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​Sophia Eriksson Waterschoot

Director for Youth, Education and Erasmus+
European Commission
​Sophia Eriksson Waterschoot
  • ​Sophia Eriksson Waterschoot

    Sophia Eriksson Waterschoot is Director for Youth, Education and Erasmus+ at the European Commission's Directorate General for Education, Youth, Sport and Culture. She is in charge of European cooperation on higher education, schools and youth policy, including Europe's flagship programmes Erasmus+ and the European Solidarity Corps. She has previously held various positions within the European Commission in the field of strategy and investment in education, labour market policy, European Semester and European cohesion funds. She studied economics, business, political science and EU affairs in Sweden, France and Belgium, including an Erasmus student exchange. She is an Eisenhower Fellow

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Vanessa Debiais-Sainton

Head of Unit for Higher Education – Directorate General for Education, Youth, Sport and Culture
European Commission
Vanessa Debiais-Sainton
  • Vanessa Debiais-Sainton

    Vanessa Debiais-Sainton is Head of the Unit in charge of Higher Education policies and programme at the European Commission’s Directorate General for Education, Youth, Sport and Culture. The unit is the lead service for European policies on reform and modernisation of higher education, the new European Universities initiative, automatic mutual recognition of higher education qualifications, the EU student card initiative, and the higher education strand of Erasmus+. In previous posts in the European Commission, Vanessa has worked in DG Research and Innovation. Before moving to the European Commission in 2006, Vanessa spent eight years working for several petroleum and chemical companies.

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Jeroen Huisman

Professor of Higher Education
Centre for Higher Education Governance Ghent, Ghent University
Jeroen Huisman
  • Jeroen Huisman

    Jeroen Huisman is professor of Higher Education at CHEGG. He holds a Master's degree Educational Studies, University of Groningen, the Netherlands (1991) and a PhD in Public Administration of the University of Twente, the Netherlands (1995). In 2005, he was appointed professor of Higher Education Management at the University of Bath. in 2013, he was granted an FWO Odysseus project at Ghent University. His main research interests are: organizational change, organizational diversity, internationalization and higher education policy. He is editor of Higher Education Policy, co-editor of the Emerald series Theory and Method in Higher Education Research. He is furthermore member of the editorial board of Journal of Studies of International Education, Studies in Higher Education, European Journal of Higher Education, International Journal of Chinese Education and Tertiary Education and Management. He was member of the Executive Committee of EAIR (and past chair, 2011-2016), a European society for linking policy, research and practice in higher education.

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Ragnhild Solvi Berg

Senior Advisor
Norwegian Directorate for Higher Education and Skills
  • hkdir.no
  • Ragnhild Solvi Berg

    Ragnhild Solvi Berg is a senior adviser for the Norwegian Directorate for Higher Education and Skills and has been working for the directorate and its predecessors since 2004. Since 2016 she represents the directorate at the Norwegian Cooperation Office for Research, Innovation and Education (NorCore) in Brussels, and follows EU education programmes and policies. From 2010-1016 Ragnhild was seconded as a national expert to the European Commission, Directorate General for Education and Culture, where she worked as a policy officer in the unit for international cooperation and programmes. She holds a master’s degree in Social Anthropology from the University of Bergen.

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Runa Vigdís Guðmarsdóttir

Director, Erasmus+ National Agency
Rannís
  • www.rannis.is
  • Runa Vigdís Guðmarsdóttir

    Rúna has worked on internationalisation in education since 2007, when she joined the Icelandic National Agency for the Lifelong Learning Programme. She was seconded to the Erasmus+ Higher Education team at DG Education and Culture from 2013 to 2017, working first and foremost on programme management and impact assessment. She was responsible for outgoing student mobility from the University of Iceland until 2018, when she took over her role as the team leader for higher education at Rannís – The Icelandic Centre for Research, which serves as the Erasmus+ National Agency in Iceland. As of 1 January 2021, Rúna is the Director of the National Agency. She holds an undergraduate degree from the Iceland University of Education and two master degrees: in Intercultural Education from Freie Universität Berlin and Applied Linguistics from the University of Sussex. Green and inclusive internationalisation is her favourite topic at work.

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Stephan Geifes

Director of the Erasmus+ National Agency Higher Education
German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD)
Stephan Geifes
  • Stephan Geifes
    Stephan Geifes is the Director of the Erasmus+ National Agency Higher Education within the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) since Feb 1, 2020. Geifes has been working for the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) since 1999. Before his current position he was Head of Division Transnational Education and Cooperation Programmes at the DAAD in Bonn since 2013. Prior to this position he was Director of the DAAD Paris Office from 2001 to 2005, Secretary General of the Franco-German University (FGU) from 2005 to 2008, and Scientific Coordinator at the German Historical Institute of Paris from 2008 to 2012. Geifes has studied History, Sociology, Roman Languages and Political Sciences at the University of Bielefeld, the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales in Paris (EHESS) and at the Institute d’Études politques (IEP) in Paris. After earning a Master’s degree in History from the University of Bielefeld he continued his studies at the École nationale d’administration (ENA) in Paris. He has a PhD in History from the University of Bochum and has published on international higher education exchange.
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Annika Sundbäck

External evaluator
CIVIS - European University Alliance
Annika Sundbäck
  • Annika Sundbäck

    Currently on study leave from her position as Leader of the Global Team at the Higher Education Unit of the Finnish National Agency for Education, EDUFI, Annika Sundbäck holds 20 years of experience of trans-national higher education collaboration, EU policy and programmes. She holds a MA from Åbo Akademi University and has gained broad insight in internationalization through working in institutional, national, Nordic, European and global contexts. Annika held several expert assignments related to the Bologna Process, Erasmus+, quality assurance, joint degrees, e.g. for the European Commission, the European University Association, the Nordic Council of Ministers, the Norwegian and Finnish governments, the Swedish Foundation for Internationalization. During 2020-2022 Annika acts as external evaluator of the European University Alliance (EUA) CIVIS (CIVIS - A European Civic University – Home) and in 2021 she was involved in a national evaluation of the effect of EUA participation in Czech universities. She is co-author of the JDAZ Guide (Joint programmes from A to Z) and involved in the Feasibility Study on the European Degree, as well as the upcoming EUA Impact Study

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Christof Van Mol

Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology
Tilburg University
Christof Van Mol
  • Christof Van Mol

    Christof Van Mol is Assistant Professor at the Department of Sociology at Tilburg University, the Netherlands and leads COST Action CA20115, which brings together scholars and practitioners working on international student mobility. He extensively published on different aspects of international student mobility in leading journals in different disciplines, such as Geoforum, Higher Education, the Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, the Journal of Studies in International Education, and Population, Space and Place. His work received several academic awards, including the 2016 Best Book Prize in Sociology of Migration of the International Sociological Association, the 2020 ASHE CIHE Award for Significant Research on International Higher Education, and the 2021 SIG International Students Best Article Award of the Comparative and International Education Society.

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Anna-Lena Claeys-Kulik

Policy Coordinator
European University Association (EUA)
  • eua.eu
  • Anna-Lena Claeys-Kulik

    Anna-Lena Claeys-Kulik is a Policy Coordinator at the European University Association (EUA) in Brussels, where her role is to help ensure coherent policies for universities as well as overall EUA policy development. As such, she monitors the EU policy agenda for upcoming topics with relevance for universities and coordinates work and positioning on cross-cutting issues aiming at building bridges between policy and practice. She represents EUA in working groups with the European Commission and as a speaker at events and conferences. Currently, her focus is on the European Strategy for Universities and the future of the European Universities Initiative. Prior to joining EUA, Anna-Lena worked at the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Education & Culture in the Unit for Higher Education and the Erasmus Programme. Anna-Lena holds a Master’s degree in European Political and Administrative Studies from the College of Europe in Bruges, Belgium as well as a Magister degree in Communication Science, Political Science and Philosophy from the University of Münster, Germany. During her studies, she also spent one year at the Institute of Political Sciences of Bordeaux/France.

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Olivier Tschopp

Director
Movetia
  • www.movetia.ch
  • Olivier Tschopp

    Olivier Tschopp has been Director of the new Swiss national agency, Movetia - Exchange and Mobility, since January 2017. He obtained a master’s degree of arts at the Universities of Lausanne and Neuchâtel in 1992. Before joining Movetia, Olivier held positions as a teacher and a school director, responsible for the upper secondary and tertiary educational level (professional and vocational education and training - head of the unit training) and Secretary General within the department for education of the canton of Jura (Switzerland). During his term he contributed directly to develop an exchange and mobility office. His professional choices are closely linked to "change management", thus starting or setting up new structures or project organisations.

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Bruno Castro

Policy Assistant in the Directorate-General for Education, Youth, Sport and Culture
European Commission
Bruno Castro
  • Bruno Castro

    Bruno Castro is an official at the Directorate-General for Education, Youth, Sport and Culture (DG.EAC) of the European Commission. He is mainly in charge of two files of international cooperation: Erasmus Mundus and the relations with the Americas. Originally from Spain, he has obtained degrees in Philosophy, Anthropology and Political Sciences. His career started in the international relations with Latin America, including diplomatic positions. After several European Commission jobs related to Horizon2020 he joined DG.EAC in 2017.  

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Alicia Betts

Leader of international strategic projects
Universitat de Girona
Alicia Betts
  • Alicia Betts

    Alicia Betts is responsible for international strategic projects at the Universitat de Girona (Spain). Mainly focusing on university strategic partnerships, community engagement and virtual exchange initiatives. Before joining UdG in 2020 she was project manager at the Catalan Association of Public Universities (ACUP) where she was responsible for the joint internationalisation strategy and activities at ACUP and at the Global University Network for Innovation (GUNi), where she participated in the coordination of the worldwide GUNi Reports and international Conferences. Alicia is also an elected member of the Cooperation for Development Expert Community of the European Association for International Education (EAIE).

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Anne-May Janssen

Secretary-General
Aurora
Anne-May Janssen
  • Anne-May Janssen

    Anne-May Janssen is the Secretary-General of Aurora. Aurora is an international network of 11 socially engaged universities that have been awarded a European Union grant as part of the European Universities Initiative. Before joining Aurora, Anne-May was Head of European Engagement at Universities UK International in London. During the challenging years in which the UK and EU negotiated the Brexit deal, Anne-May led UUKi’s European policy and engagement activity, and helped UK and European universities prepare for the different possible Brexit outcomes. Prior to that, she worked in Brussels for the Netherlands house for Education and Research, representing the interest of the Dutch knowledge field. She also has experience as a policy officer in the European Commission and the Dutch civil service, and was a junior lecturer at the University of Maastricht. She returned to the Netherlands last summer, missing proper UK tea and convinced she was British in a previous life.  

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Johannes Gehringer

Policy Officer - Higher Education Unit in the Directorate General for Education, Youth, Sport and Culture
European Commission
Johannes Gehringer
  • Johannes Gehringer

    Johannes Gehringer is a Policy Officer in the Higher Education Unit of the Directorate General for Education, Youth, Sport and Culture, in the European Commission. Johannes is mainly dealing with the design and management of Erasmus+ higher education student and staff mobility actions (KA131, KA103), higher education cooperation projects (cooperation partnerships KA220-HED, strategic partnerships KA203) and European University alliances. He has been working with the European Commission since 1996 and has held various positions within the EC. Since 2007, Johannes has been working on education policies and higher education programmes. During this period, he was also seconded to the EU Council Presidencies of Cyprus and Greece. His academic background includes three master's degrees and ranges from computer science, languages, international politics to business administration. He studied in Vienna, Paris, Zaragoza, Chicago and Brussels.

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Nadia Manzoni

Policy Officer - Directorate General for Education, Youth, Sport and Culture
European Commission
Nadia Manzoni
  • Nadia Manzoni

    Nadia Manzoni has been working for the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Education, Youth, Sport and Culture since 2013. Currently she is coordinating a team responsible for translating European higher education policies into the Erasmus+ programme. Previously she worked as a policy officer overseeing files which foster employability of higher education graduates and financing of higher education systems as well as an education policy analyst in the European semester process, having studied education studies at the University of Cambridge and European studies at the University of Vienna.
     

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Juan Rayón González

President
Erasmus Student Network (ESN)
Juan Rayón González
  • Juan Rayón González

    Juan Rayón is the president of the Erasmus Student Network. As president, he is responsible for the general coordination of the organisation, external relations, policy, and advocacy. His main priorities include increasing participation in learning mobility and fostering civic engagement and participation of young people in democratic life through the Erasmus programme. Before taking on his role as president of ESN, he was the president of ESN Spain and a Liaison Officer for Inclusive mobility of the Erasmus Student Network. He has a bachelor’s degree in Law from the University of Oviedo and is currently finishing two master’s degrees in International Law and European Studies. Juan did his Erasmus exchange in Istanbul and also participated in the European Solidarity Corps in Padova, Italy, where he worked for the youth office. He is from Asturias, northern Spain.

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Yann-Maël Bideau

Policy Officer, Higher Education Unit, Directorate General for Education, Youth, Sport and Culture
European Commission
Yann-Maël Bideau
  • Yann-Maël Bideau

    Yann-Maël Bideau is a Policy Officer in the Higher Education Unit of the Directorate General for Education, Youth, Sport and Culture, in the European Commission. Yann-Maël is currently mainly working on micro-credentials and the European degree. Before joining the European Commission in 2019, he worked as a language teacher and in the field of university cooperation in France, Czechia, Slovakia and Belgium. He graduated in political science and language didactics from the universities of Rennes, Arras and Turku.

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Antoaneta Irikova

Policy Assistant, International cooperation unit of the Directorate General for Education, Youth, Sport & Culture
European Commission
Antoaneta Irikova
  • Antoaneta Irikova

    Antoaneta Irikova is Policy Assistant in the International cooperation unit of the Directorate General for Education, Youth, Sport and Culture (DG EAC), in the European Commission, where she first started as a trainee in 2019.  She is mainly working on KA1 International credit mobility and promotion of the international dimension of the Erasmus+ programme. She is also the Commission’s liaison for the third phase of the Study in Europe project and oversees its implementation. Antoaneta holds a BA degree in Political sciences and MA degree in European studies. Before joining the European Commission, she worked in a consultancy elaborating project proposals for EU-funded programmes.

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Ulrich Grothus

President
Academic Cooperation Association
  • aca-secretariat.be
  • Ulrich Grothus

     

    Ulrich Grothus is the President of ACA. He obtained a master’s degree in Political Science at the Freie Universität Berlin in 1976. He then worked as a journalist before joining the International Division of the former West German Rectors Conference in 1982. He has been working for DAAD since 1988, first as spokesman and head of the president’s office. From 1991, he was consecutively director of all three DAAD program directorates. In between, he served as director of the Paris office from 1998 to 2000 and of the New York office from 2004 to 2008. Grothus was also the Deputy Secretary General of DAAD and the head of the organisation’s Berlin office. Grothus speaks five foreign languages and has given three others a try.

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​Irina Ferencz

Director
Academic Cooperation Association (ACA)
  • www.aca-secretariat.be
  • ​Irina Ferencz

    Irina Ferencz is the Director of ACA and works in international higher education since 2008. Irina has a specific expertise in the area of international student and staff mobility in the European context (data collections, trends, policies), as well as in planning, monitoring and assessing internationalisation activities at institutional and national level. She also has a growing interest in widening inclusion in internationalisation activities. Currently, she is also a PhD candidate at Ghent University, CHEGG, and an occasional reviewer for two higher education journals. She has authored and co-authored multiple publications in the field. Irina holds an MSc degree in European Politics and Policies (KULeuven, Belgium) and a Bachelor's degree in International Relations and European Studies (Universitatea Babeş-Bolyai, Romania). She is a Romanian national, speaks several languages, and calls Belgium 'home'.

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Veronika Kupriyanova

Senior Policy Coordinator
Academic Cooperation Association (ACA)
  • aca-secretariat.be
  • Veronika Kupriyanova

    Veronika Kupriyanova is Senior Policy Coordinator at ACA. Before re-joining ACA in November 2020, Veronika worked for the European University Association (EUA) and several consulting companies specialising in higher education and research. Veronika spent two years in Berlin hosted by the Humboldt University of Berlin with the fellowship of the Alexander von Humboldt Stiftung and later worked as a researcher at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB). She is experienced in a wide range of higher education and research topics and has a keen interest in policies and programmes supporting internationalisation at the institutional, national and European level. Veronika holds a joint Master’s degree in World Politics from the Moscow State Institute in International Relations (MGIMO) and the Paris Institute of Political Studies (Sciences Po). She speaks three official languages of Belgium in addition to her mother tongue (Russian).

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Martin Bogdan

Policy and Project Officer
Academic Cooperation Association (ACA)
  • aca-secretariat.be
  • Martin Bogdan

    Martin Bogdan is a policy and project officer at ACA where he first started as a trainee in 2019. While at ACA he has managed the CARe project, which deals with labour integration of refugee researchers in Europe, and the Internationalisation in Higher Education for Society mapping report. Before joining ACA, he completed a Blue Book Traineeship in the Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency of the European Commission in the unit working on Erasmus Mundus Joint Master Degrees. In his pre-Brussels life, Martin worked for a number of NGOs in different capacities and briefly taught social sciences and history in an international school. He has a joint MA in European studies from Rijksuniversiteit Groningen and Jagiellonian University Krakow, as well as a MA in cultural anthropology and museum studies from the University of Zagreb and a BA in anthropology and information science also from the University of Zagreb.

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Angeliki Psychogyiou

Policy and Project Officer
Academic Cooperation Association - ACA
Angeliki Psychogyiou
  • Angeliki Psychogyiou

    Angeliki Psychogyiou works in the ACA Secretariat as a Policy and Project Officer. She is an EU Funding and Grants specialist, with considerable experience in the Higher Education and Vocational Education and Training sectors. Her main focus within the Secretariat is digitalisation, conducting both project and policy related work in this area. She is also the co-chair of the Thematic Peer Group ‘New mobility formats’, exploring the intersection between digitalisation & sustainability. Angeliki’s main areas of professional and personal interest are international cooperation, mobility as a foster agent for European identity, digitalisation, inclusion and social responsibility of educational institutions.

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Patrick Van den Bosch

Board member
ENQA
Patrick Van den Bosch
  • Patrick Van den Bosch

    Patrick Van den Bosch is the head of VLUHR QA, the quality assurance agency of the Flemish Higher Education Council, based in Brussels. Patrick graduated with a degree in History from KU Leuven in 2005. After engagements as a student representative, he entered the world of quality assurance. First as a policy advisor at the Flemish Interuniversity Council (VLIR) and since 2013 at VLUHR QA. Patrick has been member of the ENQA Board since 2021.

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Lucie Procházková

Senior Lecturer, Institute for Research in Inclusive Education, Faculty of Education
Masaryk University
Lucie Procházková
  • Lucie Procházková

    Lucie Procházková is a Senior Lecturer at the Institute for Research in Inclusive Education at the Faculty of Education, Masaryk University (MUNI), Czech Republic. Her research and lectures focus on the employment of people with disabilities, support during vocational education and integration into society. She cooperates with state and NGO organizations in the Czech Republic as well as with universities and organizations from abroad. She coordinates student mobilities. Before entering the Faculty of Education at MUNI, she worked as a researcher in Vienna, Austria.

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Romiță Iucu

Professor and President of the Board of Trustees
University of Bucharest
Romiță Iucu
  • Romiță Iucu

    Professor Romita IUCU is the President of the Board of Trustees at the University of Bucharest and a professor of higher education at the Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences. With expertise in international cooperation in the field of education, professor Iucu is the Coordinator of UNICA EduLAB Group, the Co-Chair of the FOREU European Degree subgroup of European Universities, and a member of the European University Association (EUA) Learning & Teaching (L&T) Steering Committee. Professor Iucu held several university-management positions (former Acting Rector of the University of Bucharest, and Vice-Rector for Academical Affairs for more than 16 years), with an important role on designing, managing, and validating higher education and adult education policies at different level. He is a former President of ENTEP (European Network on Teacher Education Policies) and was the national representative in the BFUG (Bologna Follow-up Group). Professor Iucu had worked for many years at the European Network of Country Experts in Education (ENCEE), and as a member of the Expert Group on Improving the Education of Teachers & Trainers. He also worked for the European Commission, Eurydice, World Bank, and UNICEF in several educational programmes. As a recognition of his professional activity, he was inducted as a member of The International Adult and Continuing Education (IACE) Hall of Fame (UO-OCCE). His main fields of scientific interest are educational policies in the higher education area, higher education pedagogy and teacher education policies

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