ACA Annual Conference 2015: Internationalisation: from strategy to implementation

Brussels, 14-16 June 2015

This year’s ACA Annual Conference, to be held in Brussels, is dedicated to the theme of institutional internationalisation strategies and their (successful) implementation. The Conference is expected to draw an audience of some 300, including central actors and decision-makers from universities and colleges as well as policy-makers and practitioners from government departments, international institutions, non-governmental organisations and think tanks. As always, we are striving to offer high-quality information, analysis and discussion on this year’s theme.


The 2015 ACA Annual Conference will address the theme of internationalisation strategies for higher education institutions from a double perspective. First, it will consider different concepts and approaches to internationalisation strategies, and at ways to design them. Second, it will address issues around the implementation of such strategies.  We aim for a global perspective, with the majority of speakers coming from Europe, and presenting European approaches, but with several notable presenters originating from elsewhere in the world. 

Sub-themes of the conference include mainstreaming of internationalisation as a strategic approach, branding a higher education institution, resourcing internationalisation strategies, and generating internal ‘buy in’ for them. We might even pose the heretical question of whether or not an internationalisation strategy is necessary for success in the international arena. Further, we will look at particular challenges to internationalisation efforts and how to overcome them, such as the integration of foreign students, teaching in English, incentivising short-term mobility of students and staff, and international marketing and student recruitment.


The ACA Annual Conference 2015 will take place on the 15 and 16 June, and is to be preceded by a social programme and opening reception the evening prior. The conference itself will feature a mix of plenary and parallel workshops. Plenary sessions will include ‘classical’ presentations, panel discussions and ‘debates’.  In addition, there will be three highly interactive parallel workshops which will be repeated once, allowing participants to attend two such dynamic sessions instead of only one. The programme also includes the by now legendary conference dinner. 

Overall, we aim at an event that not only provides useful information, reflection and analysis, but also ample opportunities for discussion, peer learning, and networking. 

The conference language is English.


Traditionally, ACA Annual Conferences are organised in cooperation with ACA members and other important local partners. This year, ACA is very proud to partner with its member organisations Wallonia Brussels Campus and Flanders Knowledge Area, as well as with the Flemish Ministry of Education and Training.


In our choice of speakers we remain very ‘conservative’. We invite only speakers who have something to say and who are able to say this well. Presenters at ACA Annual Conferences are chosen exclusively from a small group of internationally reputed experts in higher education research, policy and practice. In the coming weeks, we will present some of these outstanding personalities to you.