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This year’s conference of the Academic Cooperation Association (ACA) will be organised in partnership with the Centre of the Republic of Slovenia for Mobility and European Educational and Training Programmes (CMEPIUS) in Bled, Slovenia. The conference is expected to draw an audience of 150 – 200, including central actors and decision-makers from universities and colleges, as well as practitioners and policy-makers from government departments, international institutions, non-governmental organisations and think tanks.

More details about the theme, target audience and format HERE.




Start: October 17, 2019
9:15 AM
End: October 18, 2019
1:00 PM

Rikli Balance Hotel, Bled, Slovenia

Cankarjeva cesta 4
4260 Radovljica



The 2019 ACA-CMEPIUS conference is dedicated to the ‘engaged university’ and to linking the global and the local. What does this mean concretely?

The ‘core business’ of ACA and of CMEPIUS is internationalisation of higher education. Internationalisation is also one of the issues this event will deal with. But it will not be the main theme and it will be a theme only insofar as international activities impact on the – local – university. Much more than on internationalisation, the conference will be about the engagement of higher education institutions with their local and regional ‘habitat’. This habitat consists of many actors: civil society at large, municipalities, companies, NGOs, and many more. The ‘engaged university’ is thus about the classical tasks of the university, i.e. teaching/learning and research. But more so still, it is about what some call the ‘third mission’ of higher education: outreach and service to and collaboration with non-academic actors. We intend to provide participants with the possibility to share ideas on and discuss how these dimensions can be enhanced by means of European and international project cooperation.

You are still not sure what the conference will be about? Let us make another attempt to explain. On top of internationalisation, the themes we will be dealing with in Bled are:

  • Social responsibility
  • Civic engagement, active citizenship and ‘service learning’
  • Innovation and knowledge transfer
  • Diversity and inclusion
  • Ethics and values

Target audience and format

The target audience of the conference will be representatives of higher education institutions as well as stakeholder organisations of the academic sector, governmental representatives and such from international organisations.

More concretely, there will be two main target groups: staff working on international matters (international relations offices, vice rectors for international affairs, etc.) and staff dealing with the ‘third mission’ or, to put it differently, institutional outreach to and cooperation with local and regional actors and partners.

Without lacking in conceptual rigour, the main thrust of the programme is practical. Most presentations will be on concrete projects, studies or initiatives at the international, national and local level. One part of the programme - consisting of parallel sessions - will focus on jointly discussing possible new ‘third mission’ projects by means of European and international cooperation.

The event will be held in Bled, Slovenia on 17 and 18 October 2019, preceded by a welcome reception in the evening of 16 October. The conference will feature a mix of plenary interventions and of parallel sessions. Overall, we aim for an event that offers not only useful information, analysis and reflection, but also at the development of the design of future projects.

The stars of the conference: you, the speakers and Bled

Who will be the stars at this conference? First and foremost, you, the audience. We expect you to come with many fresh ideas, pockets full of curiosity and a thirst for interaction. Second, the stars are our speakers, leading experts of international renown. For their selection, we followed a simple principle: only the best. And third, but not least, the star is Bled. Bled is this planet’s most wonderful village. A breath-taking beauty. And still an accessible one, only two dozen miles away from the airport of Slovenia’s capital. An ideal place for gaining new insights, relaxing in a tranquil environment far from the hustle and bustle of urban life, and spending heavenly moments with your loved one(s).

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