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Brussels, 14 March 2013

Higher Education in India: Recent developments and relations with Europe


Slowly but surely, the global centre of gravity is shifting away from the West and to Asia. This applies to the economy, but it will also impact on higher education. China has already advanced impressively towards its aim of creating world-class universities. Where does India stand, the world’s second most populous country? And how will it develop in the next decades?  This is the key theme of ACA’s second European Policy Seminar (EPS) in 2013, devoted to Indian higher education.

The seminar Higher education in India will present and analyse the present state of Indian higher education, from the prestigious IITs  to run-of-the mill Indian tertiary institutions. It will also look at approaches to and examples of cooperation in the tertiary sector between India and Europe. “Europe” in this case means the European Union, the single countries of Europe, and individual universities, of which case studies will be presented. Once again, ACA has won many internationally highly-renowned experts from and on India as presenters. For anyone interested to engage with Indian higher education, this seminar is an opportunity not to be missed.

The European Policy Seminars are among ACA’s flagship products. The highly-reputed series attracts institutional leaders, such as Rectors and Vice-Rectors, as well as staff specialised in international affairs, and representatives from international organisations, ministries of education, and higher education associations. They are one-day events held in Brussels, the capital of Europe. The choice of speakers follows a simple principle: only the best.

Higher education in India takes place on 14 March (Thursday) in Brussels. Only two months to go. We suggest you register soon, to secure a place.


Wednesday 13 March


Seminar dinner


Thursday 14 March



Registrations and coffee


Welcome and introduction
Bernd Wächter, Director, ACA (Brussels, Belgium)


Current developments in Indian higher education. Are there opportunities for Europe?
Neil Kemp, Visiting Fellow, Institute of Education, University of London (London, UK)


Quality issues: Indian higher education in a global comparison
Phil Baty, Editor at Large, Times Higher Education Rankings (London, UK)


Coffee break


University of Exeter: organising a presence in India
Shaun Curtis, Director of International Exeter, University of Exeter (Exeter, UK)


Maastricht University: reaching out to India
Krista Knopper, Strategic Advisor India and China & Coordinator Worldwide Universities Network, Maastricht University (Maastricht, the Netherlands)


Sandwich lunch


India in Erasmus Mundus and Erasmus for all
Brian Toll, Policy Officer – Erasmus Mundus – Japan, Korea, South and East Asia, European Commission (Brussels, Belgium)


Partnerships with Indian universities: how to start and run them
Ruth Kattumuri, Co-director, India Observatory and Asia Research Centre, London School of Economics and Political Science (London, UK)


Coffee break


Marketing French higher education in India and recruiting Indian students to France
Antoine Grassin, Managing Director, Campus France (Paris, France)


A German approach to cooperation with India
Heike Mock, Head of Section South East Asia, DAAD (Bonn, Germany)


Conclusions and farewell coffee
Bernd Wächter, ACA (Brussels, Belgium)


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.

Phil Baty

Phil Baty is editor, Times Higher Education Rankings, and editor at large for Times Higher Education magazine. Phil has been with the magazine since 1996, as reporter, chief reporter, news editor and deputy editor.He was named among the top 15 “most influential in education” 2012 by The Australian newspaper and received the Ted Wragg Award for Sustained Contribution to Education Journalism in 2011-12, part of the Education Journalist of the Year Awards, run by the Chartered Institute of Public Relations. In 2007 he was a runner-up for the annual Paul Foot Award for Campaigning Journalism, run by The Guardian newspaper and Private Eye magazine.
In 2011, Times Higher Education was named Weekly Magazine of the Year and Media Brand of the Year (business category) by the Professional Publishers’ Association.Phil is a regular speaker at international conferences, contributing in 2011 to events organized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, the World Bank, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, British Council and others. Phil writes regularly on global higher education for leading newspapers.Phil can be found on Twitter at @phil_baty

Shaun Curtis

Dr Shaun Curtis was appointed Director of International Exeter in August 2009. He is responsible for implementing the University of Exeter’s Internationalisation Strategy, which includes developing stronger links with leading international universities and expanding and diversifying Exeter’s international student body.  Previously, Shaun was the inaugural Head of the UK Higher Education International Unit at Universities UK and was Research Manager at the Economic Development Office of the City of London Corporation.  Shaun has had a diverse career over the last 20 years, working in the public, private and university sectors.  He received a BA in Politics and an MA in Middle East Politics from the University of Exeter, and a PhD in Political Science from the University of Toronto.

Ruth Kattumuri

Dr Ruth Kattumuri is Co-Director of the Asia Research Centre and the India Observatory at the London School of Economics (LSE). She is responsible for developing multi-disciplinary research and programmes related to Asia.  Her research interests include growth and inclusion, climate change and environment sustainability. With over twenty-five years of experience in higher education, research and policy engagement, Ruth has pioneered several innovative international knowledge and skills development programmes. She is also advisor to various educational institutions in Asia. Dr Kattumuri is actively engaged in promoting south-south co-operation. She has a PhD from LSE and is also a Cambridge Commonwealth Fellow. She was formerly Professor in Statistics and Computer Science, at Madras Christian College, India where she had taught and mentored several 1000 students of the ‘interphase generation’, who are influential professionals around the world.

Brian Toll

Brian Toll  was recently appointed as policy officer for international aspects of the European Union’s higher education programmes. His focus is cooperation with India, Japan, Korea and the other countries of South and East Asia. Previously, he has worked in a number of different disciplines for the European Commission, specialising in international relations with Russian-speaking and Asian countries. Prior to joining the Commission, Brian worked as a consultant in international law, as a lexicographer and lecturer, including in higher education in Finland and on the academic staff of the Leningrad Polytechnical Institute and the University of Birmingham. His post-graduate discipline was education.

Neil Kemp

Neil Kemp has contributed to a range of education and training projects in over twenty countries and has lived and worked for long periods in South and East Asia, including eight years each in Indonesia and India (Kolkata and New Delhi). Neil studied physical sciences for his first degree and obtained a PhD in electron spectroscopy from Swansea University. After working in Asia he decided to explore international education at the Institute of Education, University of London. He currently manages his own international education consultancy and clients include over forty UK and international universities, a number of governments and other organisations. Neil is a Visiting Fellow at the Institute of Education, University of London, where his research interests concern international higher education policy and their implications; transnational education (TNE); international student mobility and private sector involvement. His main country interests relate to Indian and Malaysian HE policy and developments and he was responsible for developing the UK-India Education and Research Initiative. Neil is also a board member of the Council for Education in the Commonwealth and Open University Worldwide.

Krista Knopper

Krista Knopper joined Maastricht University (UM) in October 1998 and currently works for the Executive Board at the Maastricht University Office (MUO), Marketing & Communications Department as the Strategic Advisor India and China as well as the UM Coordinator of the Worldwide Universities Network (WUN).Krista was trained in the field of Education and Training, Education Management, Intercultural Communication, International Relations and Asian Studies. Her degrees are from Teacher Training College, Utrecht (The Netherlands), the University of Utrecht (The Netherlands) and The University of Edinburgh (U.K.). She has lived and worked in the United Kingdom, Vietnam and India as well as in the Netherlands focusing on the fields of higher education policy development, strategic partnership and network building, teaching and management for capacity building as well as on curriculum development and teacher training. Krista has hands-on experience of the Maastricht University teaching approach PBL (Problem-Based Learning). With considerable experience gained both at Maastricht University and abroad she has also trained university staff, undergraduate and postgraduate students as well as high level professionals in the business and industry world in English and intercultural communication skills. For the past 8 years she has worked specifically on strategy and policy development for higher education as well as international relations and collaboration initiatives in Asia. From August 2007, Krista Knopper and the then Scientific Director India, Professor Frits van Merode, initiated and were responsible for the building and implementation of a focused UM market entry strategy for higher education in India as well as identifying strategic (academic / business / health sector) partnerships for international cooperation. In the process they established the Maastricht Education and Research Centre Pvt Ltd (MERC) in Bangalore, India and the Maastricht University India Institute (MUII) in Maastricht.

Antoine Grassin

Antoine Grassin, former Ambassador, has been appointed in 2012 as General Director of Campus France, the French national agency for the promotion of higher education, international student services, and international mobility. A graduate of HEC Paris (Business School), SciencesPo Paris (Institute of Political Studies) and ENA (National School of Administration), he has been serving in the French Diplomacy since 1984. In his diplomatic career he held various positions in French representations abroad and at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Paris, where he also served as Director of Scientific and University Cooperation from 2004 to 2008. Prior to joining Campus France he has been the Ambassador of France to Bolivia (2008-2011).

Heike Mock

Heike Mock has been the head of the section South Asia at the German Academic Exchange (DAAD) Service since 2010 and is responsible for the DAAD programmes in India, Bangladesh, Buthan and Sri Lanka.Before joining DAAD head office in 2008, she lived and worked in Vietnam for 4 years as well as in China for 5 years teaching German language and literature. In Vietnam she also worked at DAAD’s regional office Hanoi where she was in particular engaged in the field of bilateral university partnerships.Heike holds an MBA in International Management and an MA in German Language Studies and Business Communication.