The EUF Council of Rectors meeting took place in Ghent.

The EUF Council of Rectors meeting took place in Ghent.

The EUF Council of Rectors, the highest decision-making body of the network, gathered at Ghent University on the 12th of March 2019 for its annual meeting.

During the meeting, conducted by Prof. Ariadni Stogiannidou, Prof. Maria Gravari-Barbas and Prof. Ina Druviete, the Council unanimously approved a new member university — Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) in the presence of Prof. Kristel Baele, the President of EUR. Also in attendance were representatives of our newest member universities, Vice-Rector Helder Vasconcelos (University of Porto), as well as Vice-Rector Alex Aguilar Vila and Delegate of the Rector for Internationalisation Bibiana Crespo Martin (University of Barcelona), who gave a brief overview of their institutions.

After the customary financial proceedings, strategic discussions took place regarding proposals for new initiatives, which include the organisation of a stakeholders meeting and new European Universities Initiative-related activities. The Council also debated on the future of the EUF’s digitisation initiatives, namely Erasmus Without Paper, Online Learning Agreement and the Erasmus+ App.

During the event, we had the pleasure of welcoming Frederik Smets, UNHCR Communications and Advocacy Officer, who addressed the panel on the issue of refugees and Higher Education, as statistics show that only 1% of the world’s refugees have access to Higher Education. Solutions to address this problem were discussed, including removing administrative barriers, work on the recognition of diplomas, lead refugee students to already existing programmes, more funding for psychosocial support and accommodation, among others. Please visit the UNHCR Education section and the Teachers’ toolkit for more information.

We warmly thank Prof. Guido Van Huylenbroeck, Academic Director, for hosting the meeting, and our colleagues Andries Verspeeten and Evy Pot for their invaluable support in organising this event.

The next Council of Rectors meeting will take place at the University of Warsaw in 2020.