More than 6,000 higher education professionals from 95 countries are meeting in Barcelona, some of whom have visited the campuses of our University
This week the URV is participating in the 32nd Conference and Exhibition of the European Association of International Education (EAIE), the largest conference in its field in Europe and the second largest in the world. The Conference has attracted over 6,000 higher education representatives and professionals to Barcelona from 95 countries.
At the Conference, staff responsible for the URV’s internationalisation initiatives are exploring current trends in higher education as well as establishing and consolidating partnerships with institutions from all over the world. The event comprises 200 sessions and innovative activities, nine workshops, a fair with 200 exhibition stands, and a host of activities aimed at forging professional relationships.
The URV also introduced itself to other universities in attendance by welcoming 51 representatives of various universities from around the world to our campuses last Tuesday 13 September as part of the circuit of visits to Catalan universities arranged by the EAIE for Conference participants. The URV was also present at the “Study in Catalonia” stand organized by the Inter-University Council of Catalonia.
Marina Casals, Director of the URV’s International Center, and Marina Vives, member of the Center’s Internationalization at Home staff, spoke at various conference sessions. In her address, which referenced the title of this year’s Conference (“The future in full colour”) and was entitled “Oils, pastels and acrylics: it’s not the colour but the medium that counts in revitalizing Internationalization at Home”, Casals explained how the Earth Charter – which promotes a global movement towards a more just, sustainable and peaceful world and relates to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals – can revitalise approaches to Internationalization at Home via transformative learning. In her second presentation, entitled “Internationalising the future: achieving mindset change in academia and society”, she stressed how universities need to provide tools to meet the most important challenges of today’s society and explained how European projects can help to build a more open and prepared university and society. In her session entitled “Campfire: Spanish life skills: what it means to live in Spain”, Marina Vives explained what living in Spain is like to an audience interested in sending their students to Spain and eager to learn more about life here beyond the stereotypes.
The URV took further advantage of this opportunity in Barcelona to organize a meeting of university educators coached in the SUCTI method, which they have used to train their colleagues to better serve the international public, acquire intercultural communication tools, and open their institutions to the world. Currently there are 140 SUCTI trainers around the world.
This year’s event’s opening ceremony featured a presentation by Afghan-born BBC journalist Yalda Hakim, who, through her foundation, which supports the professional development of exceptionally talented Afghans, organized the evacuation of over 200 at-risk Afghans, including students from the American University of Afghanistan.