Seminar on PHE – Otočec 2014

otocec_1EURASHE organised a Seminar on Professional Higher Education (PHE) titled ‘Building bridges for a more professional higher education‘ in Otočec (Slovenia) on 16-17 October 2014. It is organised by EURASHE, the Association of Slovene Higher Vocational Colleges (ASHVC), and the HAPHE project. Underneath are further information on:

(Photograph: CC by-nc by Leonardo)

Following are EURASHE news items related to the event:

Following is the programme of the event:

Day 1 – Thursday 16 October 2014

10.00 – Registration

10.30 – Opening of the Seminar and Welcome words

11.00 – Keynote speeches

Professional Higher Education in Europe – EURASHE’s perspective and policies

Business perspective to Professional Higher Education

12.30 – Lunch break

14.00 – Plenary session

Overview of trends in Professional Higher Education in Europe

14.30 – Parallel workshop sessions

Policy and Strategy: Overall development of policies for Universities of Applied Sciences and cooperation with the world of work

Teaching and Learning: Meeting characteristics of PHE in teaching and learning on the institutional level

Research, Development and Innovation: Developing the context of research and research agenda in cooperation with the world of work

16.30 – Panel discussion

Building bridges for a more professional higher education

19.30 – Dinner at Restaurant Grad, Otocec Castle


Day 2 – Friday 17 October 2014

09.30 – Plenary session

The role of Professional Higher Education in Education reforms/European Commission

10.10 – Award ceremony

Alliance for Apprenticeships – signing the pledge between EURASHE and European Commission

Awarding the best Slovene student diploma in the academic year 2013 – 2014 by the employers

10.30 – Parallel workshop sessions

Policy and Strategy: Regional cooperation for development of policy and strategy in professional higher education

Teaching and Learning: Development of staff and human resource management in PHE institutions

Research, Development and Innovation: Engaging students into research, development and innovation as well as entrepreneurship

12.30 – Closing remarks

Roadmap for successful harmonisation of professional higher education in Europe

13.00 – End of the Seminar and lunch


In the afternoon, a social programme will take place. More information will follow…

Building bridges for a more professional higher education

otocec_1The Seminar on Building bridges for a more professional higher education is a 2 day event focusing on the mission of professional higher education (PHE). It is intended to inspire institutional management, staff members, the world of work and policy-makers in profiling their institutions and their everyday work.

Throughout Europe a significant number of institutions and programmes recognise themselves in a number of features that are linked to the predicate ‘professional’. PHE however cannot uniformly be defined within similar historical levels and (national) higher education structures, and even not to certain types of institutions and ways of learning. This because the programmes and institution that want to be styled as professional operate within the same triangle of education, knowledge creation (research) and services to the community, as would be expected from any form of higher education in the European landscape (now the European Higher Education Area (EHEA)). The contours of such (European) higher education are universally accepted by the different parties, including stakeholders like students and employers, as defined by the Council of Europe’s ‘four purposes’ of higher education, irrespective of the type and form of higher education.

Professional higher education is often associated with applied research, as opposed to classical universities who focus on basic research, but is characterised through experimental development and (other) services to the community. That becomes apparent with the close relationship between PHE institutions and its stakeholders.

Another feature is the pride of place that is given to the paradigm of ‘learning outcomes’. This is because PHE, and certainly its study programmes are shaped by specific professional goals or needs, in which the contexts of the future professions are clear and the learning outcomes are defined by the professional needs, in terms of integrated competences. A focus on learning outcomes comes naturally to PHE, due to its strong links with the professional world, in different forms of cooperation, via curriculum design and monitoring, work placements and internships, etc.

EURASHE has focused in the past years on the mission of professional higher education, mainly though the HAPHE (Harmonising Approaches to Professional Higher Education in Europe) project. At the very end of the project, EURASHE decided to host this Seminar, based on the outcomes of the organisation’s and project’s work. While developing Profile of Professional Higher Education in Europe, a diversity of approaches has been researched, large amount of stakeholders consulted, bringing us to the final ‘Definition and Characteristics of PHE’. These will serve as a basis for the discussions in Otočec, developing the programme in 3 tracks: Policy and Strategy, Teaching and Learning and Research, Innovation and Development. Throughout the sessions grouped around these core characteristics of PHE, we will gather input from institutional representatives, the world of work and other relevant stakeholders. We will as well welcome speakers from various countries in order to share with participants best practices from both institutional and policy point of view. Involvement of different stakeholders, with a strong position of the world of work in the programme will further stimulate building of bridges between the higher education sector and the world of work, for a more professional higher education.

Following are the speakers of the event:

  • Ajda_Praznik_SI Ajda Praznik - Ajda Praznik is a student of the 3rd year at the Faculty of Pharmacy of the University of Ljubljana and a student of the 2nd year at the Higher Vocational College at... Read more
  • Mihael_Bukovic_HR Mihael Buković - Mihael Buković is a Vice-Dean for development and economy at VSITE College for Information Technologies in Zagreb, Croatia. At VSITE, he is responsible for development of quality assurance processes, focuses... Read more
  • Johan_L_Vanderhoeven_BE Johan L. Vanderhoeven - He was trained as an educationalist at the University of Leuven (Belgium) and specialised in educational policy analysis and comparative education. After graduation he worked as teacher in higher education... Read more
  • Terence_Clifford-Amos_UK Terence Clifford-Amos - Terence is an International Consultant has spent more than 20 years in higher education in the UK and still holds a visiting lectureship at the Université Catholique de Lille, France.... Read more
  • Jean-Pierre_Lacotte_FR Jean-Pierre Lacotte - Jean-Pierre has spent most of his career within the Thomson group now Technicolor, starting at Thomson-CSF Central Research Laboratory in the Optical Storage Lab. In 1982, he was seconded to... Read more
  • Johan_Cloet_BE Johan Cloet - Johan Cloet has been the Secretary General of EURASHE in 2014-2016, which he represented in the Bologna Follow-Up Group (BFUG) and several of its working groups, such as on ‘Structural... Read more
  • Karlo_Kolesar_HR Karlo Kolesar - Born on 13/04/1989, Karlo Kolesar is a graduate student of management of sustainable tourism development at the VERN in Zagreb. He is in his second term as vice-president of the... Read more
  • Ulf-Daniel_Ehlers_DE Ulf-Daniel Ehlers - Prof. Dr Ulf-Daniel Ehlers is Vice-President for Quality and Academic Affairs at the Baden-Württemberg State University (DHBW) in Stuttgart (Germany). He has been appointed Professor for Educational Management and Lifelong... Read more
  • Anthony_F_Camilleri_MT Anthony F. Camilleri - Anthony F. Camilleri is a tertiary education policy consultant. He holds qualifications in law from the University of Malta, and was also active in the Malta national students’ union and... Read more
  • Richard_Thorn_IE Richard Thorn - Dr Richard Thorn is a science graduate of Trinity College Dublin, holds a Masters in Public Administration from The Institute of Public Administration in Dublin and a Doctorate in Environmental... Read more
  • Darinka_Vrecko_SI Darinka Vrečko - Darinka Vrečko holds the position of Secretary within the Department of Higher Education at the Ministry of Education, Science and Sport of the Republic of Slovenia. From 1996 when she... Read more
  • Monique_Swennenhuis_NL Monique Swennenhuis - Monique Swennenhuis is currently senior advisor internationalisation at Hanze University of Applied Sciences, Groningen. She is primarily involved in strategic policy work on positioning and profiling the University and its... Read more
  • Mateja_Melink_SI Mateja Melink - Mateja Melink is an assistant and researcher at the Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Ljubljana. She has been actively involved in the Slovenian team of HEGESCO project (Higher Education... Read more
  • Michal_Karpisek_CZ Michal Karpíšek, Secretary-General of EURASHE - Michal Karpíšek is the Secretary-General of EURASHE, starting 1 June 2016. He has been Executive Officer of the Czech Association of Schools of Professional Higher Education (CASPHE) since 1994. He... Read more
  • Raimund_Hudak_DE Raimund Hudak - As senior lecturer and researcher with over 10 years of experience at leading academic institutions Raimund Hudak has been involved in various research programmes in Germany and abroad. He is... Read more
  • Alicia-Leonor_Sauli-Miklavcic_SI Alicia-Leonor Sauli-Miklavčič, Board member of EURASHE - Alicia-Leonor Sauli-Miklavčič is a good connoisseur of international professional higher education, she has been Project Expert at the Slovene Association HVC as well as a member of the EURASHE working... Read more
  • Antonio_Silva_Mendes_PT António Silva Mendes - Since March 2012, António Silva Mendes has been the Director for the Education & Vocational Training at the Directorate-General (DG) of Education & Culture in the European Commission. Of Portuguese... Read more
  • Markus_Lecke_DE Markus Lecke - Markus Lecke is a telecommunication engineer and studied at the University of applied Science in Lemgo, North Rhine Westphalia. He started his career as an expert for vocational training concepts... Read more
Following are the practicalities of the event:

Travelling to Otočec

The seminar host is located between Zagreb and Ljubljana, the capital cities of Croatia and Slovenia, respectively. There is a possibility to book transfers to the venue from Zagreb, Ljubljana, Graz as well as major Italian airports.


Seminar map

View EURASHE Seminar on PHE in Google Maps here.


Seminar location

The seminar is hosted by Grm Novo Mesto – Center for Biotechnology and Tourism, located at Sevno 13, 8000 Novo Mesto, Slovenia. It is shown (in yellow) on the map above.


Suggested hotels

The following hotels are suggested to participants. They are shown (in red) on the map above. The hotels are located in a radius under 5 kilometres of the seminar location. 

  1. Spa Hotel Krka 4*, Novi Trg 1, 8000 Novo Mesto, Slovenia –
  2. Hotel Šmarjeta, Šmarješke Toplice Thermal Spa 4*, Brezovica 1, 8220 Šmarješke, Toplice, Slovenia –
  3. Hotel Vitarium, Šmarješke Toplice Thermal Spa 4*, Šmarješke Toplice 100, 8220 Šmarješke Toplice, Slovenia –
  4. Otočec Castle Hotel 5*, Grajska cesta 2, 8222 Otočec ob Krki, Slovenia –



  • ASHVC_logo Association of Slovene Higher Vocational Colleges (Association HVC) - Skupnost višjih strokovnih šol Republike Slovenije (SKUPNOST VSŠ) Association HVC is the association of Slovene Higher Vocational Colleges offering 2-year professional programs awarded with 120 ECTS and dealing with applied... Read more
  • EURASHE_block European Association of Institutions in Higher Education (EURASHE) - EURASHE is the European Association of Institutions in Higher Education that offer professionally orientated programmes and are engaged in applied and profession-related research within the Bologna cycles. EURASHE represents univerisities of applied... Read more
  • HAPHE_logo_2 HAPHE - This group of 11 dedicated actors in the field of Professional Higher Education in Europe believe that while the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) has contributed significantly to harmonisation of HE... Read more
Following is the material of the event:

Following are the photographs of the event:

EURASHE Seminar on PHE