education.

Franziska Muche studied International Business and Cultural Studies in Passau, London, and Granada. Before her appointment at ACA, she had been trained at the European Commission, at the Unit for Higher Education in DG Education and Culture, where she was dealing with the Bologna Process.

Christian Müller

Christian Müller is head of the Sub department “Communication and Marketing” at the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). In this function, he is responsible for the secretariat of the consortium GATE-Germany and for the secretariat of the joint initiative “International Marketing for Education and Research”. Prior to occupying this post, he worked for the DAAD in Portugal and Brazil. He also used to work in the field of adult education as well as in the training of experts in development cooperation (German Foundation for International Development).

Onesmo Ole-MoiYoi

Professor Onesmo K. ole-MoiYoi is Director of Research and Partnerships at the International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (ICIPE) in Nairobi. Between 1977-1982, ole-MoiYoi held teaching and research positions in medicine and molecular endocrinology at Harvard University. In 1981, he joined the International Laboratory for Research on Animal Diseases (now ILRI) in Nairobi, where he was Senior Scientist, Coordinator for the Biochemistry/Molecular Biology Laboratory and Project Leader in Pathophysiology and Genetics. The biochemistry and molecular biology of African trypanosomes and Theileria parva, a unique protozoan parasite that transforms mammalian lymphocytes into a leukemia-like state, were the areas of study.

He is now the Director of Research and Partnerships at ICIPE in Nairobi. ICIPE’s mandate is to develop appropriate, affordable, and ecologically-sustainable management technologies for important pan-tropical pests and insect disease vectors. As Director of Partnerships at ICIPE, ole-MoiYoi oversees the African Regional Program in Insect Science (ARPPIS), whose objective is to enhance scientific capacities in the tropics through high-level training and research cooperation. ARPPIS has a network of 31 university partners and has trained over 280 MSc and PhD scholars across Africa.

Deepak Pental

Prof. Deepak Pental, Vice Chancellor, University of Delhi is a distinguished Scientist in Genetics. He commenced his career as a research fellow with the University of Delhi in the year 1978 and has held many posts including Professor, Department of Genetics, University of Delhi, South Campus; Dean, faculty of Interdisciplinary and Applied Sciences, University of Delhi, South Campus; Director, Centre for geneteic manipulation of Crop Plants and Director, University of Delhi, South Campus. He is an elected member of National Academy of Agricultural Sciences, National Academy of Sciences, Indian Academy of Sciences and Indian National Science Academy.. He has been the member of the CSIR and the Editorial Board of Journal of Biosciences and Current Sciences.He was awarded Biotechnology Career Fellowship in 1986 by Rockefeller Foundation to work at Max-Planck Institute in Köln. He has coordinated two national network programmes.

John Reilly

John is Director of the UK Socrates-Erasmus Council, which is also responsible for the UK Tempus Information Office and the UK Erasmus Mundus National structure. He was Director of Academic Administration at the University of Kent and has considerable experience of U K Higher Education. John has long experience of European co-operation. He was involved in the ECTS pilot project and has been active in promoting ECTS, the Diploma Supplement and above all student mobility. He is a member of the Management Committee for the Tuning Educational structures in Europe project and a member of the stakeholder group preparing the Erasmus action for the new Lifelong Learning Programme. John is an enthusiastic and active member of the UK Team of Bologna Promoters.

Peter Scott

Peter Scott is Vice-Chancellor of Kingston University and President of the Academic Cooperation Association. Prior to this he was Pro Vice-Chancellor for External Affairs at the University of Leeds, as well as a Professor of Education and the Director of the Centre for Policy Studies in Education. Before going to Leeds in 1992, he was for sixteen years Editor of the Times Higher Education Supplement.

Peter Scott was educated at the University of Oxford and at the University of California at Berkeley. He has honorary doctorates from the University of Bath, UMIST, the (former) Council for National Academic Awards, Anglia Polytechnic University and Grand Valley State University. He is also a Member of the Academia Europea and of the Academy of Learned Societies for the Social Sciences.

His research interests are the governance and management of universities and colleges, non-standard access to higher education and the links between further and higher education. Among his publications are The Meanings of Mass Higher Education (1995), Governing Universities (1996), The Globalization of Higher Education (1998) and Higher Education Re-formed (2000), University Leadership: The Role of the Chief Executive (2000), Ten Years On: Higher Education in Central and Eastern Europe (2000) and Re-Thinking Science: Knowledge Production in an Age of Uncertainties (2001).

Alan Smith

Alan Smith is responsible for developing a strategy for the worldwide promotion of European higher education, and of Erasmus Mundus in particular, within the Unit for Tempus and Erasmus Mundus of the European Commission’s Directorate for Education and Culture. Having spent his entire career in the service of European cooperation in education, Alan is something of an “eminence grise” in this field. After studying in the UK and Germany, he held positions at the German Rectors’ Conference and the European Institute of Education and Social Policy in Paris. In 1980 he moved to Brussels to assist the European Commission in the management of its cooperation scheme in higher education and the development of the new Erasmus programme. He was director of the Erasmus Bureau for the first five years of the programme (1987-92). Alan was the founding director of the Academic Cooperation Association (ACA) in 1993-4, before joining the staff of the European Commission in 1995.
During his 11 years of service at the Commission, Alan Smith has been variously coordinator of the Socrates programme, deputy head of the Lifelong Learning Policy unit and, in an interim capacity during most of 2005, head of the unit responsible for Comenius (school education) and Grundtvig (adult education). From 2000 to 2005, he was responsible for managing the Commission’s “Grundtvig” action for general adult education, and for designing the future Grundtvig programme 2007-2013, before taking up his present position in early 2006.

Alan Smith is the author of many publications on issues concerning European and international cooperation in education, and has been awarded honorary doctorates by universities in the UK and Belgium for his contribution to this area of work.

Ulrich Teichler

Ulrich Teichler is professor at the International Centre for Higher Education Research, University of Kassel (since 1978). He was Director of the Centre for many years, and was a Vice-President of the University of Kassel (1980-82). He acted as an OECD reviewer of education policies in several countries. Next to EU and internationalisation, his research focused on admission to higher education, international academic recognition, academic staff, implementation of higher education reforms, evaluation in higher education, curricula in higher education, higher education and the world of work, education and social selection, and adult education. Professor Teichler is a member of Academia Europea and a member of the Board of the International Academy of Education. He has been the president or chair of many international research networks, e.g. the Consortium of Higher Education Researchers (CHER) and EAIR. He also received the Research Award of the Council on International Educational Exchange (1997) and the Comenius Prize of UNESCO (1998).

Christian Thimme

Christian Thimme is head of the unit for Study Programmes Abroad (Off-shore Programmes) at the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). Before he joined the DAAD in 2001, Christian Thimme worked for the European Bureau for Project Support in Bonn, where he was the coordinator of the European programme Youthstart, a strand of the European wide Employment Initiative which supports innovative projects in all EU member states. Prior to this he was a DAAD lector for German language and geography in the French university Blaise Pascal in Clermont-Ferrand. Christian Thimme studied History and Sociology as well as German as a foreign language, and he holds a PhD in German and French as a Foreign Language.

Gard Titlestad

Since February 2005, Gard Titlestad has headed the Department of Education, Research and Labour Market at the Nordic Council of Ministers. From 2001 and onwards he was the Counsellor for Research at the Mission of Norway to the EU, also heading a group of counsellors from several sectors . From 1999 he served in the European Commission, DG Information Society. Before joining the Commission, he had several positions in Norway related to management, technology and development; inter alia KITH, the Norwegian Centre for Medical Informatics, Statskonsult, the Directorate of Public Management and the Norwegian Cancer Register (Institute of population-based cancer research). Gard Titlestad is educated as physiochemist and in juridical and economic subjects.

Niklas Tranaeus

Niklas Tranaeus is a Senior Officer at the Swedish Institute (SI) in Stockholm with seven years experience in promoting academic exchange between Sweden and other countries. Niklas’ experience includes coordinating presentations of Swedish higher education at fairs, conferences and seminars, work on a strategy for coordinating Swedish universities’ marketing initiative abroad and drafting the SI’s official response to a public inquiry dealing with a new degree structure in Sweden. Niklas holds a Magisterexamen in International Relations and a Kandidatexamen in Political Science from Stockholm University.

Robert van Kan

Robert van Kan is since the 1st of June Manager of International Marketing at Nuffic in Holland. He studied Contemporary History and Chinese Studies at Nijmegen University and Leiden University in the Netherlands and Beijing Normal University in China between 1984 and 1991. Between 1991 and 2001, he worked at the Royal Netherlands Embassy in Beijing where he was responsible for cultural and educational affairs. In 2001, he became the first Managing Director of the Netherlands Education Support Office (Neso) Beijing. Neso Beijing is the representative office of Nuffic in China. It provides information about Dutch higher education and study opportunities in the Netherlands, promotes institutional cooperation and exchange and facilitates access for Dutch education institutions to the Chinese education market. Robert van Kan is the author of the 2005 China Country Profile written in the context of ACA’s study on perceptions on European higher education in thrid countries.

Bernd Wächter

Bernd Wächter is the chief executive officer (Director) of the Academic Cooperation Association (ACA). In this capacity, which he has held since 1998, he bears overall responsibility for the implementation of all ACA policy. Earlier on (1995 – 1997), he was the Head of the Erasmus Department in the then Socrates and Youth TAO, which implemented the centralised parts of the Erasmus Programme on behalf of the European Commission. Between 1992 and 1995, he headed the German national agency for the Erasmus Programme inside the DAAD, which also had important national information functions for the COMETT, LINGUA and TEMPUS schemes. His experience with internationalisation also relates to the institutional level, through his functions as head of the international office of the Fachhochschule Darmstadt, and as a departmental coordinator of international relations at the Gesamthochschule Kassel. He has also worked for the British Council.

Bernd Wächter has published and lectured widely on issues of Europeanisation and internationalisation of higher education. He is the editor of the ACA Papers on International Cooperation in Education.


University of Bergen


Norwegian Centre for International Cooperation in Higher Education (SIU)