Peer learning conference “Internationalization of higher education institutions – Translating Theory into Practice”

Konstantin Börner / DAAD

Internationalization has become an emergent driver within the higher education sector and is a key strategic priority for many higher education institutions in the European Higher Education Area. The conference addresses internationalization of higher education institutions and aims at providing a forum for dialogue between German and European higher education representatives.

Venue Hotel Collegium Leoninum, Noeggerathstraße 34, 53111 Bonn, Germany
Date 17th to 18th of January 2018
Target Group German and European higher education representatives, including faculty members, international office staff, university management as well as internationalization experts in the field of higher education.
Programme Link to the programme [PDF, 604 kB]
Registration At this moment the conference fully booked. You can register here for the waiting list.
Documentation You can find a documentation here after the event.

The event will cover a wide range of issues related to internationalization and its practical implementation in higher education institutions. The conference will include topics such as:

  • Internationalization as a catalyst for networking and development
  • Internal Quality Assurance
  • Staff Mobility
  • Bologna instruments as a means for strategic development of universities
  • The Erasmus Charter for Higher Education
  • Erasmus+ Policy Support

In addition to the presentations, there will be workshops on:

  • Change Management
  • Erasmus+ proposals writing
  • International Quality Assurance of Joint Programmes
  • Writing & Assessing student learning outcomes

Internationalization as a catalyst for networking and development 
(Presentation, Prof Gregoris Makrides)

Staff Mobility in higher education institutions
(Presentation, Prof Dr María del Carmen Arau Ribeiro)

Recognition procedures and obstacles - Experiences at German HEIs
(Presentation, Dr Sonja Mikeska)

Learning agreement vs. transcript of records – options, preparation, details & understanding
(Presentation, Dr Richard Zamorski)

The EMREX network: A solution for electronic transfer of student records between higher education institutions
(Presentation, Dr Matija Puzar)

Internal Quality Assurance - what it means in real life
(Presentation, Dr Sandra Kraze)

Quality Assurance in International Offices
(Presentation, Prof Carlos Afonso)

International quality assurance of joint study programmes
(Workshop, Cor Segeren & Gerard Sijben)

It’s as Easy as 1, 2, 3 - An introductory workshop on student learning outcomes
(Workshop, Prof Dr Anthony Vickers)

Erasmus Charter for higher education strategic and operational underpinnings
(Presentation, Raimonda Markeviciene)

Erasmus+ Key Action 3 Call for proposals “European Policy Experimentation"
(Presentation, Saskia Weißenbach)

How to write Erasmus+ proposals for funding
(Workshop, Prof. Gregoris Makrides)

Change management at higher education institutions
(Workshop, Dr Tim Breitbarth)

Internationalization as a catalyst for networking and development

Presentation, Prof Gregoris Makrides

In the global world we live in, it is well accepted that we cannot live isolated either as physical persons or as organizations and institutions. Networking is a key element embedded in almost all our activities including our work and our life and it is well linked to internationalization. Internationalization is found in almost all the development strategies of universities and many universities are using specific indicators to measure it. In this presentation we highlight these topics and give answers to the following questions:

  • does investing in internationalization elements for a Higher Education Institution contribute to the popularization of the university that will make it more attractive for networking and partnerships?
  • what are some good practices of internationalization that can be applied in the German higher education environment?
  • what type of indicators can be used to measure internationalization?

Consequently all these could be viewed as a logical equivalence for a double implication where internationalization derives networking and development while networking and development could also derive internationalization, so it can become a dynamic circle.

Staff Mobility in higher education institutions

Presentation, Prof Dr María del Carmen Arau Ribeiro

This talk will cover internationalization and mobility of academic, administrative and technical staff with a critical look at "Internationalization at Home" as well as European and international initiatives on interculturality, integrated learning of language and content (CLIL in HE), and interdisciplinarity to find their added value for researchers, management staff, teachers, and students.

Recognition procedures and obstacles - Experiences at German HEIs

Presentation, Dr Sonja Mikeska

The presentation will focus on current practices of recognition of studies abroad at German Higher Education Institutions. It will shortly describe the legal basis according to the Lisbon Recognition Convention and address the key issues which are still seen as obstacles or challenges in everyday work. A selection of "good practices" will be shared in order to enhance a dialogue of further facilitating recognition procedures.

  • How does the "ideal" recognition procedure of studies abroad according to the Lisbon Recognition Convention look like?
  • What are the main obstacles and challenges in current recognition procedures at German HEIs?
  • Which examples of good practice can be observed / shared?

Learning agreement vs. transcript of records – options, preparation, details & understanding

Presentation, Dr Richard Zamorski

A well prepared and thoroughly discussed agreement between partners is the most fundamental step of Erasmus+ cooperation. The devil is in the detail (which differences are acceptable, which are not; what didactic offers that we put on websites are strong, what is shown as a flexible part).

Clear objectives of the exchange must be passed to outgoing and incoming students (among them SECURITY).

The role of professors, coordinators and deans taking part in the exchange, understanding of the Erasmus idea & multi-fractional meaning is crucial because of personal/professional  development, cultural, social and political reasons.

How to arrange the process of students and staff nominations and evaluation? Preferences, barriers, added values of the programme.

Learning Agreement (with possible changes/adjustments after arrival) and Transcript of Records when signed by the three parties cannot be questioned. Some unforeseen cases need a flexible attitude!

The EMREX network: A solution for electronic transfer of student records between higher education institutions

Presentation, Dr Matija Puzar

EMREX is a solution for electronic transfer of student records across borders. So far, the transfer is established between the following countries: Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Italy, Poland and the Netherlands. In addition, there are several other countries in the process of joining the network. The EMREX network is open for use for any organization needing these kind of data, like higher education institutions and potential employers. EMREX supports the EU 2020 target of 20% of higher education students should be mobile. The result exchange through the EMREX network gives increased availability, quality and reliability of information about student records of achievement. It makes the administration of student mobility easier and encourages a more effective recognition of studies. The solution is GDPR compliant, as it is the records owner who actively performs the process of transferring them.

Internal Quality Assurance - what it means in real life

Presentation, Dr Sandra Kraze

The aim of the presentation is to focus on the issues of internal Quality Assurance by looking at policies, procedures and practical examples that are introduced by higher education institutions to achieve or enhance quality. It will look at the ways how higher education institutions cope with their understanding of quality and their role to maintain it in their daily life when designing and delivering study programmes.  
Learning outcomes
•    Have a clear understanding of the meaning of internal quality assurance
•    Be able to define and apply processes to maintain quality
•    Be able to explain how internal quality as a tool helps in improving quality
•    Be able to demonstrate how you measure quality
•    Be able to describe aspects of student- centred learning as a relevant element of quality
•    Be able to share best practice examples with each other

Quality Assurance in International Offices

Presentation, Prof Carlos Afonso

  • Brief presentation of IPP, its strenghts and weaknesses, as well as threats and opportunities from outside
  • Importance and relevance of internationalization at the institutional level
  • The process matrix approach - inputs/outputs; actvities; main actors and responsibilities
  • Definition of indicators, calculation methods, targets and results

International quality assurance of joint study programmes

Workshop, Cor Segeren & Gerard Sijben

(International) Quality Assurance is important with a view on continuous improvement of a study programme and is a requisite for International Accreditation.
In this workshop we want to share experiences in Quality Assurance of Joint Study Programmes and discuss items to be included.

Following a brief introduction three items will be addressed:

  1. Discussion on pros and cons for engaging in Joint Study Programmes, as QA Activities should be related to partners strategic goals and ambitions
  2. Discussion of 1 or 2 practical cases
  3. Checklist of items to be included

Available guidance and checklists include

  • Principles for accreditation procedures regarding Joint Programmes, ECA
  • European Approach for Quality Assurance of Joint Programmes, EHEA ministers 2015
  • Outcomes Peer Learning Activity on EU approach on QA of Joint Programmes, 2017

It’s as Easy as 1, 2, 3 - An introductory workshop on student learning outcomes

Workshop, Prof Dr Anthony Vickers

This workshop will guide the participants through the process of creating and evaluating learning outcomes. Participants are encouraged to consider their learning outcomes as a result of attending this workshop. What will I be able to do as a result of this workshop?

Erasmus Charter for higher education strategic and operational underpinnings

Presentation, Raimonda Markeviciene

The presentation will concentrate on the strategic importance of the ECHE for an institution of higher education as well as structures that have to be introduced on operational level in order to comply with ECHE requirements and ensure the quality of institutional participation in the programme thus shaping institutional mobility culture.

The following aspects will be discussed: how much ECHE is influenced by wider/overall institutional strategies; does compliance to it require separate strategic decisions or are the commitments promised in the document in the mainstream of the institutional activities; what are the strategic implications of holding ECHE; what are operational ones and how they affect institutional structures, decisions, and changes if ECHE requirements are implemented.

Erasmus+ Policy Support Call for proposals “European Policy Experimentation”

Presentation, Saskia Weißenbach

Projects in the field of “European policy experimentations” aim to support transnational cooperation with a view to implement innovative policies under the leadership of high-level public authorities.

The presentation will focus on the upcoming call of European Policy Experimentation in the field of education and training (Erasmus+ Key Action 3), its background and priorities. The advantages of a project under this action type as well as its role for strategic positioning will be highlighted.

How to write Erasmus+ proposals for funding

Workshop, Prof Gregoris Makrides

Erasmus+ is the EU Programme in the fields of education, training, youth and sport for the period 2014-2020. Education, training, youth and sport can make a major contribution to help tackle socio-economic changes, the key challenges that Europe will be facing until the end of the decade and to support the implementation of the European policy agenda for growth, jobs, equity and social inclusion.

In the workshop we will
1. have a quick introduction to the ERASMUS+ Programme, objectives, priorities and main features.
2. discuss specific information about the Actions of the Programme
3. discuss detailed information on procedures for grant application and selection of projects, financial and administrative elements of an ERASMUS+ grant covering mainly the following  
3.1 Structure of a proposal
3.2 Eligible activities and expenses
3.3 Networking and partner search
3.4 Outputs and planned tasks
3.5 Budget
3.6 Review of approved proposals under Key Action KA2
3.7 Management of the project after approval

Change management at higher education institutions

Workshop, Dr Tim Breitbarth

‚Change management’ describes a cluster of frameworks and approaches concerned with changes within or directly concerning organisations. It might be confined to specific parts of an organisation and may well consider the situation of individuals. Often, it is linked to strategic realignment and a changing allocation of resources.

Certainly, the specific situation of higher education institutions has been affected by the Bologna Process. Goal posts have moved and it is giving impetus to research, education and contributions to the wider society. Increasingly, change is becoming normal – be it explicit or implicit.

Which elements of organisational change management are relevant to the, arguably, idiosyncrasies of higher education institutions? How can Bologna-related processes be supported by change management approaches? This workshop combines expert input with joint activities and individual sense-making.


David Akrami Flores, Jasmina Nikolic, Bettina Rosen