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Brussels, 13 December 2013

For mutual gain: Euro-African cooperation in higher education


For decades, Africa has been viewed as the ‘problem child’ of this world. Higher education in Africa was no exception to this rule. It was perceived as under-resourced and, more important, seriously under-achieving. Not that the major challenges have disappeared overnight. But recent years have witnessed important change, at least in part of the vast continent’s higher education systems and institutions. This is one of the many good reasons to take a fresh and unbiased look, and to re-evaluate African higher education. This is exactly what the seminar For mutual gain: Euro-African cooperation in higher education is intended to do. 

No. 40 in the ACA European Policy Seminar series, this event is special. It is co-organised by the European University Association (EUA), the European Association for International Education (EAIE) and the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). Together, the four organisations have created a rich and multi-faceted programme, with three main thematic orientations: 

•    Recent overall trends and developments in African higher education;
•    Internationalisation in African higher education; and 
•    Cooperation in higher education between Africa and Europe. 

The seminar features as speakers some of the finest specialist on African higher education and on Euro-Africa collaboration. We are proud to announce presenters from the World Bank, the European Commission, and from universities across Europe. Moreover, we are especially proud that half of the speakers at this seminar are African academics. Thus, you will receive information and analysis from the “original source”.


Thursday 12 December



Seminar dinner


Friday 13 December



Registrations and coffee


Welcome and introduction
Bernd Wächter, Director, ACA (Brussels, Belgium)
Elizabeth Colucci, Programme Manager, EUA (Brussels, Belgium)
Hans-Georg van Liempd, President, EAIE (Amsterdam, The Netherlands)
Marc Wilde, Head of Section, DAAD (Bonn, Germany)


Developments, dynamics and internationalisation in African higher education
Goolam Mohamedbhai, former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Mauritius, former President International Association of Universities (IAU), former Secretary General Association of African Universities (AAU) (Rose-Hill, Mauritius)


A European perspective on Africa
Ton Dietz, Director of the African Studies Centre, Leiden University (Leiden, The Netherlands)


Coffee break


Internationalisation in Africa: a dynamic institutional example
John T. Githaiga, Moi University (Eldoret Uasin Gishu, Kenya)


African Centres of Excellence (ACE) – a World Bank Initiative
Andreas Blom, Lead economist for African education, World Bank (Washington D.C., USA)


Policies and funding programmes for Euro-African cooperation
Deirdre Lennan, International Cooperation Officer, European Commission, DG Education and Culture (Brussels, Belgium)


Sandwich lunch


Parallel sessions


1) How can regional and international cooperation enhance quality in African higher education?

Andrée Sursock, Senior Advisor, EUA (Brussels, Belgium)

Mayunga Nkunya, Executive Secretary, IUCEA (Kampala, Uganda)
Marc Wilde, Head of Unit, DAAD (Bonn, Germany)


2) How can cooperation with African higher education strengthen its identity and position in the global knowledge economy?

Han Aarts, Director Mundo, Maastricht University and EDC Board member, EAIE (Maastricht, The Netherlands)

Jesca Eriyo, Deputy Secretary General, East African Community (EAC) (Arusha, Tanzania)

Sifuni Mchome, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education and Vocational Training (Dar es Salam, Tanzania)


Collaboration for mutual benefit
Anders Gustafsson, Professor of Periodontology, Karolinska Institute (Stockholm, Sweden)


Feedback from the parallel sessions
Andrée Sursock, EUA and Stefan Wellens, Coordinator, VLIR-UOS and EDC Board member (Belgium)


Panel discussion: cooperation for mutual gain

Elisabeth Colucci, Programme Manager, EUA (Brussels, Belgium)

Ton Dietz, Andrée Sursock, Han Aarts, Goolam Mohamedbhai and David Some, Professor and CEO of the Commission for University Education (Nairobi, Kenya)


Cooperation for mutual gain. A commentary
Hans de Wit, Professor of Internationalisation, Hogeschool Amsterdam (Amsterdam, The Netherlands)


Wrap-up and goodbye
Bernd Wächter, Director, ACA (Brussels, Belgium)


Hans-Georg van Liempd

Hans-Georg van Liempd is President of the European Association for International Education (EAIE) since September 2012. He works also at Tilburg University in the Netherlands as International Strategist for the universities Executive Board.

In 2005, he set up the International Office at Tilburg University and served as its Director until mid 2010, when he became elected as Vice President of the EAIE. He is Chair of the Editorial Board of EAIE’s Handbook for Internationalisation of Higher Education and he is member of the Advisory Committee of IAU’s 4th Global Survey.  He is the co-editor of the 25th Anniversary EAIE publication (September 2013). Hans-Georg is a frequent presenter at institutions, meetings and conferences around the world and is also a senior EAIE Trainer. His area of expertise concerns International Strategy in Higher Education, Leading and Managing International Operations, Projects and Partnerships and EU Strategy and Policies. He was member of the ISEP Council of Advisors in Washington DC from 2002 to 2006. Furthermore he is a member of other Advisory Boards in Higher Education and Culture in the Netherlands and abroad.

Goolam Mohamedbhai

Goolam Mohamedbhai did his undergraduate and postgraduate studies at the University of Manchester and his postdoctoral studies at the University of California, Berkeley. He joined the University of Mauritius in 1972 and served as its Vice-Chancellor from 1995 to 2005. He has been Secretary-General of the Association of African Universities (2008 to 2010) and President of the International Association of Universities (2004-2008).  He was Chairman of the Africa Regional Scientific Committee of the UNESCO Forum on Higher Education, Research and Knowledge (2005-2008) and was member of the governing Council of the United Nations University (2007-2013).

He holds honorary doctorates from the Mykolas Romeris University, Lithuania, and the Institute of Business Management of Karachi, Pakistan. He is the recipient of the ACU Symons Award 2009 for outstanding contribution to the ACU and to Commonwealth universities. He is currently a member of Council of the National University of Lesotho and operates as an independent higher education consultant.

Ton Dietz

Ton Dietz is Professor of Development in Africa and Director of the African Studies Centre in Leiden. He trained as a social geographer at the University of Nijmegen between 1969 and 1976. He then worked at the University of Amsterdam where in 1987 he defended his thesis on research into the history of the development of a region in Kenya. In 1995, he became Professor of Social Geography at the University of Amsterdam. In 2003 he also became Professor in Social Sciences at the University of Utrecht and Director of the CERES Research School. In 2007, he was awarded an honorary doctorate from the Moi University in Eldoret, Kenya. Dietz has been, and still is, active in many scientific and social organisations, including as board member for NWO-WOTRO and the Africa-Europe Group on Interdisciplinary Studies (AEGIS). He was one of the initiators of the Development Policy Review Network, Worldconnectors and the Broker.

John T. Githaiga

Prof. John Githaiga is an alumnus of University of Ghent, having graduated with a Doctorate in Material Engineering and a Masters degree in Textile Engineering. He started his career in the manufacturing sector before joining academics. Currently an Associate Professor of Material Engineering in the department of Manufacturing, Industrial and Textile Engineering, Prof. Githaiga is a long serving leader in teaching, research and extension. He is a director of a Moi University facility; Rivatex E.A. Ltd – a textile manufacturing company involved in research and extension and served as a departmental chair. He is also involved in Project Management directing and coordinating teams that formulate and implement the Textile Engineering project and the Moi University VLIR-UOS Programme as a project leader and Programme Coordinator, respectively. In the higher education (HE) arena, Prof. Githaiga is a graduate of the University Staff Development Programme (UNISTAFF) at Kassel University, Germany; a post-graduate Higher Education (HE) institutional management course.

Andreas Blom

Andreas Blom works as a Lead Economist in the World Bank’s education units in Africa. He supports management in implementing strategies to improve the quality of the World Bank’s education portfolio in Africa, serves as a Resource Person for Tertiary Education in the Region, leads strategic policy dialogue and analytical work in countries on a need basis. He is also the task team leader of the Africa Centers of Excellence project under preparation.

He specializes in the economic policy analysis of human capital and creation of knowledge, and their efficient use in society.

Previously Andreas worked with Government of India to improve quality, access and financing of its higher education system. Further, he worked with Government of Pakistan to provide more and better training opportunities to Pakistani youth. He started his career in the World Bank in the Latin America and the Caribbean region where he worked seven years on higher education, training, labor markets and public spending. He authored several global and regional studies on the financing of higher education, student loans, labor markets, quality of education, and science, technology and innovation.

He holds a master degree in development economics from the University of Aarhus, Denmark.

Deirdre Lennan

Deirdre Lennan has been working for international cooperation in higher education since 1992. She worked for the EU’s Tempus programme with a specific focus first on cooperation with Central and Eastern Europe, the Balkans, the Russian Federation and then the Mashrek region (Egypt, Lebanon and Syria in particular). Since 2009 she follows higher education policy issues with Africa at the European Commission’s DG Education and Culture. She is also involved in the preparation of the new Erasmus+ and a number of issues related to internationalisation in higher education.

Andrée Sursock

Andrée Sursock is Senior Advisor at the European University Association (EUA). She is the author of the 2010 “Trends” report, which analyses a decade of policy change in European higher education, and is involved in several EUA projects related to quality assurance and lifelong learning. Most recently she conducted and worte a study on internal quality processes in universities and a final report based on the evaluations of five African universities carried out jointly by EUA and the Association of African universities (AAU).

She serves on the international advisory committee of Université Pierre et Marie Curie – Paris 6, and on the appeals committee of the Portuguese accreditation agency. She sits in the boards of several QA agencies: in the French Community of Belgium, Switzerland and Dubai.

Between 2001 and 2009, she was Deputy Secretary General at EUA, with responsibilities for developing EUA’s quality assurance policy position and activities and representing EUA in European and international discussions. Before joining EUA, she was Director of Development at the Centre for Higher Education Research and Information (Open University, UK), and worked on several European projects related to quality assurance. She taught at a variety of US institutions and held an administrative post at Stanford University.

She earned a first degree in philosophy from the University of Paris I – Panthéon Sorbonne and a PhD in social-cultural anthropology from the University of California, Berkeley.

Mayunga Nkunya

Mayunga Nkunya, Tanzanian born 20th December 1952 Ph.D. (Chemistry) is Executive Secretary, Inter-University Council for East Africa (IUCEA), formerly Chemistry Professor and Chief Academic Officer (Deputy Vice Chancellor – Academic) at the University of Dar es Salaam) where he also led a strong research group in organic chemistry; was Executive Secretary of Tanzania Commission for Universities (TCU) where he promoted higher education regulatory, advisory and supportive systems for Tanzania universities, pioneered human resources capacity building programme for university leadership and introduction of electronic application system (online and mobile phone) for students’ admission into higher education institutions; member and chairperson to several boards and advisory bodies; currently he is Chairman of Tanzania’s national science and innovation systems review Steering Committee; was visiting professor/scientist in several countries and author of 3 books, 3 monographs, 68 research articles, and 23 conference proceedings; supervised 10 Ph.D. and 38 Masters students.

Marc Wilde

Marc Wilde is Head of the section “Joint Higher Education Management Programmes (DIES)” of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). He is responsible for the overall coordination of capacity development programmes in the field of higher education management for developing countries.

He has been engaged in the field of development cooperation at the DAAD’s headquarter in Bonn since 2002. Prior to his work in the DIES section he was assigned as DAAD programme manager for consultancy projects on behalf of international donor organisations, such as the European Union or the World Bank.

Marc Wilde holds a M.A. in Philosophy from University of Bonn, Germany. Furthermore, he has earned a MBA in the field of higher education management at University of Applied Sciences Osnabrück, Germany in 2011.

Han Aarts

Han Aarts (The Netherlands) obtained a Master degree in Human Geography (1984) from the Free University in Amsterdam, with specializations in Development Studies and Urban Planning in developing countries. He directed for almost ten years the international office of Maastricht University (1987-96), before becoming director of the Maastricht University centre for international cooperation in academic development (MUNDO) (since 1997).
Mundo organizes and facilitates cooperation between Maastricht University and partner universities in the developing world. The overall aim is to build knowledge capacity for development, both at the partner institutions and in Maastricht. Project partners are mainly based in Africa (a.o. Kenya, Uganda, Mozambique, South Africa, Ethiopia, Ghana) and Asia (a.o. Yemen, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia).

In addition, Han Aarts is an active advocate of cooperation of Dutch and European higher educational institutions with partners in the developing world. Both in national and European platforms (like PIE, EAIE, ACA) Han Aarts advocates cooperation in higher education and research that is mutually beneficial.

In the framework of the European Association for International Education (EAIE), the largest organization of its kind in Europe, Han Aarts initiated the Professional Section on Educational Cooperation with Developing Countries (EDC).

Han is also board member of the Task Force Health Care, a Dutch network of private companies, knowledge institutions and other players in the health field that aim to share Dutch knowledge and experiences in health care globally.

Sifuni Mchome

Prof Sifuni Ernest Mchome is a graduate of law of the University of Dar es salaam in Tanzania and holds a PhD from the same University. He did his Master’s Degree in Law at Queens University in Ontario, Canada.

He has taught law at the University of Dar es salaam’s School of Law in Tanzania where he also served in different leadership position including being Dean of the School of Law for the 2006/09 triennium. He, between 2002 and 2003, worked at the Centre on International Cooperation of the New York University in the United States of America as a Fulbright Fellow and a recipient of the Madeline and Kevin R. Brine Charitable Trust Fellowship to conduct studies on refugees and the challenges the world is facing using Tanzania as a case study.

He also led the Prime Minister’s Commission to look at the challenges facing Ordinary Level Secondary Education in Tanzania following poor performance during the national examination in 2012 and produced a report that the Government is working on towards improvement of the education system in Tanzania.

He also served as the Chairman of the technical team that drafted the National Education and Training Policy 2013 which will replace the existing policies on education and training and thus offer new direction to the education and training sector taking into account the current and future needs of the country.

Prof Mchome was appointed Deputy Executive Secretary of the Tanzania Commission for Universities in 2010 before being promoted to the position of Executive Secretary in 2011 the position he served until August 2013 before he was appointed by His Excellency Dr. Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete, the President of the United Republic of Tanzania to become the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Education and Vocational Training of the United Republic of Tanzania.

Anders Gustafsson

Anders Gustafsson is Professor of Periodontology and Dean of Doctoral Education at Karolinska Institutet. His main research interests are periodontal inflammation, the association between oral and systemic disease and novel antibacterial plant extracts.

Karolinska Institutet is a Medical University with 2300 PhD-students and approximately 350 dissertations a year. The dean of doctoral education is chairman of the Board of Doctoral Education which handles courses, quality assurance and examinations of PhD-students.

Stefan Wellens

Stefan Wellens is Coordinator North Programmes and HRM at VLIR-UOS in Brussels since 2006. VLIR-UOS is the umbrella organisation of universities in Flanders, Belgium and is responsible for the management of the government funded ‘university development cooperation’ programmes and scholarships for students (training, Master and PhD scholarships) and academics (education and research) from a number of developing countries. VLIR-UOS funds cooperation by means of projects and scholarships and fosters an enabling environment for partnerships between universities in the North and the South with the objective of capacity building of the latter. VLIR-UOS is the operation at the crossroads of higher education & research and development cooperation. Stefan became a member of the Board of the EAIE Professional Section Educational Cooperation with Developing Countries (EDC) in 2010. He previously worked as Research Assistant at KU Leuven, Belgium. He graduated in law (University of Antwerp, Belgium and Salamanca, Spain) and international relations (KU Leuven, Belgium).

Elizabeth Colucci

Elizabeth Colucci is a programme manager in the Higher Education Policy Unit of EUA. In addition to working on a range of higher education reform issues, Elizabeth oversees EUA’s external relations with non-European countries. Since launching an official international strategy in 2006, EUA has dedicated increasing amounts of time and resources to the internationalisation agenda of European universities. This has included EU-funded projects as well as policy dialogue and policy input for international policy processes. Elizabeth has developed and managed a range of European Commission-funded international projects, and also contributes to the Bologna Process working group (‘BFUG’) on the official strategy for the European Higher Education Area in a Global Setting, launched by the Bologna ministers in 2007. She also helps to develop policy positions and input regarding cooperation with a variety of regions, including Africa, Latin America, Asia and North America.  

Prior to EUA, Elizabeth served as a senior officer at the Academic Cooperation Association (Brussels), and has also worked for the Fulbright Commission to Belgium and Luxembourg and for the Directorate for Education and Culture (EAC) of the European Commission. She holds a Master of Science in European politics and governance from the London School of Economics and completed her Bachelor degree in comparative international studies and French at Duke University (USA).

Hans de Wit

Hans de Wit is Director of the Centre for Higher Education Internationalisation’ at the Università Cattolica Sacro Cuore in Milan, Italy, and Professor (lector) of Internationalization of Higher Education at the School of Economics and Management of the Hogeschool van Amsterdam, University of Applied Sciences. He is the Co-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).

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.


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