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Day 1 25 January 2024

12.00 - 13.00

Registration and light networking lunch

13.00 - 13.10

Welcome address - Gro Tjore, Deputy Director, Norwegian Directorate for Higher Education and Skills (HK-Dir) and, from 2024, President, Academic Cooperation Association - ACA

13.10 - 14.00

Novelties and Fundamentals: European Higher Education in 2024

This panel will provide an update on important topics covered in the 2024 Commission programme, the Erasmus+ programme, the investment pathway, EU quality assurance and ERA action 13, among other novelties. This introduction will set the scene and frame topics that will be discussed throughout the seminar, while taking stock of both the novelties and programme fundamentals.  

Vanessa Debiais-Sainton, Head of Unit, Higher Education, Directorate-General Education, Sport, Youth and Culture (DG EAC), European Commission 
Agnieszka Skuratowicz, Head of Unit, Youth, Education and Culture, Directorate-General for International Partnerships (DG INTPA), European Commission
Joerg Niehoff, Deputy Head of Unit, ERA, Spreading Excellence and Research Careers, Directorate-General for Research and Innovation (DG RTD), European Commission
Florian Pecenka, Head of Unit, Higher Education, Science and Research, Permanent Representation of Austria to the European Union

Moderator: Irina Ferencz, Director, Academic Cooperation Association - ACA

14.00 - 15.00

Panel: Shaping the future of the Erasmus+ Programme: A deep dive into the mid-term evaluation and the way forward

The Erasmus+ mid-term evaluation will be used to improve the current implementation of Erasmus+ but also to inform the design of the new programme. The panel will address the management of the programme, responses to the priorities and challenges of the programme among others while the conversation will draw from practical experiences so far. 

Fabienne Metayer, Head of Sector, Erasmus+: Programming, evaluation and reporting, Directorate-General Education, Sport, Youth and Culture, European Commission
Michael Gaebel, Director of Higher Education Policy, European University Association - EUA 
Rita Dias, President, Erasmus Student Network - ESN
Olga Wessels, Head of Brussels' Office, European Consortium of Innovative Universities 

Moderator: Anni Kallio, Programme Manager, EDUFI - Finnish National Agency for Education

15.00 - 15.30

Networking break

15.30 - 17.00

Parallel Sessions - Erasmus priorities and the European Universities initiative

The parallel sessions will offer the opportunity for exchanges with experts and peers on the priorities of the upcoming Erasmus+ programme. The thematic focus of the parallel sessions will be on two of the main priorities of the Erasmus+ programme, digitalisation and inclusion, while the third parallel session will focus on the European University alliances, with insights from representatives from the European Commission together with beneficiaries who are working for the Erasmus+ Programme and have implemented innovative and inspirational projects. 

Parallel Session 1: Unpacking Blended Intensive Programmes - the recipe for success

Blended Intensive Programmes are short, intensive, programmes that use innovative ways of learning and teaching, including the use of online cooperation. Designing and executing a high-quality, cohesive, and engaging blended learning process demands careful consideration of several elements. This parallel session will look into the implementation of BIPs, relevant challenges as well as dos and don'ts when it comes to this revolutionary format of mobility. 

Svava Berglind Finsen, Policy Officer, Higher Education Unit, Directorate-General for Youth, Education, Sport and Culture, European Commission
Michela Cobelli, Head of International Mobility, University of Pavia 
Wannes Gijsels, Coordinator for Alternative Internationalisation, University of Antwerp

Moderator: Angeliki Psychogyiou, Policy and Project Coordinator, Academic Cooperation Association - ACA

Parallel Session 2: Inclusion & diversity - effective support

Ensuring equal access to the Erasmus+ programme to participants from diverse backgrounds and with fewer opportunities requires targeted measures, including additional financial and adequate psycho-social support. This parallel session will reflect on how to use the programme's tools in engaging and supporting students to go on mobilities, while creating inclusive institutional environments.  

Vidar Pedersen, European Programmes Director and Norwegian NA Director for Erasmus+, Directorate for Higher Education and Skills - HK Dir, Norway
Mira de Moor, Head of Office - International Policy, Arteveldehogeschool
Sandra NuždićStudent Counselor and Office Manager, University of Rijeka

Moderator: Martin Bogdan, Policy and Project Coordinator, Academic Cooperation Association - ACA

Parallel Session 3: European Universities Initiative - the monitoring framework and its implications

As the alliances move towards their consolidation phases with a new period of European funding, the European Commission has now launched a Monitoring Framework of the European Universities initiative to assess its progress and transformational potential as a whole and provide an evidence base for funding post-2027. This parallel session will address the different aspects of the current version of the framework, highlighting the complexity of the task at hand while also discussing implications for the future of the European Universities initiative.  

Tine Delva, Deputy Head of Unit, Higher Education, Directorate-General for Youth, Education, Sport and Culture, European Commission 
Kevin Guillaume, Secretary General, Circle U 
Anna-Lena Claeys-Kulik, Deputy Director for Policy Coordination and Foresight, European University Association - EUA

Moderator: Veronika Kupriyanova, Deputy Director, Academic Cooperation Association - ACA

17.00 - 19.00

Please join us for a light reception.

Day 2 26 January 2024

9:00 - 9:30

Welcome coffee

9.30 – 11.00

Parallel Sessions: European novelties continued

Following the same interactive design of day one's parallel sessions, day two continues with three more sessions on the topics of (i) the Joint European Degree label and a legal status for European universities alliances, (ii) the financial simplification of the Erasmus+ Programme and (iii) international mobility within Erasmus+. 

Parallel Session 1: The European degree label and updates on the legal status

In the beginning of last year, 10 new projects were approved to test new forms of transnational cooperation between higher education institutions, as outlined in the European Strategy for Universities. More than half of the pilot projects involve testing/facilitating the delivery of a joint European Degree label, and the others are around allowing alliances of universities to test a possible legal status. This parallel session will provide an opportunity to dive deep into the technicalities, challenges and opportunities of the pilot projects. Panellists from universities directly involved with the pilots as well as the Commission will share their experiences and provide outlooks for prospective development.

Yann-Maël Bideau, Policy Officer, Higher Education Unit, Directorate-General for Youth, Education, Sport and Culture, European Commission 
Andries Verspeeten, Deputy Head of Office, International Relations, Ghent University 
Daniela Craciun, Assistant Professor, University of Twente 
Eric Tschirhart, Full Professor of Physiology, Special Advisor to the Rector and Coordinator of the Erasmus+ UNIVERSEH European University, University of Luxembourg

Moderator: Irina Ferencz, Director, Academic Cooperation Association - ACA

Parallel Session 2: Financial simplification of the Erasmus+ Programme

Following the recent decision authorising the use of lump sums under the Erasmus+ Programme 2021 - 2027, the financial simplification of the Erasmus+ programme is well into effect. This parallel session will address improvements related to the rules of the new funding model, discussing lump sums, organisational support and in general simplification measures already in place, as well as challenges faced by higher education institutions and what more can happen to further support them. 

Elodie Ham, Programme and Financial Coordination Officer, Operational Support and Business Processes, European Education and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA)
Bert Willems, Coordinator of Student Accounting and Mobility at the Teaching and Learning Services, KU Leuven
Emma Zeniou, Vice President, European Association of Erasmus Coordinators, and, Coordinator, International Relations and Development Sector, University of Cyprus

Moderator: Stephan Geifes, Director, National Agency for EU Higher Education Cooperation - DAAD

Parallel Session 3Strategies for international mobility in Erasmus+ implementation

International Mobility within KA131 and international credit mobility - In this session participants and panellists will explore ways to strategically support and fund international mobility within the Erasmus+ programme. The session will feature concrete approaches higher education institutions can employ to successfully implement international mobility within their institutions funded by the Erasmus+ programme. Participants will be encouraged to exchange ideas and experiences with other higher education practitioners.

Giorgio Guazugli Marini, Deputy Head of Unit - International Cooperation, Directorate-General Education, Sport, Youth and Culture, European Commission 
Yvona Vyhnánková, Institutional Coordinator for Erasmus+ Programmes, Palacký University Olomouc
Ivana Didak, Senior Policy Officer, The Guild of European Research-Intensive Universities

Moderator: Gerhard Volz, Director of International Cooperation in Higher Education, Austria's Agency for Education and Internationalisation - OeAD 

11.00 - 11.30

Networking break

11.30 - 11.45

Introduction to Responsible Internationalisation

Presenter: Tommy Shih, Associate Professor, Lund University

11.45 - 13.00

Panel: Balancing openness and responsible practices in internationalisation

The closing panel will ignite discussions on the topic of responsible internationalisation, facilitated by perspectives from policy leaders, and leaders at the national and university level. The panellists will engage in a thought-provoking discussion and update on the implementation of knowledge security vs. knowledge diplomacy, and balance in cooperation at national and institutional levels.
Filip Van Depoele,
 Head Of Unit - International Cooperation, Directorate-General for Youth, Education, Sport and Culture, European Commission 
Mirko Van Muijen, Policy Officer, International Cooperation II (Asia, Africa, Middle East & External Relations, Directorate-General for Innovation and Research, European Commission 
Anders Ahlstrand, Analyst, Swedish Council for Higher Education - UHR
Élodie Decostre, Director of International Relations, Académie de recherche et d'enseignement supérieur 
Dawid Kostecki, Director, Polish National Agency for Academic Exchange - NAWA
Tommy Shih, Associate Professor, Lund University

Moderator: Gro Tjore, Deputy Director, Norwegian Directorate for Higher Education and Skills - HK-Dir, and, from 2024, President, Academic Cooperation Association - ACA

13.00 - 14.00

Closing words and light lunch

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