Stay in the loop! Subscribe to our mailing list

Brussels, 11 June 2018

The impact of internationalisation – putting together the puzzle


With the value of internationalisation of higher education being widely contested in may parts of the world – some of them most unexpected – being able to prove the impact of our own activities seems more pressing than ever. This one-day event – The impact of internationalisation – putting together the puzzle – will take place in Brussels on 11 June 2018. It will facilitate an honest and informed discussion on impact assessment at different levels – European, national, institutional, and individual – and take stock of the existing body of knowledge, data and other evidence on internationalisation of higher education. The aim is to jointly discuss and conclude what kind of impact-related questions can be answered with certainty, as well as to identity remaining gaps, to be filled by relevant research and data collection. 

The programme will feature internationalisation as a comprehensive process, as well as zoom in some key international activities, from international student and staff mobility, to joint programmes and curricular internationalisation, amongst others.


Monday, 11 June 2018


08:30 Registrations and coffee
09:00 Welcome and introduction


Opening panel – Setting the scene: impact, internationalisation, assessment

Moderator: Irina Ferencz (Deputy Director, Academic Cooperation Association – ACA, Belgium)
Eva Egron-Polak (Senior Fellow, Former Secretary General, Interantional Association of Universities – IAU, France)
Prof Robert Coelen (Professor; Director of the Centre for Internationalisation of Education (CIE), NHL Stenden University of Applied Sciences and the University of Groningen Campus Fryslân, The Netherlands)
Dr Lucia Brajkovic (Senior research specialist, American Council on Education – ACE, USA)
Marina Casals Sala (Director of International Relations, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Spain)

10:45 Coffee break


Parallel sessions (round 1) – Exploring impact of internationalisation activities

Session 1 – Personal and professional impact of student and staff mobility

Moderator: Irma Garam (Research Manager, Finnish National Agency for Education – EDUFI, Finland)
Mavi Calabrese (Academic & Government Relations Director, ETS Global, The Netherlands) – Drivers of student mobility
Prof Uwe Brandenburg (Managing Director of the Global Impact Institute (Prague, Czech Republic) and Associate Professor at Universitat Rovira i Virgili (Tarragona, Spain) – Impact on the mobile students and staff (personal and professional) 

Session 2 – Impact of strategic partnerships and joint programmes
Moderator: Dr Christian Müller (Director Strategy, German Academic Exchange Service – DAAD, Germany) 
Agnete Wiborg (Senior Adviser, Norwegian Centre for International Cooperation in Education – SIU, Norway) – Impact of strategic partnerships (on students, staff, institutions and the HE system)
Andries Verspeeten (Policy Adviser, Ghent University, Belgium) – Impact of joint programmes (on students, staff, institutions and the HE system)

Session 3 – Impact of (national)-level scholarship programmes (at individual level, on home and host country)
Moderator: Katrin Kiisler (Head of Higher Education Unit, Archimedes Foundation, Estonia)
Dylan Gipson (International Scholarships Specialist, Institute of International Education – IIE, Hungary) – Impact of the Ford scholarships
Veronika Major-Kathi (Senior Programme Coordinator, Tempus Public Foundation – TPF, Hungary) – Stipendium Hungaricum sholarships
Mikael Börjesson (Professor, Uppsala University, Sweden) – Academic mobility and international migration – A study of the Swedish Institute scholarships

12:30 Lunch break


Parallel sessions (round 2)

Session 4 – Institutional and system-level impact of student and staff mobility 

Moderator: Dag Stenvoll (Senior Adviser, Norwegian Centre for International  Cooperation in Education – SIU, Norway) 
Marina Casals Sala (Director of International Relations, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Spain)  – Impact of student and staff mobility on the higher education institutions
Daan Huberts (Researcher, Policy adviser, Nuffic, The Netherlands) and Dr Christian Müller (Director Strategy, German Academic Exchange Service – DAAD Germany)  – Economic and cultural impact of international students on the host and home country 

Session 5 – Impact of internationalisation at home and internationalisation of the curriculum

Moderator: Prof Gabriele Abermann (Prof. emer. Dr. National expert for the EHR, Salzburg, Austria) 


Franka van den Hende (Academic expert and researcher in internationalisation of higher education, University of Groningen, The Netherlands) – Impact of curriculum internationalisation; a resource-based change perspective
Esko Koponen (Specialist, University of Helsinki, Finland) – Impact of English-medium instruction

Session 6 – Towards assessing internationalisation of the higher education system

Moderator: Anders Ahlstrand (Analyst, Swedish Council of Higher Education – UHR,  Sweden) 

Irma Garam (Research Manager, Finnish National Agency for Education – EDUFI, Finland) – National-level indicators for internationalisation in Finland
Petra Bevek (Head of Sector, Centre of the Republic of Slovenia for Mobility and European Educational and Training Programs – CMEPIUS, Slovenia) – Assessment of internationalisation via the Erasmus+ Charters for Higher Education (ECHE) in Slovenia
Dr Mark Frederiks (Coordinator International Policy, NVAO/ECA, The Netherlands) – CeQuInt and potential for national-level assessment 

14:45 Coffee break


Panel discussion – Putting the pieces together: what do we safely know and where are the gaps?

Moderator: Prof Uwe Brandenburg (Managing Director of the Global Impact Institute (Prague, Czech Republic) and Associate Professor at Universitat Rovira i Virgili (Tarragona, Spain)
Dr Lucia Brajkovic (Senior Research Specialist, American Council on Education – ACE, USA)
Prof Robert Coelen (Professor, Director of the Centre for Internationalisation of Education (CIE), NHL Stenden University of Applied Sciences and the University of Groningen Campus Fryslân, The Netherlands)
Esko Koponen (Specialist, University of Helsinki, Finland)
Ross Hudson (Senior Knowledge Officer, European Association for International Education (EAIE), The Netherlands)

16:15 Eva Egron-Polak (Senior Fellow, Former Secretary General, Interantional Association of Universities – IAU, France) – Impact and comprehensive internationalisation – where are we heading?
16:45  Wrap-up and goodbye


Irina Ferencz

Irina Ferencz (née Lungu) is Deputy Director at the Academic Cooperation Association (ACA), the organisation where she also started her professional career in the field of internationalisation of European higher education in 2008. Irina, who is a Romanian national, is a graduate of the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, holding an advanced master’s degree in EU public policies and politics, and an undergraduate degree of Babeş-Bolyai University (Romania) in international relations and European studies. Through her research and project management at ACA, Irina has worked on studies related to: student and staff mobility in the European context, on internationalisation policies at university and at national level, on the development of internationalisation indicators and multi-level assessment of internationality, and is generally interested in comparative policy analysis in higher education. Irina also serves as a member of the Publications Committee of the European Association for International Education (EAIE) and is a reviewer for several higher education journals. She is currently enrolled as a PhD candidate at the Centre for Higher Education Governance Ghent (CHEGG), Ghent University, researching internationalisation, identity and organisational change in universities of applied sciences (UAS). Irina speaks Romanian (mother tongue), English, French, Italian and a bit of German. She also reads Spanish and masters ‘Larish’, a language of the under-two-year-olds.

Eva Egron-Polak

Eva Egron-Polak studied French Literature, Political Science and International Political Economy in Canada and in France. After nearly 20 years at the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada, now known as Universities Canada, where she held several positions including as Vice President, International, she became the Secretary General of the International Association of Universities (IAU) in 2002. She held this position until 2017 and now continues as an IAU Senior Fellow.  She developed numerous new activities and services at the IAU in various areas of higher education policy, most especially in internationalization, leadership development as well as promoting equitable access and success in higher education, sustainable development and ethics, academic values and higher education’s responsibility to society.  Eva Egron-Polak has undertaken numerous reviews of higher education institutions and systems including in collaboration with the OECD and the World Bank in Egypt, Spain, Romania, Ireland, Japan, Bangladesh among others.  She continues to serve on many Boards in organizations such as the Magna Charta Observatory, the Executive Committee of GAPS, the advisory committee of the Global Centre for Higher Education and the International Advisory Committee of the University Granada. She co-authored the two last editions of the IAU Global Survey Report on Internationalization of Higher Education (2010 and 2014 respectively), and written and presented numerous papers on higher education topics. She is the recipient of the Palmes academique from the Government of France and In 2015 she was awarded a Doctorate honoris causa by Mykolas Romeris University in Lithuania.

Marina Casals

Marina Casals is Director of International Relations at Universitat Rovira i Virgili (Spain). She holds a BA in Translation and Interpreting, and a MA in Teaching Spanish as a foreign language. Her international experience has taken her to work at Tampere University in Finland for one year, then to work for 5 years at Al Akhawayn University in Ifrane (Morocco), where she held different positions within the Department of Development and Communication. In 2005, she moved to Universitat Rovira i Virgili (Tarragona, Spain), where she was Head of the Internationalization Strategic Unit at the Rector’s Office and more recently, since 2013, she is Director of International Relations, heading both the strategic and the managerial part of international relations. She has served the European Association for International Education in its leadership at various positions since 2007 (now a member of the General Council), is an EAIE Trainer and presents at several conferences internationally (EAIE, NAFSA, DAAD Seminar, CampusFrance among others). She is a member of the Mangement board of the Center for Higher Education Internationalisation (CHEI) at the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore in Milano. She is also the coordinator of the “SUCTI Project” (, an Erasmus + Strategic Partnership project. She was awarded the EAIE Rising Star Award in 2009 and the SGroup IMPACT Award in 2016.

Robert Coelen

Robert Coelen is Professor of Internationalisation of Higher Education at NHL Stenden University of Applied Sciences and Director of the Centre for Internationalisation of Education (CIE), a collaboration between his university and the University of Groningen, Campus Fryslân. He holds a visiting professorship at Tongji University in China. He studied at La Trobe University (Australia), the University of Western Australia, and James Cook University (Australia). He was an academic in the Natural Sciences before taking up executive roles in the management of internationalisation of higher education in Australia and since 2004 in Europe at Leiden University (Vice-President International) and Stenden University of Applied Sciences. At his current university he was variously, Vice-President International, interim Executive Dean at Stenden University Qatar, and took up his current role in 2014. The CIE was created in 2017 and presently has a PhD program with candidates form around the world. He is on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Studies in International Education and regularly reviews manuscripts for the Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education.

Irma Garam

Irma Garam works as a Research Manager in Finnish National Agency for Education EDUFI. She has a long experience in research and development projects focusing on different aspects of internationalization of education, including international study programmes, international curriculum, student and staff mobility and employment. Her main fields of expertise are internationalization of higher education, international mobility, impact assessment, evaluation of internationalization and evaluation methodologies.

María Victoria Calabrese

María Victoria Calabrese joined ETS in 2007, and currently serves as Academic & Government Relations Director for ETS Global, based in Amsterdam. She is responsible for the TOEFL® and GRE® tests outreach, as well as relationship development with higher education policy organizations, government agencies and business schools worldwide, with an emphasis on Europe, the Middle East and Africa. She also worked for two years at the ETS office in Paris. Before joining ETS, Calabrese served on the Cultural Affairs section of the U.S. Embassy in Argentina and as a researcher on European, American and Latin American higher education policy within the Observatorio de las Relaciones Unión Europea – América Latina (OBREAL) at the Universitat de Barcelona. Previously, she worked at the European Commission in Brussels, and spent five years in the field of human resources in the private sector. Calabrese holds a B.A in political science from the Universidad de Buenos Aires and an M.A in international relations from Università degli Studi di Bologna, Italy.

Uwe Brandenburg

Uwe Brandenburg holds a PhD from the University of Bristol in Globalisation Studies, an MscEcon from the University of Wales at Swansea and an M.A. in Islamic Sciences from the WWU Münster. He is currently the Managing Director of the Global Impact Institute in Prague and Associate Professor for Regional Cooperation and Impact of Higher Education at the University Rovira I Virgili in Tarragona, Spain. Prior to that he was Managing Partner of CHE Consult and CHE Consult Prague. He was also Director International at the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin for eight years. Uwe has published widely on the topic of internationalization such as the muchdebated article with Hans de Wit on the end of internationalization in 2011 in the Boston IHE. He was the head author and team leader for both the Erasmus Impact Study (EIS, 2014) and the follow-up EIS Regional Analysis (EIS RA, 2016), the European Voluntary Service Impact Study (2017) and a large-scale research project on the effects of internationalization on nonacademic staff financed by the German Federal Ministry of Education. He currently conducts various impact studies, e.g. for the Universität Göttingen (GER) and the UK-India Research Council. We was an elected member of the General Council of the European Association for International Educators (EAIE) and currently serves as an elected member of the Strategy and Management Steering Group of the EAIE and the Convocation Court of the University of Bristol.

Christian Müller

Christian Müller works at the German Academic Exchange Services (DAAD) since January 2002, heading the newly created department of strategy at DAAD head office, since 2015. He served at DAAD Brazil from 2009 to 2014, as director of the DAAD branch office in Rio de Janeiro. Simultaneously, he was President of the Board of the German Center for Science and Innovation (DWIH), São Paulo. Prior to this appointment, he was head of the Division “Communication and Marketing” at the DAAD in Bonn, leading the secretariat of the consortium GATE-Germany. In former years, he worked as university lecturer for German Language and Literature in Portugal (Aveiro) and Brazil (Campinas, Rio de Janeiro) as well as in the training of experts in development cooperation. His academic background is in Social Sciences and German Studies at the Universities of Göttingen and Bonn.

Agnete Wiborg

Agnete Wiborg has a Ph.D in social anthropology. She has long experience from working in research and higher education. She is now working as a senior adviser in the department of analysis in SIU, Norwegian Centre for International Cooperation in Education.

Andries Verspeeten

Andries Verspeeten is a Policy Adviser for International Relations at Ghent University, Belgium, where he’s been working since 2007. He advises promotors in the development and implementation of Erasmus Mundus Joint Master’s Degrees and provides overall follow-up to the EU higher education policy, acting as a liaison to different national and international networks. His position as secretary to Ghent University’s Internationalisation board keeps him in touch with the wider aspects of internationalisation policy and operations. Andries is a steering committee member of the EAIE Joint Programmes Expert Network. He holds a Master’s Degree in Eastern European languages and cultures with a focus on the Russian and Serbian languages and international politics.

Katrin Kiisler

Katrin Kiisler is in charge of higher education at Archimedes Foundation. She joined Archimedes team in 1998 with the mandate to facilitate launching and implementation of Erasmus programme in Estonia. Since then she has been active in the development Estonian higher education internationalisation policies, implementation of various mobility instruments, has been a member of numerous national and international working groups, committees, strategy task forces and evaluation panels. Her research interests are related to impact of national mobility instruments and factors affecting migration and return mobility of academics. Before joining Archimedes, Katrin was employed as a lecturer of Latin and Roman literature at the University of Tartu.

Dylan Gipson

Dylan Gipson has contributed to a number of important international education programs during his fifteen-year tenure at the Institute of International Education (IIE). Currently, he is based at IIE’s office in Budapest as an International Scholarships Specialist, where he helped launch the Schwarzman Scholars program, an elite scholarship program in China. Previously he worked in IIE’s Washington, DC office on all aspects of the Fulbright Scholar Program and helped co-design and implement the inaugural cycles of the Carnegie African Diaspora Fellowship Program. Dylan holds a BA in International Studies from American University and an MA in Higher Education from the University of Oslo, Norway, awarded through the Erasmus Mundus scheme, including study at the University of Tampere, Finland, and the University of Aveiro, Portugal.

Veronika Major-Kathi

Veronika Major-Kathi works as a senior institutional programme coordinator at Tempus Public Foundation. Having worked in international education since 2001, she has a wide experience in education organization and management, both in the private and public sectors. After spending 7 years in higher education, specializing in strategic internationalization and international office management, she is currently a senior coordinator of the Stipendium Hungaricum scholarship program, focusing on the institutional implementation and quality development of the program. 

Mikael Börjesson

Mikael Börjesson is professor in Sociology of Education at Uppsala University and is co-director of the research unit Sociology of Education and Culture (SEC) and director of the Swedish Centre for the Studies of the Internationalisation of Higher Education (SIHE). His main research domains are fields of education, transnational strategies and the internationalisation of higher education, elites and elite education, as well as applications of Geometric Data Analysis. He is currently directing the research project Swedish Higher Education. Financing, Organisation, Enrolment, Outcomes, 1950–2020 (SHEFOE), funded by the Swedish Research Council.

Dag Stenvoll

Dag Stenvoll has a Doctoral degree in Comparative Politics, and undergraduate studies in English, French and Russian. Since 2011, he has been working at the Department of Development and Analysis at the Norwegian Centre for International Cooperation in Education (SIU).

Daan Huberts

Daan Huberts is research lead on data- and student analytics at Nuffic, the Netherlands organisation for internationalisation in education. A historian and political scientist by training, he is living proof that the so-called ‘softer sciences’ do not necessarily teach their students substantive analytic- or quantitative research. Daan has a broad interest in international education, data analytics and higher education policy. He believes in the paramount importance of open data, transparency and impact initiatives. 

Gabriele Abermann

Dr. Abermann is a recently retired Senior Lecturer for social skills and intercultural communication at the Salzburg University of Applied Sciences in the degree programme Information Technology and Systems Management. She has served as Director of International Relations and Vice Rector for teaching and internationalization. Dr. Abermann has extensive teaching experience in Austria and abroad and has coordinated the university-enterprise cooperation project, SKILL2E, which aimed at enhancing the intercultural competence acquisition of students on transnational placements and intensifying the dialogue between universities and enterprises. As one of the Austrian national experts for the Bologna Reform / European Higher Education Area since 2009 she is a member of the national BFUG and has advised universities across all sectors on the implementation of Bologna Reform issues such as student-centred learning or internationalization.

Franka van den Hende

Franka van den Hende (University of Groningen, the Netherlands) combines her PhD on curriculum internationalization from a resource-based organizational change perspective with her role as an academic expert in an institution-wide project on the international classroom (2013-2020, and policy advising about internationalisation of education. While van den Hende has published her first findings (2014, 2015), the International Classroom project has seen the first cases implemented.

Esko Koponen
Esko Koponen has many years of experience in International Education, both at the national and university levels. Fort the past 14 years he has worked in strategic planning and development at the University of Helsinki. His duties include the development of international programmes and international joint and double degree programs.

Anders Ahlstrand

Anders Ahlstrand has worked with internationalization of Higher Education for the past 20 years. He has experience of implementing a wide range of European and national mobility and cooperation programmes both at university and national level. At present he works as analyst at the Swedish Council for Higher Education.

Petra Bevek

Petra Bevek, head of sector at the Centre for Mobility and European Educational and Training Programs (CMEPIUS). Expert in the higher education field, with primary focus on internationalisation, promotion, recruitment and a special interest in web design and editing.  She has twelve years of experience in the field of higher education and international cooperation. Her career in higher education began at the University of Ljubljana as coordinator of international mobility projects at the International Relations Office of the Faculty of Arts. As head of the Office and, later, vice-dean for international cooperation and research at the Faculty of Design, associated member of University of Primorska, she continued working in the international field. In 2014 she joined the Slovenian NA first coordinating the EEA and Norwegian scholarship fund, then as counsellor for the Erasmus+ ICM projects and as coordinator of Study in Slovenia and EURAXESS national activities. Currently she is head of IMPact sector responsible for disseminating information, networking and promotion of programmes, project and initiatives coordinated by the agency.

Mark Frederiks

Mark Frederiks is coordinator international policy and member of Team Flanders of NVAO, the Accreditation Organisation of The Netherlands and Flanders. Since 2004 he is also Coordinator of the European Consortium for Accreditation in Higher Education (ECA). From 2008 to 2013 he was Administrator of the world‐wide network of QA agencies INQAAHE. His work at NVAO includes institutional reviews, joint degrees, TNE, international assessments, and other international QA issues. Mark was a member of the Bologna Expert Group that prepared the European Approach for QA of Joint Programmes which was adopted by the EHEA Ministers in Yerevan. He coordinated four EU funded projects on joint programmes, developing European training programmes, and Mutual recognition. He coordinated the verification of the alignment of the Dutch and Flemish NQFs with the EHEA QF, participated as an expert in the NQF verification committee in Portugal, and advised on the NQF in Georgia. Mark was one of the initiators of the NVAO assessments of internationalisation that developed into the ECA Certificate for Quality in Internationalisation (CeQuInt). He was the Dutch representative in the drafting group for the UNESCO/OECD Guidelines for Quality Provision in Cross‐border Higher Education. He was an expert or process coordinator in QA reviews in Austria, Germany, Ireland, Luxembourg, Slovenia and Sweden. Before joining NVAO he worked with the Netherlands Association of Universities of Applied Sciences and was a researcher with Open University UK and CHEPS/University of Twente where he obtained his PhD. He is (co‐) author of some forty publications in the field of quality assurance in higher education.

Lucia Brajkovic

Lucia Brajkovic is a senior research specialist at ACE’s Center for Internationalization and Global Engagement (CIGE). She also serves as the executive director of the Higher Education Initiative for Southeastern Europe (HEISEE).  She completed her doctoral degree at the Institute of Higher Education, University of Georgia (UGA). Her dissertation research focuses on political economy and higher education systems in post-socialist countries of Central and Eastern Europe. She is also exploring the internationalization of U.S. higher education, and the connections of U.S. universities with the industry and corporate world. During the course of her doctoral program she served as a Fulbright Fellow at the Institute of Higher Education, and a graduate research assistant at UGA’s Carl Vinson Institute of Government. Her work has been published in International Higher Education, European Journal of Higher Education, Encyclopedia of International Higher Education Systems and Institutions and other venues.  Brajkovic also holds a Master’s degree in philosophy and sociology from the University of Zagreb and a diploma in public relations management. Prior to coming to the United States she worked as a public relations officer at the University of Zagreb, Croatia.

Ross Hudson

Ross Hudson is the Senior Knowledge Officer at the European Association for International Education (EAIE). He is also a Doctoral candidate of the University of Bath, UK. He has worked in policy development and research role in the field of international higher education since 2007, in a number of organizations in the UK, France, and the Netherlands. Ross is the author of published research, for organisations including the European Parliament, Institute of International Education and the International Association of Universities.


Fondation Universitaire / Universitaire Stichting

11 rue d’Egmont / Egmontstraat
B-1000 Brussels

Tel: +32 (0) 545 04 00