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Brussels, 2 December 2011

Internationalisation revisited


The vast majority of analysts and actors in international higher education concede that internationalisation has come a long way during the past two decades. It moved from being a peripheral trait of institutional activities to the very core of institutional (and sometimes national-level) strategies, not only in the West, but in most corners of the world. In light of the overall pace and complexity of change in higher education in recent years, we cannot help but wonder if our understanding of internationalisation has managed to keep up with ever changing international, national and institutional realities. What do we truly mean when we talk about internationalisation today? What kind of activities and ambitions are now at the core of internationalisation? Are they the same as ten, twenty years ago, or have they tremendously changed? Was/is there a shared understanding of internationalisation at all, or should we rather use the plural when referring to this phenomenon? And more importantly, what are the implications for the years to come? What kind of internationalisation do we want and need for the future?

We find it timelier than ever to ask these questions and encourage a general reflection around this central concept. The last ACA European Policy Seminar (EPS) of the year - Internationalisation revisited - will provide a venue for this pressing debate, in the company of a host of highly-inspiring and extremely knowledgeable speakers from around the world.  The agenda will include: overviews of ongoing discussions within international fora and organisations; examinations of some of the “traditional” internationalisation activities (from cross-border student mobility, to curricular internationalisation and international partnerships) and recent trends in these areas; as well as nuanced views of this process from the institutional level.


Thursday 1 December


Seminar dinner

Friday 2 December



Registrations and coffee


Setting the scene


Internationalisation in need of a new definition?
Eva Egron-Polak, Secretary General, International Association of Universities (IAU)


The internationalisation of tomorrow
Uwe Brandenburg, Partner, CHE Consult


Coffee break


The hallmark of internationalisation – student mobility


National policies for mobility: between rhetoric and practice
Bernd Wächter, Director, ACA


International students – the more the merrier?
Irina Ferencz, Policy Officer, ACA


Internationalisation of the curriculum


From conceptual confusion to reality
Jos Beelen, Researcher and Consultant on internationalisation, Hogeschool van Amsterdam


Sandwich lunch


Internationalisation and partnerships


Partnerships – for what purpose, with whom and at what cost? – the example of UK
Pat Killingley, Director Higher Education, British Council


Collaboration in higher education – the example of the Americas
Francisco Marmolejo, Executive Director, Consortium for North American Higher Education Collaboration (CONAHEC)


Reshaping institutional internationalisation policies in light of changing realities


Utrecht University – from ‘traditional’ to mainstreaming internationalisation
Caspar de Bok, Senior Policy Advisor (Internationalisation), Utrecht University


Coffee break


University of Bucharest – an example of internationalisation in the East
Mircea Dumitru, Vice-Rector for International Relations, University of Bucharest


Nottingham University – internationalisation and transnational engagement: strategic considerations
Christine Ennew, Pro Vice Chancellor / Professor of marketing, University of Nottingham


Concluding remarks


Tomorrow IS today: internationalisation revisited
Hanneke Teekens, Director of Communication, NUFFIC


Wrap-up and goodbye


Eva Egron-Polak

Eva Egron-Polak was educated in the Czech Republic, Canada and France. Having studied French Literature, Political Science and International Political Economy, her post-graduate research focused on early stages of European Union policy in higher education. She has held various positions at the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC) prior to becoming the Secretary General of IAU in 2002. Her last position at AUCC was as Vice-President, International.

As Secretary General of IAU, an independent, global association of universities and associations of higher education institutions based at UNESCO in Paris, Eva Egron-Polak has focused the organization’s work on several of the pressing policy issues in higher education – internationalization, cross border education and intercultural learning, provision of equitable access to and success in higher education, the contribution of higher education to sustainable development, to Education for All and to the Millennium Development Goals, among others.  Under her leadership the Association has just begun working on guidelines for an institutional code of ethics for higher education. Expanding the Association’s convening role, consolidating the Association’s research and advocacy capacity and its function as a clearing house of information on the systems and institutions of higher education around the world while providing members with new and useful services, have been her overarching goals at IAU. 

Eva Egron-Polak is a member of many committees at UNESCO, the European Commission, OECD and others. She serves as a board member at Mykolas Romeris University in Lithuania. She has co-authored the 3rd Global Survey Report on Internationalization of Higher Education in 2010, written and presented numerous papers on a variety of higher education topics. At present, she is coordinating an international Ad hoc Expert Group on Re-thinking Internationalization.

Uwe Brandenburg

Uwe Brandenburg earned a Master’s degree in Islamic Sciences and an MScEcon in Politics. He was Director International for 11 years, 8 of those at the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. Since 2006, he is with CHE (Centre for Higher Education Development) and in 2007 moved to the commercial branch, CHE Consult, a think tank with consulting activities and a special emphasis upon higher education. Since December 2010, he is a partner of CHE Consult. His current foci are European rankings, diversity management and community outreach, benchmarking in higher education as well as internationalisation. He is a member of the IAU Ad Hoc expert group on internationalisation. In 1998, he received a Fulbright-Administrator-Scholarship. He was founding president of the German Assocation for International Educational Exchange (DAIA) between 1998 and 2006 and holds a membership with the European Association for International Education (EAIE) as well as the Consortium of Higher Education Researchers (CHER) and the Fulbright Alumni. He speaks English, French, Spanish and Arabic. In his spare time, he plays in a semi-professional cover band.

Bernd Wächter

Bernd Wächter is the Director of the Academic Cooperation Association (ACA), a consortium of European and global agencies which support international cooperation in higher education. ACA is a think-tank which promotes innovation and internationalisation in higher education. Bernd was born in Giessen (Germany) and studied at the universities of Hull (UK), Giessen and Marburg (Germany). He lives in Brussels (Belgium) and is married to Thora Magnusdottir, a delightful lady from Iceland.

Bernd’s career has been focused on international higher education. In his first post, at the University of Kassel (Germany), he devised international degree programmes in cooperation with universities abroad. He later joined the British Council, before becoming the Director of the international office of the Fachhochschule Darmstadt. Moving on to Germany’s internationalisation agency DAAD, he became the head of this organisation’s European section. He subsequently became Director of Higher Education in the Brussels Socrates Office, with overall responsibility for the Erasmus Programme in Europe. In 1998, he took up his present post as the director of ACA. Bernd has published widely on international matters in higher education, and he is a frequent speaker at European and international education conferences. He is the editor of the ACA Papers on International Cooperation in Higher Education. He also works, as an expert advisor, for many international organisations.

Irina Ferencz

Irina Ferencz (née Lungu) is Policy Officer at the Academic Cooperation Association (ACA). At ACA, she is currently coordinating the ENPMOB study, which researches national and European-level policies on student and staff mobility and the elements of convergence and/or divergence between the two levels. Irina is also presently involved in the IMPI project, which aims to build a toolkit of indicators for mapping and profiling the internationalisation strategies and processes of European HEIs. Her past activities at ACA include her contributions to the study “Mapping mobility in European higher education” (previously referred to as EURODATA II) as co-editor and the co-authorship of ACA’s Handbook of International Associations in Higher Education (2009). Irina, who is a Romanian national, studied International Relations and European Studies at the Babeş-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca and obtained a Masters degree in European Politics and Policies at the Katholieke Universiteit, Leuven. She is currently pursuing a PhD at the University of Kassel, Germany.

Jos Beelen

Jos Beelen is researcher and consultant on internationalisation of the curriculum at the Centre for Applied Research into Economics and Management at Hogeschool van Amsterdam, University of Applied Sciences. He is chair of the Special Interest Group Internationalisation at Home of the European Association for International Education (EAIE) and visiting fellow at Leeds Metropolitan University’s Centre for Academic Practice and Research in Internationalisation (CAPRI). He is currently doing research into the implementation of the international dimension into higher education curricula in a global perspective, in close cooperation with researchers from Europe and Australia.

Jos was Head of the International Office at the School of Education at Hogeschool van Amsterdam from 2002 until 2011. In addition, he has facilitated numerous training courses on Internationalisation at Home for EAIE and is certificated trainer by that association. He was the editor EAIE’s ‘toolkit’ Implementing Internationalisation at Home (2007). Jos has contributed to workshops, training sessions and conferences and is currently involved in coaching academic staff at several institutions in The Netherlands.

Pat Killingley

Pat Killingley is Director Higher Education & Education UK for British Council. She has overall responsibility for higher education, including policy work, partnership development and education reform, plus Education UK strategy, branding and marketing.

Pat was a member of the Prime Minister’s Initiative (PMI) Strategy Group which was charged with developing the UK’s international education strategy, launched in April 2006 by the Prime Minister. Pat’s team in British Council has also been involved in developing and supporting over 1000 UK-international partnerships in the past four years across all regions of the world.

Pat has developed education policy dialogues and conferences across the world, including the Going Global international conference series. She has also been a contributor and plenary speaker at international conferences and roundtables.

Pat has worked in the areas of employment, education, training and education management. Before joining the British Council in 2002, she worked at University of Sheffield.

Francisco Marmolejo

Francisco Marmolejo serves as executive director of the Consortium for North American Higher Education Collaboration (CONAHEC), a network of more than 150 colleges and universities from Canada, the U.S. and Mexico headquartered at the University of Arizona. At UA, he also serves as Assistant Vice President for Western Hemispheric Programs. Previously, he was an American Council on Education fellow on higher education leadership development at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. His past positions include vice president for administration and academic vice president at the Universidad de las Américas in Mexico. At the University of Arizona he collaborates as Research Associate at the Center for the Study of Higher Education, and as an Affiliate Faculty at the Center for Latin American Studies. Marmolejo consults for Latin American universities and governments, and has been part of OECD and World Bank peer review teams conducting evaluations of national higher education systems in Europe, Latin America, Africa and Asia. Currently, he serves on advisory boards at a variety of universities, and professional organizations, including the Mexican Association for International Education (AMPEI) in which he served as president of the External Advisory Board, the American Council on Education in which he served as member of its Commission on International Initiatives, and NAFSA: Association of International Educators in which he is member of its Board of Directors. Also, he serves on the Board of World Education Services and Compostela Group of Universities. During the 2005-2006 academic year, while on sabbatical leave, he collaborated as an international consultant at the Organisation for Economic and Co-operation Development (OECD), Programme on Institutional Management of Higher Education (IMHE), based in Paris, coordinating international higher education peer review teams in Brazil, Mexico and Spain. He holds a M.A. in Organizational Administration from the Universidad Autónoma de San Luis Potosí, received professional training at the JFK School of Government-Harvard University, and has conducted doctoral work at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. Currently, he participates at an Ad-Hoc Expert Group convened by the International Association of Universities (IAU) to assess the extent to which internationalization activities fit the current conceptual umbrella, to critically examine the causes that are leading to some questioning and even criticism of the concept and to investigate the ways to address these concerns.

Caspar de Bok

Caspar de Bok has been a staff member of the Academic Affairs Office at the Corporate Offices of Utrecht University since 2006.
As senior policy advisor for internationalization, he provides support to the University Board of Utrecht University in setting up and carrying out the Board’s strategic international partnerships and policy in research and education.
Caspar is responsible for the further development and implementation of the corporate international policy and strategy of Utrecht University, and he’s the general contact person for universities in North America, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.
As senior staff member within Academic Affairs, he’s also an advisor to the Executive Board for research policies related to the Faculty of Science (for example, having to do with quality assessment procedures). Finally, Caspar serves as head of the Executive Secretariat of Utrecht Network, a mobility network of 30 European universities in 28 countries,

Caspar has long experience in international networking in higher education, as well as in community-based research and initiatives to link science and society. He’s an external evaluator in the EC FP7 programme Science in Society. Before joining Academic Affairs in 2006, he was one of the founders and coordinator of the international network Living Knowledge ( for community-based research organizations (Science Shops), and coordinator of several EC funded projects (FP5 and FP6) in this field. Caspar was head of the Science Shop for Biology at Utrecht University, where he worked for 10 years.

After Caspar graduated from Utrecht University in environmental biology in 1988, he worked for the department of Science Education. He then worked for 6 years at the Centre for Environmental Science at Leiden University, as a researcher and coordinator of education.

Mircea Dumitru

Professor Mircea Dumitru was born in 1960, in Bucharest, Romania. He has been the Vice-Rector of the University of Bucharest since 2008, in charge of international relations and quality management. He’s also Professor of Philosophy within the Faculty of Philosophy of the University of Bucharest and President of the European Society for Analytic Philosophy.

Prof Dumitru has a PhD in Philosophy from Tulane University and from the University of Bucharest. His areas of specialisation and research are Philosophical Logic (especially Modal Logic), Philosophy of Language and Analytic Metaphysics of Modality. He’s especially interested in Philosophical Logic, Symbolic and Mathematical Logic, Philosophy of Language, Metaphysics of Modality, Philosophy of Mind and Consciousness, and Epistemology.

Christine Ennew

Christine Ennew is Pro Vice Chancellor at the University of Nottingham where she has responsibility for Internationalisation and for Physical Sciences. She was formerly Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences, Law and Education and is also Professor of Marketing in the Business School.

She was Academic Director of the Division of Business and Management at the University of Nottingham in Malaysia during its start-up phase (2000-01), and the Director of the Christel DeHaan Tourism and Travel Research Institute. She is also a member of the Advisory Board of the Observatory on Borderless Higher Education, the Advisory Board of the Financial Services Forum and was until recently, a member of the Academic Senate of U21Global. Locally, she served as a member of the Board of Governors of Castle College for 5 years.

Christine graduated from Cambridge University and completed her PhD at Nottingham, where today she manages the University’s ambitious international strategy, which has attracted students and academic staff from almost 150 nations to research and teaching campuses in both Britain and Asia. She has management board responsibility for the work of the University’s International Office and she represents The University of Nottingham worldwide, spending significant periods of time in China and the wider Asia-Pacific region. She also serves as the University’s Manager for the Universitas21 network. Until recently, she also had oversight responsibility for the development and integration of Nottingham’s historic campuses within China and in Malaysia.

Her research interests lie in the area of services marketing and specifically financial services, tourism and higher education. She has focused her research on key strategic themes, including service quality and delivery, loyalty and retention, and service failure and recovery. She has also undertaken business oriented research specifically in the areas of customer satisfaction, marketing relationships and trust, including on behalf of a number of major banking organisations. She has published some 100 articles in refereed journals, presented over 60 refereed conference papers and produced 4 books.

Hanneke Teekens

Hanneke Teekens is member of the board of directors of Nuffic (the Netherlands organization for international cooperation in higher education). Nuffic is an independent, non-profit organization based in The Hague. Nuffic supports internationalization in higher education, research and professional education in the Netherlands and abroad, and helps to improve access to higher education world wide. Within Nuffic Hanneke Teekens is responsible for the directorate Information Services, overseeing all aspects of communications, including the Netherlands education support offices (Neso’s) in ten countries.

Before joining Nuffic Hanneke Teekens worked at the Hogeschool and University of Amsterdam and the University of Twente. She held positions as a teacher and researcher, manager and consultant and worked in many parts of the world. Previously she was director of the Socrates National Agency and the National Structure for Erasmus Mundus in the Netherlands. Hanneke Teekens has published on various aspects of international education. Her latest contributions have focused in particular on ‘Internationalization at Home’.

Currently Teekens is chair of the board of the Association for Studies in International Education (ASIE), a group of organizations whose mission is to encourage international education and research and who publishes the Journal of Studies in International Education.

Hanneke Teekens studied education and history and did her post-graduate studies at the University of Leyden. She was an exchange student to the US.


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