U!REKA unites at the 31st EAIE Conference

The 2019 conference theme was 'Encompassing all voices'

11 Oct 2019 10:06 | Communication

Anyone who is anybody in international education was in Helsinki at the end of September. Why? For the internationalisation event of the year – the European Association for International Education (EAIE) Conference, which brought together 6200 higher education professionals from 95 countries. U!REKA was there too, of course!

This highly anticipated annual conference, held this year from 24–27 September 2019, brings together higher education leadership and managers, exchange coordinators, educational experts, service providers and students. During an intensive few days, attendees promote their institutions’ services, strengthen their ties with existing partners, seek out new collaborations and exchange expertise on a wide variety of higher education themes.

Networking opportunities

The conference programme comprised a variety of activities. On-campus experiences, workshops on developing personal skills in the field of internationalisation, poster sessions plenaries, panel discussions on challenges and pest-practices, networking events and an exhibition with networking opportunities were approaching the various voices of educational topics and viewpoints of European higher education and transnational and transcultural exchange.

U!REKA colleagues organised two networking meetings during EAIE. This was a valuable opportunity to further develop existing activities, such as increasing the students and staff between our institutions (mobility), mapping our institutions’ degree programmes and identifying joint as well as complementary topics across our education and applied research expertise.

New collaborative initiatives and knowledge exchange platforms were also discussed, such as the concept of collaborative U!REKA summer schools. The meetings were also the perfect moment to introduce new colleagues to the network.

Iris Bräuning (left) and Stephanie Porter, U!REKA colleagues from Frankfurt UAS

Reflecting on the European Universities Initiative

The European Universities Initiative (EUI) was one of the key topics at the conference. During a session called “A real game changer: European Universities paving the way towards a European Education Area” the first pilot projects awarded in 2019 were officially introduced to the wider community.

Although U!REKA’s initial bid was unfortunately not among those honoured in the first round, we are already preparing for the second European Universities pilot in 2020. Many U!REKA colleagues therefore attended the workshop “The EAIE debate: The ‘Macron’ initiative - the right step towards a European Champions League?”, which focused on audience participation and reflections on the first EUI round.

Sightseeing in Helsinki

Barcelona 2020

“Encompassing all voices” was the motto of this year’s conference, chosen by the host country Finland. This country is embracing inclusive education by widening participation and listening to the variety of visions and proposals available for putting these policies into practice.

All in all, EAIE was a fantastic learning experience for U!REKA attendees. U!REKA colleagues are already looking forward to EAIE 2020, in Barcelona!