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Brussels, 5 December 2013

Mobility windows and the internationalisation of the curriculum


Practitioners and scholars in the field of international higher education often have different views about university internationalisation. They might have endless discussions about the focus of internationalisation, be it preparation of graduates for life and work in an increasingly globalised society or recruitment of fee-paying international students. But they would probably all agree that this is a complex, multi-faceted and at times puzzling task, which can and should be revisited on many occasions. This is exactly why ACA is taking a fresh look at various practices and blueprints of internationalisation of the curriculum and structured mobility at the next policy seminar in Brussels.

Participants of the next ACA policy seminar, entitled Mobility windows and the internationalisation of the curriculum, will try to understand what comprehensive internationalisation could mean nowadays and what can be the ways to achieve it. In particular, they will deal with not so trivial questions of how internationalisation is perceived and supported at the EU level and how mobility windows and other types of structured mobility can be integrated into international academic portfolios in order to support internationalisation of the curriculum. These issues were explored in the ACA’s book Mobility windows: from concept to practice which has appeared recently in the ACA Papers on International Cooperation in Education.

Targeted at a broad higher education community, this policy seminar will try to mix practitioners that come from curriculum design and internationalisation, as well as decision and policy makers that are involved in shaping broader internationalisation frameworks. Critical reflection, open discussion, exchange of hands-on experience and practical advice are amongst the usual ingredients of all ACA European Policy Seminars.


Wednesday 4 December



Seminar dinner


Thursday 5 December



Registrations and coffee


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


Opening keynote 1


Comprehensive internationalisation
Jeroen Huisman, Professor Higher Education Governance, Ghent University (Ghent, Belgium)


Opening keynote 2


Internationalisation – the view of the European Union
Claire Morel, Deputy Head of Unit “International Cooperation and programmes”, European Commission (Brussels, Belgium)


Coffee break


Part I: Mobility windows


Mobility windows-clarifying an ‘elastic concept’
Irina Ferencz, Policy Officer, ACA (Brussels, Belgium)


Parallel workshops


Mobility windows for internships

Chair: Irina Ferencz

Gerrit Schreiber, Team Manager DMA and External Relations, Saxion Hospitaliy Business School (Deventer, The Netherlands)


Windows for studies

Chair: Kristina Hauschildt, Researcher, HIS (Hannover, Germany)

Judith Peltz, Director of the International Office, University of Vechta (Vechta, Germany)


Double and joint degree programmes: windows by definition?

Chair: Irma Garam, Research Manager, CIMO (Helsinki, Finland)

Ilkka Mikkonen, Head of degree programme/ Senior lecturer, Oulu University of Applied Sciences (Oulu, Finland)


Sandwich lunch


Part II: Internationalisation of the curriculum


Internationalising the curriculum
Jos Beelen, Senior Policy Advisor, Hogeschool Amsterdam (Amsterdam, The Netherlands)


A mixed, comprehensive approach – bridging strategy with DNA, involving ALL staff and students
Franka van den Hende, Senior Policy Advisor, University of Groningen (Groningen, The Netherlands)


Introspection Windows: contemporary reflections on the why and how of internationalisation
Piet van Hove, Head International, University of Antwerp (Antwerp, Belgium)


The internationalisation strategy of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel
Jacqueline Couder, Head International Relations Office, VUB (Brussels, Belgium) (tbc)


Feeding back on the seminar
Christian Tauch, Head of the Education Department, Hochschulrektorenkonferenz (Bonn, Germany)


Wrap-up and goodbye


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.

Jeroen Huisman

Jeroen Huisman is professor of Higher Education Governance, department of Sociology, Ghent University. He was professor of Higher Education Management at the University of Bath (2005-2013) and PhD student and senior researcher at the Center for Higher Education Policy Studies (CHEPS), University of Twente (1991-2004). He is editor of Higher Education Policy and the SRHE Higher Education book series. He has written extensively about higher education policy and its impacts and on Europeanisation and internationalization, including research on the Bologna Process and the ERASMUS programme.

Claire Morel

Claire Morel has worked for the past 17 years in the field of international cooperation in education and training. Before joining the European Commission, she worked at the European Training Foundation, and agency of the EU based in Turin, on the modernisation of vocational education and training systems in the Eastern neighbouring countries. She then moved to DG Education and Culture (DG EAC) of the European Commission where she worked for the Tempus programme (for higher education modernisation), dealing mainly with Central Asian countries, and the programme’s external communication. She is now deputy head of the unit for international cooperation and programmes in DG EAC and her work concentrates on international policy dialogue in education and training, in particular with the EU’s neighbouring countries, and preparing the next generation of EU international education programmes.

Irina Ferencz

Irina Ferencz is Policy Officer at the Academic Cooperation Association (ACA). Since her start at ACA, in 2008, she has been mainly involved in projects and activities related to the use of indicators for measuring internationalisation at university level and has authored several publications and articles on international student mobility, on both statistical and policy trends. Examples of recent publications she co-authored are the studies “Mapping mobility in European higher education” (previously referred to as EURODATA II) of 2011 and the 2012 “European and national policies for academic mobility. Linking rhetoric, practice and mobility trends”. Currently, Irina coordinates the MOWIN Project at ACA – which aims to generate a typology of “mobility windows” and practical examples in the European context. Over time, Irina has also been in charge of the development of several ACA European Policy Seminars, and constantly represents the association externally, at various international conferences and other events.

Irina, who is a Romanian national, studied International Relations and European Studies at the Babeş-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca and obtained a Master’s degree in European Politics and Policies at the Katholieke Universiteit, Leuven. She is currently pursuing a PhD at the University of Kassel, Germany.

Gerrit Schreiber

Gerrit Schreiber started 8 years ago lecturing Hospitality and Event Management in the bachelor program of Saxion Hotel Management. After a couple of years he was added to the Saxion knowledge centre Hospitality and started doing research on the Guest Journey of Thomas Thijssen in hotels. Now he is member of the management team of the Saxion Hospitality Business School, the home of the bachelor studies in Hotel-, Tourism and Facility Management and the master programs in Facility Management and MBA. He is specifically responsible for the DMA-team in which students are educated in Parttime Bachelor programmes of the Hospitality Business and professionals are lectured in Academic Masters (MBA/MA & FM/RE). In the position of policy officer External Relations he tries to create a platform for all stakeholders in order to intensify the cocreation between the student, the lecturer and the field of hospitality business.

Before Gerrit entered Saxion he studied Health Sciences at the Maastricht University and he did epidemiological research in the areas of occupational and environmental toxicology. After a career change he entered the hospitality business and he worked for many years in different hotels as Operations Manager, Food & Beverage Manager, and Human Resource Officer.

Kristina Hauschildt

Kristina Hauschildt joined the HIS-Institute for Research on Higher Education as a researcher in 2011. Her main areas of work include the evaluation of policy and practice in various areas of higher education, ranging from student drop-out to the impact of student fees on the quality of higher education provision. She was part of the TRACKIT project, which compared European practices of student and graduate tracking. Currently, she is involved in the MOWIN project, which examines different implementations of mobility windows in study programmes in several countries.

In 2010 Kristina was awarded a doctorate in work and organizational psychology from the University of Kiel, Germany. She graduated from the same university with a diploma in psychology in 2007. During her studies, she spent periods of her research at universities in the UK and Portugal.

Jos Beelen

Jos Beelen is researcher and consultant on internationalisation of the curriculum at the Centre for Applied Research into Economics and Management at the 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 cooperation with researchers from Europe and Australia. He was the editor EAIE’s ‘toolkit’ Implementing Internationalisation at Home (2007) and author of a number of articles on the same topic. Jos has contributed to workshops, training sessions and conferences and has acted as consultant at universities in Europe, Asia and Australia. He coaches academic staff at universities in The Netherlands and abroad in the design and implementation of internationalised curricula. One of the issues he focuses on is developing the skills of academic staff that enable them to assume ownership of curriculum internationalisation.

Franka van den Hende

Franka has been working in international relations in higher education since 1993. While she started as a teacher/researcher in Communication Studies, she subsequently moved to a management position. Franka worked at faculty and central level in different areas of internationalisation. From 2009 until September 2013 she was the Head of the International Office in Groningen.

Franka has a background in Communication and Journalism and studied and worked abroad extensively. Franka is now senior policy advisor in international relations and project leader for international classroom.

Piet van Hove

Piet Van Hove is Director (since 2005) of the International Relations Office of the University of Antwerp, Belgium ( He first started his career in internationalization of higher education in 1996. He serves as Chairman of the Board (since 2011) of Flanders Knowledge Area vzw (formerly Flamenco vzw), the Brussels-based agency for international promotion of Flemish higher education and research institutions ( In the past he served as a member of the IRM Board and the General Council of the European Association for International Education (EAIE).

Piet is also a non-executive board member of APOPO vzw (since 2008). APOPO is social enterprise (NGO) which trains and uses giant African pouched rats for humanitarian detection purposes, notably detecting landmines and tuberculosis among vulnerable populations in Africa and Asia (

Jacqueline Couder

Jacqueline Couder obtained a PhD degree in chemistry from the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB). After performing eight years of research in the field of synthesis of modified peptides and peptide analyses, she became assistant professor in the ‘Guidance and Learning Center’ of VUB. There she provided counseling and coaching support services to first year students with regard to their chemistry course, while doing scientific research on learning styles and learning processes.

Returning from a six year stay in the US in 2001, she joined the R&D dept. of VUB to manage the University Development Cooperation Projects. In 2004, she helped organize the relocation of the University Development Cooperation Unit from the R&D dept. to the newly installed International Relations and Mobility Office. She became Head of this International Office in 2009.

The International Office provides input with regard to university policy in general and university international policy in particular. One of the major tasks is the organization of activities and the identification of collaboration opportunities with international partners to implement the university policy decisions and to reach the strategic goals with regard to Internationalisation.

Christian Tauch

Christian Tauch studied history, international relations and literature in Germany and the US. From 1991 to 1995 he was head of the International Office at the Technical University of Dresden. In 1995 he became head of the International Department of the German Rectors’ Conference HRK in Bonn, a position he held until 2005. He co-authored several studies related to the Bologna Process (in particular the EUA “Trends reports”) and was until recently working at the Unit for Higher Education Policy and the Erasmus Programme in the Directorate General for Education and Culture of the European Commission. He is now head of the Department Education at the German Rectors’ Conference.


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