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[Event Announcement] ACA Annual Conference 2011: The excellence imperative. World-class aspirations and real-world needs

This conference, taking place May 22-24 in Vienna, will explore the question of what makes an excellent university or college. In doing so, it will consider not only the research function of higher education, but also its educational role – teaching and learning – and manifold further functions and missions, such as higher education’s role in maintaining and building civil society, in addressing today’s global challenges, and in international cooperation, amongst others. In other words, it is intended to seek to identify different forms of excellence, geared to different aspirations. The ACA Annual Conference 2011 is intended for a broad range of audiences, from government, international organisations, NGOs and, above all, higher education institutions. From among the latter, we particularly address institutional leaders and staff specialising in strategic affairs and internationalisation.

  • Posted on: 19.01.2011

The conference will be organised in three sessions.

Session I will present and critically evaluate the paradigm of the world-class university. It will present its main features, and demonstrate its research bias. It will also explore the links between notions of ‘world class’ and the methodologies of international league tables, present an example of an outstanding European university, and assess the position of European higher education by the global measures of ‘word class’ currently in vogue.

Session II will widen the view, moving beyond the question of excellence in research to encompass further missions of higher education institutions. Notably, it will cover excellence in teaching and learning, the (in Europe) new concept of liberal arts education, universities in the developing world, and the societal role of higher education in the context of social inclusiveness, democracy, the intercultural dialogue, etc.

Session III, finally, will explore excellence in internationalisation. It will try to develop the basic elements of a “post-instrumental” form of internationalisation. It will address the role of language policies, and it is to look into the university’s role concerning immigrant populations, or, to put it differently, develop the essential elements of “internationalisation at the doorstep”.

There will also be four parallel workshops, devoted predominantly to issues around internationalisation. The themes are:

• Quality in international mobility
• Internationalisation at home
• Language policies
• Institutional responsibility

Details on the workshops will be published at a later stage.


From: 22 May 2011
To: 24 May 2011

Geographical focus: International/Other

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  • Posted on: 19.01.2011
  • Created by: Elke Dall

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