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Brussels, 3 December 2010

Mobility under the magnifying glass: New insights, old challenges, future perspectives


Europe seems rather unique on the world map of international student mobility, at least in one respect: the degree of visibility and support - be it academic, political or financial - granted to this phenomenon during the past decade within the ‘old continent’ is simply outstanding. But while various European states are undoubtedly keen to attract the ‘best and brightest’ foreign mobile students from around the world, to make European ‘youth’ more mobile, and to ensure that 20% of those graduating in the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) by 2020 will have had a study or training period abroad, do we really have a clear picture of European and global mobility developments? How accurate is our knowledge of this highly interesting phenomenon, and how might our understanding be deepened and refined?

The 4th ACA European Policy Seminar of this year will investigate these questions, as well as many other controversial aspects related to the international mobility phenomenon. With the help of high-calibre speakers, the seminar will endeavour to:

  • Bring new insights from a recently completed ACA study on European mobility trends, patterns and the caveats of international mobility statistics;
  • Provide a glance at the newest developments and most current thinking on academic mobility within the EU and the Bologna Process policy circles;
  • Investigate the challenging concept of academic staff mobility and its limitations;
  • Provide practical examples of how two different European countries profile themselves in terms of student and staff mobility, and how two universities cope with this work – what they aim to achieve, and how they view the impact, added value, and challenges involved in supporting inwards and outwards mobility;
  • Generate a lively and thought-provoking debate around some of the most entrenched ‘mobility myths’;
  • And, last but not least, serve up compelling food for thought on what the future might hold.


Thursday 2 December 2010

  19:30        Seminar dinner 

Friday 3 December 2010


Registrations and coffee


Student mobility – unfolding the concept. What are the recent European trends? What we know and what would be ideal to know about mobility?
Bernd Wächter, ACA


A closer look at two selected countries – European, yet greatly unique: Cyprus and Romania
Nicolai Netz, Hochschul-Informations-System GmbH (HIS)
Irina Lungu, ACA


Coffee break


‘Youth on the Move’ – new policy perspectives
Endika Bengoetxea, European Commission


Bologna Process reflections on mobility – current thinking and developments
Peter Greisler, Federal Ministry of Education and Research, Germany and Chair of the Bologna Process Working Group on Mobility


Academic staff mobility – charting the unknowable?
Ulrich Teichler, INCHER, Kassel




The institutional voice – what kind of mobile students, where from and why?
Dorothy Kelly, University of Granada
Shaun Curtis, University of Exeter 


Panel discussion: Real concerns vs. international ‘mobility myths’?
Chair: Irina Lungu
Panellist: Ulrich Teichler, Bernd Wächter, Dorothy Kelly, Shaun Curtis, Bert Vandenkendelaere (ESU Chairperson) and Eva Ntovolou (ESN President)


By way of conclusion: Mobility, the ‘magic potion’?
Ulrich Grothus, German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD)


End of seminar 


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 and.  He also works, as an expert advisor, for many international organisations

Nicolai Netz

Nicolai Netz studied modern languages, cultural sciences, political science as well as economics at the Universities of Bonn (DE), Florence (IT) and Maastricht (NL). In 2008, he graduated from the Maastricht Graduate School of Governance with a Master in Public Policy and Human Development.

After a short stay at the German Research Institute for Public Administration in Speyer (DE) he was hired as a research associate by the HIS Institute for Research on Higher Education in Hannover (DE). At HIS, he is working on the EUROSTUDENT project, a large scale project intended to collate comparable data from 25 countries on the social and economic conditions of students in European higher education. Next to researchers from ACA, INCHER, DAAD and CampusFrance he was involved in the EURODATA II project.

Irina Lungu

Irina Lungu is Policy Officer at the Academic Cooperation Association (ACA). She is currently involved in the EURODATA II study on mobility developments in higher education and in the IMPI project, which aims to build a toolkit of indicators for mapping and profiling the internationalisation strategies and processes of European HEIs. She also co-authored ACA’s Handbook of International Associations in Higher Education (2009) and is involved in other ongoing projects. 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.

Endika Bengoetxea

Endika Bengoetxea is Erasmus programme manager and higher education policy officer at DG EAC Unit C1 – Erasmus; Higher Education.

He has a Spanish Bachelor degree and an English BSc in computer science, a Scottish MSc in Medical Imaging, and a French PhD in patter recognition. From 1996 to 2009 he has been a professor at the University of the Basque Country in Spain, where he had several management responsibilities such as Erasmus Coordinator and Academic Secretary in the Computer Engineering Faculty and Director of the Campus of the University in San Sebastian.

From 2001 he has been an academic expert in several EU research and education programmes such as FP6 and FP7, Erasmus, Erasmus Mundus, Leonardo, Tempus and Atlantis.

Since March 2009 he is in the European Commission (Unit EAC-C1) as a Detached National Expert and is member of both Erasmus and higher education policy teams, where his main duties are: Erasmus Desk Officer for United Kingdom, Coordinator of Erasmus Centralised Actions and the relation with the Executive Agency (EACEA), Third cycle aspects of curricular development in the context of the Bologna process, and the Link of the Erasmus programme with Higher Education policies, Erasmus Mundus, Marie Curie, and DG Research programmes and policies.

Peter Greisler

Peter Greisler studied law in Erlangen and Mainz (Germany) and in France and Great Britain. He started his professional career at the then Federal Ministry for Research and Technology in 1991, where he worked in different areas ranging from international nuclear energy policy and other international affairs to staff, cabinet and parliamentary issues and research for sustainability, science and society.

He has been Head of the BMBF’s Higher Education Directorate since 2004. His responsibilities include the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG), higher education legislation, social issues regarding university studies (BAföG training assistance), the promotion of young researchers, the internationalization of universities and continuing education at higher education institutions.

Ulrich Teichler

Ulrich Teichler is a professor at the University of Kassel and the Director of its Centre for Research on Higher Education and Work (since 1978). He was Vice-President of the University of Kassel (1980-82) and 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, 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. He also received the Research Award of the Council on International Educational Exchange (1997) and the Comenius Prize of UNESCO (1998).

Dorothy Kelly

Dorothy Kelly is Professor of Translation at the University of Granada, where she is currently Vice Rector for International Relations. She obtained her first degree in Translating and Interpreting at Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, and her doctoral degree from the University of Granada. Her main research interests are translator training, directionality in translation and student mobility. She is author of several books and numerous articles and book chapters in those fields, and has acted as an expert for the European Commission on curricular design in Translation. She is currently a member of the executive board of the Spanish Rectors’ Conference’s Committee on International Relations, and since June has been Chair of the Executive Board of the Coimbra Group of Universities.

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 (based at Universities UK), undertaking activities to support UK universities in a globally competitive world and coordinating university engagement with a number of countries, including China, India, Iraq and the United States. Prior to his work at the International Unit, Shaun was Research Manager at the City of London Corporation for five years. He also taught International Relations at the University of Toronto for four years, and has undertaken freelance work at the Office of Transnational Issues – Central Intelligence Agency, Jane’s Information Group and others.  Shaun, who hails from Appledore in North Devon, 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. Prior to university, Shaun spent three years training as an accountant (a lucky escape).

Bert Vandenkendelaere

Bert Vandenkendelaere (°1986) is the Chairperson of the European Students’ Union for the academic year 2010/2011. He graduated as Master of Laws at the Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium, and did a part of his studies at the Università degli Studi di Firenze, Italy. Bert has been active in student politics since 2004, on the local level at the Kortrijk campus of the Leuven University and later on in the Leuven Student Council and VVS, the National Union of Students in Flanders.

He was a member of the Executive Committee of ESU last year, where he was responsible for the coordination of the Student Union Development Committee, membership issues and capacity building within the student movement. He has been speaking at various conferences on higher education, including the OECD 2010 IMHE Conference in Paris.

ESU – The European Students’ Union – is the umbrella organisation of 44 national unions of students from 37 countries, and through these members represents over 11 million students. The aim of ESU is to articulate and promote the educational, social, economic and cultural interests of students at a European level towards all relevant bodies and in particular the European Union, Bologna Follow-Up Group, Council of Europe and UNESCO.

Eva Ntovolou

Eva Ntovolou is the President of the Erasmus Student Network, a not-for-profit international student organisation whose mission is to foster mobility and represent international students thus provide opportunities for cultural understanding and self-development under the principle of Students Helping Students. She is Greek but currently lives in Brussels.

Eva is a law student at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens and has also spent a year of her studies on Erasmus Exchange at the University of Genoa in Italy. She loves cultural exchange and languages and this is why she has studied and speaks English, French, Italian and Spanish fluently. She is also currently learning Chinese.

Ulrich Grothus

Ulrich Grothus was born in 1952, and is the Deputy Secretary-General and Director for Strategy and Projects of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). He obtained a Master’s degree in Political Science at the Freie Universität Berlin in 1976. He then worked as a journalist before joining the International Division of the former West German Rectors Conference in 1982. He has been working for DAAD since 1988, first as spokesman and head of the president’s office. Starting in 1991, he has been consecutively director of all three DAAD program directorates. In between, he served as director of the Paris office from 1998 to 2000 and of the New York office from 2004 to 2008.
Ulrich Grothus is a member of ACA’s Administrative Council.


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