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Brussels, 15 April 2005

What’s new in Brussels? Recent developments in European policies and programmes


The first seminar in 2005 was entitled “What’s new in Brussels: Recent developments in European policies and programmes”. Like its predecessor in 2004, it was an introduction to the theme-specific seminars to follow in 2005. The seminar provided the latest information on, and analysis of, the Bologna and Lisbon Processes: first results of the new report on trends in European higher education were presented and discussed, as well as upconing issues for the Bergen Ministerial Meeting. The recognition of the three-year-Bachelor in the US was another widely discussed theme addressed in the seminar. Latest developments regarding the Lisbon agenda were also subject of a seminar presentation.

ACA succeeded in winning as external speakers Peter van der Hijden (European Commission, Brussels), Sybille Reichert (ETH Zürich), and Rolf Hoffmann (German Fulbright Commission, Berlin). The “crew” was completed by ACA Director Bernd Wächter.


Thursday 14 April 2005

Welcome dinner

Friday 15 April 2005





Welcome / Opening


The Lisbon scenario: as gloomy as the Kok Report paints it?
Bernd Wächter, Academic Cooperation Association (ACA)


Cofee break


Progress towards the European higher education area: first results of the new Trends report
Sybille Reichert, ETH Zürich




Recognition of Bolognadegrees in the US: the deathblow to the three-year Bachelor?
Rolf Hoffmann, German Fulbright Commission


Bergen around the corner: the political implications of the new trends in the building of the European Higher Education Area
Peter van der Hijden, European Commission, DG Education and Culture


Coffee Break


From Bologna to Lisbon: discussion and wrap up (all presenters)


End of Seminar


Bernd Wächter

Bernd Wächter is the chief executive officer (Director) of the Academic Cooperation Association (ACA), a European association of 20 nationally based internationalisation agencies. In this capacity, which he has held since 1998, he bears overall responsibility for the implementation of all ACA policy.
Earlier on (1995 – 1997), he was the Head of the Erasmus Department in the then Socrates and Youth TAO, which implemented the centralised parts of the Erasmus Programme on behalf of the European Commission. Between 1992 and 1995, he headed the German national agency for the Erasmus Programme inside the DAAD, which also had important national information functions for the COMETT, LINGUA and TEMPUS schemes. His experience with internationalisation also relates to the institutional level, through his functions as head of the international office of the Fachhochschule Darmstadt, and as a departmental coordinator of international relations at the Gesamthochschule Kassel. He has also worked for the British Council.

Bernd Wächter has published and lectured widely on issues of Europeanisation and internationalisation of higher education. He is the editor of the ACA Papers on International Cooperation in Education.

Sybille Reichert

After her PhD. from Yale University in 1994, USA, Sybille Reichert has worked as a consultant in Higher Education Policy for eight years, focussing on issues of strategic development, internationalisation and structural reforms of universities in Europe. All of her projects or studies, which were commissioned by individual universities, ministries of education, the European Commission, the European University Association and the centre for higher education research (Kassel, Germany), had an international comparative dimension. Since 2002, Reichert has been working for the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH Zürich), first as strategic project developer, and since 2003 as head of strategic planning in the office of the vice-president planning and infrastructure.

Together with Christian Tauch from the German Rectors’ Conference, Sybille Reichert is the author of the Trends report on the progress towards the European Higher Education Area, a series of biannual reports produced for Ministerial conferences of the Bologna Process, which maps out the Bologna implementation in each country. “Trends 2003: Progress towards the European Higher Education Area”, EUA publications 2003 served as the background document for the European University Convention in Graz (May 2003) and the subsequent symposium of the European Ministers of Education in Berlin (September 2003). First results of the 2004 report will be presented at the European University Convention in Glasgow (April 2005); the report itself will come out on the occasion of the Bergen Ministerial Meeting.

Rolf Hoffmann

Rolf Hoffmann is Executive Director of the German-American Fulbright Commission in Berlin since February 2004. Born in Cologne, Germany, he studied biological sciences at Duke University, Durham, North Carolina, USA, and the University of Tübingen in Germany where he was awarded a doctoral degree in 1983. After two years as an assistant professor in zoology at the University of Karlsruhe he joined the policy division of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation in Bonn and later became Deputy Director of their selection division and the Feodor-Lynen Program. In 1990, he joined the newly created German Space Agency (DARA) as head of the international science and business relations policy office. Since 1991 he worked mainly for the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) in Bonn, first as Programme Director (for North American and European programs), then as Director of the DAAD North America office in New York, with an interim (1999-2000) as Director of the German-American Academic Council in Bonn and Washington, D.C.

In 2001, Rolf Hoffmann was appointed Director of DAAD’s new International Marketing Initiative, which combines GATE-Germany (the German Higher Education Institution’s marketing consortium) and the official Secretariat of the German Government’s Joint Initiative for the International Promotion of Study and Research in Germany.

Peter van der Hijden

Peter van der Hijden is Deputy Head of the Higher Education Unit of DG Education and Culture of the European Commission. The Unit is responsible for Socrates-Erasmus and Jean Monnet. Mr. van der Hijden coordinates the EU contribution to the Bologna process, in particular as regards quality assurance, credit transfer (ECTS) and joint degrees.

Peter van der Hijden was born in Sittard in the Netherlands. He studied Law at the Universities of Nijmegen, Leiden and Maastricht before becoming an university administrator at the University of Maastricht, where he worked for ten years. He joined the European Commission in 1991 and, apart from a short period in the Directorate General responsible for Transport, worked mostly in the field of higher education. The development of Erasmus in general, and of Quality Assurance, joint degrees and ECTS in particular, has been focal point of his career. 


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