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List of Working Groups

Breakout sessions

On Friday, 8 October afternoon, two subsequent working group sessions will take place, each comprising six thematic working groups.

While the working groups in Breakout Session I will look at developments at institutional level, the ones in Breakout Session II will focus on the external conditions, such as policies and funding.

In this regard, each working group of the first set (e.g. 1a) is linked to a working group of the second set (1.b). Participants are encouraged to continue in the same topic.

Breakout Session I: Institutional policies and strategies for internationalisation

WG 1a: What does it mean to be international?
Old Library building, room AUB2

What makes a university truly international? The number of international students? MoUs and collaboration projects with international partners? The purpose of the session is to have a closer look at choices and opportunities in institutional internationalisation in the example of case studies, which will illustrate how the universities define and implement internationalisation, and what are the impacts on their missions. It would also like to develop and discuss initial suggestions for indicators to be used in benchmarking internationalisation

  • What are the strategic approaches for developing an international university?
  • Given the wide range of options, how to make the right choice?
  • What is the impact of external drivers (government policies, funding)?
  • How does internationalisation relate to the institutional mission? Can/should it be mainstreamed?
  • How is internationalisation coordinated and managed within the institution?
  • How do we read internationalization? First suggestions for benchmarking?

Chair: Maria Helena Nazaré, EUA Vice-President, Rector, University of Aveiro, Portugal

Patricia Pol, Vice-President, Université Paris-Est, France
Joybrato Mukherjee, First Vice-President, Justus Liebig University, Giessen, Germany

Rapporteur: Michael Gaebel, EUA

WG 2a: The crucial role of mobility
Old Library building, room AUB3

For a decade, increasing mobility of students and staff has been a core goal of the European higher education and research area. The working group will discuss how institutional strategies and action for in- and outgoing mobility have been developed, and what is the impact of such strategies on the institution’s teaching, learning and research.

  • How is mobility integrated into the institution’s internationalisation policies?
  • What are the mobility targets, and how are they assessed?
  • How do institutions support mobile students and staff, both in- and outbound (both structures and funding)?
  • What are the main hindrances for mobility from an institutional perspective?
  • How does mobility ‘beyond Europe’ differ from mobility within?

Chair: Lesley Wilson, Secretary General, EUA


Guido Langouche, Chairman of the Executive Board, Coimbra Group

Frank van der Duyn Schouten, General Director, Network for Studies on Pension, Aging and Retirement (Netspar), Tilburg University, the Netherlands

Rapporteur: Michael Hörig, EUA

WG 3a: International research cooperation
Stephanstrasse 24, room 101

Case studies present how universities undertake research with partner institutions in emerging countries

  • Who determines the research agenda?
  • How does being internationally active correlate with the institution’s response to its local and national environment?
  • How are research partnerships built and sustained? How do they relate to teaching and learning?
  • What triggers the partnerships? What is the impact of linguistic aspects and cultural and historical linkages?
  • How can partnerships with universities in emerging and developing countries best be developed? What should be the role of external parties (governments, donors, industry)? What could be the role/s of EUA in supporting the development of international, multicultural research partnerships?

Chair: Giuseppe Silvestri, EUA Board member, former Rector, University of Palermo, Italy


James J. Browne, President, National University of Ireland, Galway

Goolam Mohamedbhai, Secretary General, African Association of Universities (AAU)

Rapporteur: Lidia Borrell-Damian, EUA

WG 4a: Joint degrees* - a vehicle for internationalization
Stephanstrasse 24, room 204

Amongst European universities, joint degrees* have become an established form of transnational higher education, and their popularity at global level is on the rise. This session will look at case studies of joint programmes at both doctoral and masters level, assessing motivations, benefits and challenges.

  • What are the reasons for having joint degrees?
  • What are the concrete steps that institutions have undertaken to establish and maintain them?
  • What are the benefits, what are the challenges, given the high costs?
  • What are concrete experiences with the recognition and employability of degrees?
  • Education for a privileged few? What is added value for the institution?

*”joint degrees” stands for any type of joint provision resulting in joint or multiple degrees

Chair: Pam Fredman, Rector, Gothenburg University, Sweden


Roberta Maierhofer, Vice Rector for International Relations and Interdisciplinary Cooperation, University of Graz, Austria

Cristina Miceli, Pro-rector for Doctoral Education, University of Camerino, Italy

Juan Pablo Suarez Chacon, Director of Research and Technology Transfer, University of Loja, Ecuador, Advisor to president of the Inter-American Organisation for Higher Education (IOHA)

Rapporteur: Howard Davies, EUA

WG 5a: Building an international profile - promotion and visibility
Old Library building, Georg-Büchner-Saal

The session will look into why and how universities develop and present their specific profiles and enhance their international visibility and attractiveness. It will look at specific means to, reach out to potential partners, students and faculty and examine different national contexts across Europe.

  • How do universities profile themselves in an increasingly competitive environment?
  • What are the different elements and levels that universities reference in their profiling and promotion – incl. regional and national promotion contexts. How do universities use outside support (national agencies, for example)?
  • How resource-intensive is profiling and promoting at international level? What is the role of university leadership in this? How do universities define where they promote?
  • Is there a specific “European” approach towards promotion and profiling?
  • What could European universities learn from institutions in other parts of the world?

Chair: David Drewry, EUA Vice-President, Vice-Chancellor, University of Hull, United Kingdom


Jeanine W.M. Gregersen-Hermans, Director of Marketing and Communications, Maastricht University, the Netherlands

Mikulas Bek, Vice-Rector for Strategy and External Relations, Masaryk University, Czech Republic

Rapporteur: Ulrike Reimann, EUA

WG 6a: Internationalisation and language policy
Old Library building, room AUB5

Language diversity in Europe is an increasingly divisive issue when it comes to international cooperation and competition. Session speakers will argue that if universities want to internationalise, they also have to address language issues in a strategic way. Case studies presented will demonstrate how individual institutions have developed and implemented their own specific language policies.

The following questions will be addressed:

  • Why do international institutions need language policies? How can language policies be developed? Who are /could be the driving forces in an institution?
  • Should governments do more? How do national and European language policies impact institutional policies and practices?
  • How to square the circle: the trade-off between teaching and learning in the national/regional language versus in English and how to promote multilingualism.
  • What concrete actions have been taken and what kind of programmes have been introduced with a view to implementing a given language policy? What works, what does not?

Chair: Rolf Tarrach, Rector, University of Luxembourg


Régis Ritz, former President of the Universite de Bordeaux III. and of the Pole universitaire de Bordeux, France

Thomas Wilhelmsson, Rector, University of Helsinki, Finland

Rapporteur: Elizabeth Colucci, EUA

Breakout Session II: Making internationalisation work – policy processes, partnerships and funding

WG 1b: Universities contribution to development cooperation
Old Library building, room AUB2

One particular international activity of universities is development cooperation and capacity building, be it at the level of partner universities in enhancing their capacity, or jointly with partners in contributing to social and economic developments.

After a decade of scepticism, the contribution of higher education to social and economic development has been recognised and has become a key element of development strategies.

  • What is expected from universities – what can they deliver?
  • How do the universities’ development engagement relate to other mission goals?
  • How to turn capacity building into a win-win situation?
  • How to consider the role of universities in developing countries in the framework of university-to-university partnerships?
  • How can agencies and universities best work together?
  • Is there a specific role for university organisations?

Chair: Lauritz B. Holm-Nielsen, EUA Board Member, Vice-Chancellor, University of Aarhus, Denmark


Michael Schmitz, Professor of Agricultural and Development policy, Justus Liebig University Giessen, Germany

Marc Nyssen, member and former chairman of the Bureau VLIR-UOS, Professor, Vrije Universiteit Brussels, Belgium

Respondent: Juan Pablo Suarez Chacon, Advisor to President of the IOHE and Director of Resaerch and Technology Transfer, University of Loja, Ecuador

Rapporteur: Michael Gaebel, EUA

WG 2b: Mobility policy developments - setting benchmarks for the EHEA & ERA
Old Library building, room AUB3

The working group will discuss recent policy developments at European and national level, in the context of global scenarios. Point of departure is, in particular, the 20% mobility benchmark, that has been agreed by the European Education Ministers at their Bologna Meeting in Leuven/Louvain in 2009.

  • How have Bologna and the European unification impacted mobility?
  • What does the European 20% benchmark signify, that has been agreed by the Ministers responsible for education during the Bologna Conference in Leuven/Louvain?
  • How can mobility strategies and policies take into account demographic developments, migration and the brain drain/gain?
  • What could be additional measures taken at national and European level to enable mobility?

Chair: Lesley Wilson, Secretary General, EUA


David Crosier, Education system analyst at Eurydice, European Commission

Barbara Weitgruber, Senior Advisor, Austrian Federal Ministry of Science and Research

Dzulkifli Abdul Razak, Vice Chancellor, University Sains Malaysia, Vice-president, International Association of Universities (IAU)

Rapporteur: Michael Hörig, EUA

WG 3b: Open access - sharing knowledge
Stephanstrasse 24, room 101

The growing importance of knowledge for academic research and social and economic developments exacerbates the tension between two contradicting demands: knowledge as a universally accessible good, to be shared around the globe, and publishing as a private commercial enterprise. This working group will focus on open access initiatives in Europe and open access as a mean to enable universities everywhere in the world to get access to knowledge, in order to develop research and teaching. The session will start with an introduction to the debate, achievements and challenges followed by presentations and discussion on concrete open access initiatives being taken.

  • What is the state-of-play in the open access debate today? In Europe, in Africa?
  • What good practices are already in place at the university level?
  • What can respectively university leadres, university libraries and researchers contribute?
  • What initiatives are being taken by publishing houses?
  • What could be the further role of EUA to build upon its adopted policy statement on Open Access (April 2008) at both the European and International level?

Chair and introduction to the debate: Sijbolt Noorda, EUA Board member, President of the Association of Dutch Research Universities (VSNU)


Bernard Rentier, Rector, University of Liège, Belgium

Jan Velterop,CEO, KnewCO, Concept Web Alliance, Netherlands Center for BioInformatics and Leiden University Medical Center, The Netherlands

Goolam Mohamedbhai, Secretary General, African Association of Universities

Rapporteurs: John Smith, EUA

WG 4b: New forms of interaction - the role of networks
Stephanstrasse 24, room 204

Increasingly, universities engage in international university networks. They enable the development of strategic goals and operational activities in a bi- and multilateral set-up, which might impact national and institutional boundaries.  While knowledge sharing, resource pooling and collaborative action seem to be core goals, they appear to be paired with branding, international competitiveness and also commercial spin-offs.

  • How are networks established? How are they governed and managed? What is their sustainability expectation?
  • What is the added value of international networks for the institutions and their constituencies, including students?
  • Are the networks a particularly fertile ground for joint degrees?
  • What is the concept of cooperation & partnership within a network? Is it exclusive or stimulating for cooperation with non-network partners?
  • Is there a danger of growing commercialisation of higher education?

Chair: Eva Egron-Polak, Secretary General and Executive Director, International Association of Universities (IAU)


Stavros Zenios, President, UNICA

John Tuppen, President, Santander Group Network

Rapporteur: Howard Davies, EUA

WG 5b: Enhancing the international visibility of European universities: an interplay of institutional, national and European approaches
Old Library building, Georg-Büchner-Saal

European policy processes such as the Bologna Process and the Lisbon Agenda, and region-to-region dialogue and cooperation such as the ASEM Education Process are of increasing importance for higher education research, in particular since they are underpinned and stimulated by a wide range of funding opportunities. This has an impact on the national agencies responsible for international collaboration and exchange, which – in addition to their national missions - contribute to European development, e.g. by promoting Europe as a study destination, and by facilitating and supporting institutions in their participation in European Union cooperation programmes.  

  • What is the significance of Europe in national promotion initiatives at global level?
  • How to strike the balance between cooperation and competition among the European Agencies, in view of global opportunities?

Chair: David Drewry, EUA Vice-President, Vice-Chancellor, University of Hull, United Kingdom


Mónica Margarit Ribalta, Director, Fondacion Universidad, Spain

Niklas Tranaeus, Senior Officer, Swedish Institute, Sweden

Christian Bode, Secretary General, German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), Germany

Rapporteur: Melissa Koops, EUA

WG 6b: The language of internationalization - operating in an English-speaking world
Old Library building, room AUB5

The constant thread in internationalisation has become undoubtedly linked to the way in which institutions and governments consider English as a lingua franca in global communication in general and in higher education teaching and research in particular. This session will pick up from Working group 6a by embedding institutional language strategy into a wider debate on the future requirements of higher education regarding the English language.

  • How can the European Union maintain its multilingualism policy and, at the same time, achieve the goals of its Lisbon strategy?
  • To what extent can joint programmes and mobility schemes/objectives be realised without burying the principle of language diversity?
  • To what extent is linguistic diversity part of Europe’s attractiveness?
  • How do universities in other world regions deal with this issue?

Chair: Wolfgang Mackiewicz, President, Conseil européen pour les langues/European Language Council (CEL/ELC)


Eva Akesson, Pro-vice Chancellor, University of Lund, Sweden

Francesco Profumo, Rector, University of Turin, Italy

Marta Kicinska-Habior, Vice-Rector, University of Warsaw, Poland

Rapporteur: Elizabeth Colucci, EUA

European University Association (EUA)

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