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Brussels, 30 January 2014

What's new in Brussels? Recent developments in European Policies and Programmes


Every year ACA starts its European Policy Series seminars with What’s new in Brussels ?. This event, devoted to recent developments in European Policies and Programmes, has proved to be massively popular since its start in…

This year’s edition will focus on the new generation of EU funding programmes. Erasmus+ and Horizon 2020 will be presented integrally, but we will also explore specific aspects more in depth. With Erasmus+, the ‘global opening’ of the programme as well as the introduction the ‘strategic partnerships’ and ‘knowledge alliances’ will have our special attention. In Horizon 2020, we focus on the Marie Sklodowska-Curie Action.

The programme will be rounded off by stakeholders’ expectations and by a report on the present state of development of U-Multirank. In the choice of speakers, ACA remained loyal to its principle: only the best.

What’s new in Brussels? has a tendency to fill up very fast. We suggest you register early.


Wednesday 29 January



Seminar dinner

Thursday 30 January



Registrations and coffee


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


Session I: Erasmus+


Opening Keynote

Higher education in Erasmus+: the final picture
Adam Tyson, Head of Unit for Higher Education, European Commission, DG Education and Culture (Brussels, Belgium)


The international dimension in Erasmus+
Claire Morel, Deputy Head of Unit “International Cooperation and programmes”, European Commission, DG Education and Culture (Brussels, Belgium)


Coffee break


New opportunities: Strategic partnerships and knowledge alliances in Erasmus+
Siegbert Wuttig, Director European Programmes, DAAD (Bonn, Germany)


Stakeholder views on Erasmus+: a panel discussion
Florence Balthasar, European Advisor for Education, Swisscore (Brussels, Belgium)
Stefan Delplace, Secretary-General, EURASHE (Brussels, Belgium)
Inge Knudsen, Director, Coimbra Group (Brussels, Belgium)
Rok Primožič, Chairperson, ESU (Brussels, Belgium)


Sandwich lunch


Afternoon keynote

U-Multirank: the state of play
Don Westerheijden, Senior Research Associate, University of Twente (Enschede, The Netherlands)


Session II: Horizon 2020


Horizon 2020: the final picture
Fabienne Gautier, Acting Head of Unit, European Commission, DG Research (Brussels, Belgium)


Marie Sklodowska-Curie in Horizon 2020
Bodo Richter, Deputy Head of Unit, European Commission, DG Education and Culture (Brussels, Belgium)


What European universities expect from Horizon 2020
Laura Keustermans, Policy Officer, LERU (Leuven, Belgium)


Conclusions and farewell
Bernd Wächter, Director, ACA (Brussels, Belgium)



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.

Adam Tyson

Adam is Head of Higher Education, Modernisation Agenda and Erasmus at the Directorate General for Education and Culture at the European Commission. He is responsible for developing EU higher education policies, overseeing the implementation of the Erasmus strand of the Lifelong Learning Programme and preparing proposals for the future.

In his previous post as Head of Policy and Interinstitutional Coordination, he was responsible for overseeing the development of policy in all areas covered by DG Education and Culture and for ensuring good relations with the Council of Ministers, the European Parliament and the other EU Institutions.

In previous posts in the Commission, Adam has worked on issues such as combating poverty and social exclusion, fighting discrimination on a wide range of grounds and been responsible for Communication and Speechwriting for the Commissioners for Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities. Before moving to the Commission, Adam spent ten years in Brussels working for the UK Government in the fields of labour and social affairs.

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.

Siegbert Wuttig

Dr. Siegbert Wuttig studied French, Italian, History and Psychology, and is currently Director of the National Agency for EU Higher Education Cooperation within the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). The National Agency is responsible for ERASMUS, ERASMUS Mundus, Tempus and other EU third-country programmes. Dr. Wuttig coordinated many national and European projects in the field of student mobility and higher education development in the framework of ERASMUS and the Bologna Process. He was a member of different national and international committees and working groups (e.g. SOCRATES Sub-committee higher education, ASEM working group on enhancing mobility between Europe and Asia, BFUG working group on mobility, European Commission’s working group on the future of Erasmus). Dr. Wuttig was the organiser of many conferences at national and international level (e.g. the Bologna Ministerial Conference 2003 in Berlin, the ASEM Ministerial Education Conference 2008 in Berlin, the ASEM University-Business Forum 2011 in Bonn, all on behalf of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research) and published widely on international higher education cooperation and mobility.

Florence Balthasar

Florence Balthasar has worked in the field of European education for the past four years. After a first experience in Brussels at the Mission of Switzerland to the European Union, she joined the Swiss National Agency (NA) responsible for the implementation of the European education programmes. As Project Coordinator for the Leonardo da Vinci programme, she contributed to the building up of the Swiss NA during the first year of Switzerland’s official participation in the Lifelong Learning Programme. She then moved back to Brussels in November 2011 to work for SwissCore (Contact Office for European Research, Innovation and Education) as European Advisor for Education. In that function, she monitors developments in European education policy and programmes and bridges between Swiss and EU institutions in this field.

Stefan Delplace

Stefan Delplace became the Secretary General of EURASHE ( in 2004, which he represents in the Bologna Follow up Group ( and several of its working and coordination groups.

He is also the representative of EURASHE in the ‘E4’ Group (with ENQA, EUA, ESU), of which the activities led to the creation of the European Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance, and the establishment of EQAR, the European Register for Quality Assurance Agencies (, where he is a member of the Executive Board. He is in various Advisory and Expert groups of the European Commission and of stakeholders organisations in higher education in Europe and also a member of the Executive Board of HETL (Higher Education Teaching and Learning Association).

Stefan is a graduate of the University of Ghent (Languages and Business studies), and spent some time teaching (in-service training for companies, teaching in higher and continuous education). He has run an international office of a University College for over 15 years, before specializing in policy towards and activities with partner countries of the EU (Tempus-TACIS & MEDA), and later in the implementation of the Bologna Process in professionally oriented institutions and programs. In his own country (Belgium) he is the Chair of the Jury of the Prince Philippe Fund, for inter-community dialogue and cooperation between the HEIs of the Flemish, German and French-speaking Communities of Belgium.

Inge Knudsen

A graduate of the University of Aarhus of English Philology and Comparative Literature (1981), she taught at its Faculty of Arts, was Chairman of its Faculty Study Board, a member of the Board of the University and served on the Humanities and Theology Planning Committee of the Danish Ministry of Education. Other university appointments included Head of Information, Head of the International Office, and representative on the Steering Committee of the Coimbra Group.

Following a period in the ERASMUS Bureau in Brussels (1989-1993), she was appointed Director of the Confederation of European Union Rectors’ Conferences (1994-2001), closely associated with the Bologna Process, being responsible for the Trends I and Trends II reports, and participated actively in the work of the Bologna Follow-Up Group. After four years as senior research programme manager at EUA, she worked as a consultant in 2005 before taking up the post as Director of the Coimbra Group Office in Brussels in January 2006.

She has guest lectured at the Universities of Copenhagen, Cracow, Leuven and Louvain-la-Neuve in her areas of research, Renaissance drama and women writers in the 18th and 19th century. 

Rok Primožič

Rok Primozic is the Chairperson of the European Students’ Union, which is the umbrella organisation of 47 national unions of students from 39 European countries. He has a Bachelor in Law from University in Ljubljana and is currently studying Educational Sciences at a Masters level in VUB Brussels. He has been a student representative for more than five years already, starting in Slovenia, where he served among others also as the acting president of Slovenian Student Union (ŠOS). He was a member of ESU’s Executive Committee in 2011/12 and a Vice-Chairperson in 2012/13. His main areas of work are public responsibility and financing of Higher Education as well as mobility and internationalisation.

Don Westerheijden

Don F. Westerheijden is senior research associate at the Center for Higher Education Policy Studies (CHEPS) of the University of Twente (in Enschede, the Netherlands), where since over 20 years he co-ordinates research on quality management and is involved in the co-ordination and supervision of Ph.D. students. Don publishes articles and books on quality assurance in higher education in the Netherlands and Europe, its impacts, and on transparency tools. Currently, he is a member of the teams developing U-Map and U-Multirank. He was involved in a large number of (Tempus) projects to modernise and quality assure higher education in Central and Eastern Europe between 1991 and ca. 2005, co-developed since 1993 the CRE/EUA Institutional Evaluation Programme, the first international institutional quality review, evaluated the quality assurance procedure in Hong Kong (1998/1999) and led the independent assessment of the Bologna Process in 2009/2010.

Fabienne Gautier

Fabienne Gautier has been Acting Head of the European Research Area (ERA) Policy and Reform Unit in the European Commission (DG Research and Innovation) since September 2012, and before that was Deputy Head of Unit since April 2011. She supports the coordination and development of an ERA policy Framework as part of the Innovation Union Flagship Initiative of the EU’s Europe 2020 Strategy.

From 2008 to 2011 she was Deputy Head of the Administration and Finance Unit of the Directorate in charge of Science, Economy and Society. Besides the overall planning and monitoring tasks of the Unit, she supervised the negotiation and follow up of the Directorate’s grants and public procurements, developing concrete actions to reduce the time to grant.

From 2006 to 2008 she worked as a policy and legal officer in charge of the implementation of Article 185 of the Treaty for the 7th Framework Programme in the Directorate in charge of the Coordination of National Research Programmes.  From the identification of the potential candidates, to the preparation and adoption of the first proposals in co-decision, she actively contributed to the realisation of the Commission’s Work Programme on this strategic issue.  

From 2003 to 2006 she was a project officer responsible for several ERA-NET projects for the 7th Framework Programme and contributed to the definition of the legal framework of ERA-NET and ERA-NET Plus activities.

From 1995 to 2003, she worked as legal officer in the Legal Unit of the Directorate General for Research and contributed to the drafting of the regulatory decisions and contracts related to the Framework Programmes.

She has a Master degree in Law (France), a certificate in European Law from the European Institute in Saarbrücken (Germany) and Advanced Master in Law of Information and Communication Technologies from the University of Namur (Belgium).

Bodo Richter

Bodo Richter joined the European Commission in 1997. He has worked in the Directorates-General for Employment and Social Affairs as well as Education and Culture in the areas of training, communication, innovation, higher education and international organisations. Prior to taking his current assignment as deputy head of unit, Bodo was in charge of international education and training policy development with industrialised countries, in particular the EU-U.S. and EU-Canada co-operation agreements as well as the co-operation programmes with Australia and New Zealand.

He studied in at the University of Mannheim (Germany) and at the University of Waterloo (ON, Canada), specialising in French, Italian and German languages and literatures. Prior to joining the European Commission, Bodo worked for the German Ministry of Education on EU programmes in the fields of education, training, science and research and was a high school teacher and university research assistant in France, Canada and Germany.

Laura Keustermans

Mrs. Laura Keustermans is Policy Officer at the League of European Research Universities. She joined LERU in January 2007 and is currently responsible for policy development across different areas of LERU’s activities, in particular EU research funding programmes, Social-Sciences and Humanities and teaching and learning.

Laura obtained a Master’s degree in Modern History from KU Leuven in 2003, after which she specialized in international relations. Before joining LERU she worked as an Account Manager in an international company involved in IT distribution.


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Higher education in Erasmus+: the final picture

pdf Adam Tyson (3.5 MB)
The international dimension in Erasmus+
pdf Claire Morel (1.7 MB)
New opportunities: Strategic partnerships and knowledge alliances in Erasmus+
pdf Siegbert Wuttig (221 KB)
U-Multirank: the state of play
pdf Don Westerheijden (550 KB)
Horizon 2020: the final picture
pdf Fabienne Gautier (647 KB)
Marie Sklodowska-Curie in Horizon 2020
pdf Bodo Richter (749 KB)
What European universities expect from Horizon 2020
pdf Laura Keustermans (464 KB)