European University Alliances: Drivers of Change and Innovation in Higher Education

April 29th– 30th 2024, Brussels

 

On the occasion of the Belgian Presidency of the Council of the European Union, all ten universities of Belgium are delighted to invite researchers and policy makers to reflect on the European University Alliances as drivers of change and innovation in higher education. This high-level conference will explore multilingualism, inclusion, student and staff mobility, superdiversity in academia and the labour market, pedagogical innovations and the European Degree label. The conference will also focus on how the Alliances can contribute to an enhanced collaboration with our partner universities in the Global South.

Programme April 29th

Opening Session: 17:00 – 18:30

Reception/Walking dinner: 18:30 – 21:00

Programme April 30th

Session 1: 9:00 – 10:00: The Future of Education and Language Learning in our Connected World

Lead partners: UCLouvain (Circle U) and  VUB (EUTOPIA)

 

Break: 10:00 – 10:30

 

Session 2: 10:30 – 11:30: Cosmobility: Rethinking Student and Staff Mobility

Lead partners: ULB (Civis) and UGent (ENLIGHT)

 

Session 3: 11:30 – 12:30: Understanding and Applying Superdiversity in Academia, Higher Education and Beyond

Lead partners: ULiège (UNIC) and UHasselt (EURECA-PRO)

 

Lunch: 12:30 – 14:00

 

Session 4: 14:00 – 15:00: Alliances as Drivers of Pedagogical Innovation

Lead partners: UNamur (UniversEH) and  UAntwerpen (YUFE)

 

Session 5: 15:00 – 16:00: The European Degree as an Important Milestone towards a Strong Future for the European Higher Education Area

Lead partners: UMONS (EUNICE) and KU Leuven (Una Europa)

 

Break: 16:00 – 16:30

 

Session 6: 16:30 – 17:30: EU and Global Partnerships / Cooperation with the Global South

Lead partners: VLIR-UOS and CRef

 

Concluding Session: 17:30 – 18:00: Policy Recommendations

 

The programme is provisional, potential changes will be communicated.

 

The Thematic Sessions at a Glimpse

Session 1: VUB-UCLouvain: The Future of Education and Language Learning in our Connected World

European University Alliances offer promising perspectives in two pivotal aspects shaping the European Higher Education landscape: inclusion and agency. Connectedness drives educational innovations that enhance the academic experience, learning and agency of both students and staff. Emerging trends and developments will be addressed from a systemic perspective and illustrated through the lens of multilingualism, while also exploring some areas of improvement.

Keywords: multilingualism, connectedness, inclusion, curricular agency, learning outcomes

 

Session 2: UGent-ULB: Cosmobility: Rethinking Student and Staff Mobility

This session explores the purpose of European and global mobility and examines how mobility can be improved. The main challenges and obstacles will be discussed through innovative approaches, taking into account the students’ and the Global South perspective: sustainability and inclusion; mandatory vs. optional mobility; short-term vs. long-term mobility and their academic recognition; challenges related to non-EU mobility; brain drain/gain and BIPs as space for innovation and preparation for intercultural encounters.

Keywords: mobility, innovation, sustainability, inclusion, recognition, intercultural encounters

 

Session 3: UHasselt-ULiège: Understanding and Applying Superdiversity in Academia, Higher Education and Beyond

Superdiversity may appear to be a buzzword, but in the contemporary landscape of higher education, the concept has emerged as a transformative force. It encompasses the complexity of diverse identities, experiences, and backgrounds within educational settings and challenges conventional notions of diversity. After exploring the concept itself, four experts will discuss its articulation, bridging the gap between the understanding, discourse and application of superdiversity in, on the one hand, academia and higher education, and, on the other hand, the labour market.

Keywords: superdiversity, transformation, higher education, labour market

 

Session 4: UAntwerpen-UNamur: Alliances as Drivers of Pedagogical Innovation

The aim of this session is to showcase good practices and define challenges and opportunities related to ‘pedagogical innovation’ by giving a voice to practitioners, students and stakeholders from a variety of alliances.

Keywords: pedagogical innovation, university alliances

 

Session 5: KU Leuven-UMONS: The European Degree as an Important Milestone Towards a Strong Future for the European Higher Education Area

To support the development of a strong European Education Area, the European Commission financed 6 projects to examine, test and facilitate the delivery of a joint European Degree label for international programmes developed through intensive cross-border collaboration of European higher education institutions. This session will reflect on the results of these projects and consider them from a forward looking broader perspective. Representatives of different stakeholder groups will discuss the European Degree in light of the desired future for European higher education and consider the added value of a label versus a degree from a global perspective.

Keywords: European degree, cross-border collaboration, future perspective

 

Session 6: VLIR-UOS-CRef: EU and Global Partnerships / Cooperation with the Global South

This session will reflect on how European University Alliances can contribute to an enhanced collaboration with partner universities in the Global South. This session will also take into account the topics addressed in the other five sessions.

Keywords: Global South, multilingualism, mobility, superdiversity, pedagogical innovations, European Degree

 

 

Composition Scientific Committee

Anne Weyembergh (ULB), Dana Samson (UCLouvain), Jeroen Darquennes (UNamur), Pierre Duysinx (ULiège), Laurence Ris (Umons), Karin Vanderkerken (VUB), Mieke Van Herreweghe (UGent), Ken Haenen (UHasselt), Peter Lievens (KU Leuven), Ann De Schepper (UAntwerpen) and Ann Peeters (VUB)

 

With the support of