Skills for europe | EURASHE 32nd Annual Conference

Mobilising HE for the green and digital transitions


June 2023

University Politehnica Bucharest CAMPUS | Bucharest (Romania)


In her 2022 State of the Union address, the President of theEuropean Commission announced that 2023 would be the European Year of Skills. Closely linked to the world of work, Professional Higher Education can help meet the skills gaps Europe is facing and develop the broader competences required for the green and digital transitions. However, reinforced cooperation with business will be needed, as well as with other education and training institutions, governments, and civil society, which should develop regional skills ecosystems. Industrial transition demands the reskilling and upskilling of workers at all ages and therefore adult learning will become more relevant for higher education. Furthermore, Europe needs more trained researchers in all regions to apply knowledge in SMEs. Amid this background of rapid economic and technological change, the 32nd EURASHE Annual Conference is an opportunity for inspiration and co-creation of human capabilities for the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

European Year of Skills
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University POLITEHNICA of Bucharest (UPB) will host the upcoming EURASHE Annual Conference. UPB is an international school of engineering and the oldest Romanian Technical University. Since it was founded in 1818, its mission has been thought over as a blend of education, research and innovation, addressing problems that come from the real world: renewable energies, sustainability, space and security and innovative engineering and many more.

UPB is part of over 20 larger academic associations: The European Association of Institutions in Higher Education (EURASHE), the European University Association (EUA), the Top International Managers in Engineering Association (T.I.M.E.), The Conference of European Schools for Advanced Engineering Education and Research (CESAER), L’Agence Universitaire de la Francophonie (AUF), Magna Charta Observatory (MCO),  etc. Since 2020, UPB has been part of the European universities initiative and a member of the European Engineering Learning Innovation and Science Alliance (EELISA).

UPB has 15 different engineering faculties distributed over 3 campuses, two state-of-the-art research centres with more than 70 laboratories, almost 29.000 students enrolled in BSc, MSc, and PhD studies: 95 undergraduate degree programs, 184 master programs and 14 doctoral schools, and 44 programs in English, German and French.

Preliminary agenda

  Find the full conference programme here.

TIME (Romanian time) ACTIVITY 

Mapping the Regional Impact of Universities of Applied Science – UASiMAP project final event 

Central Library – Room 4.1


Peer Learning Activity on Student-Centred Learning 

Central Library – Room 4.1

14:00-15:00 Meeting of the core groups of EURASHE Communities of Practice (closed sessions)

EURASHE General Assembly (Members only)

Rectorate Building – Senate room



Rectorate Building – Main hall

**Events in blue on the 7 June 2023 are not part of the Annual Conference but are organised by EURASHE and held in the same venue. If you wish to attend, please register on the event page by clicking on the name above.

?Rectorate building – Amphitheater ‘Radu Voinea’

(All items on the agenda will happen in this room except the breakout session, which will happen in the Central Library Building)

DAY 1 – 8 JUNE
TIME (Romanian time) ACTIVITY 
Moderator of the day:  Nijolė Zinkevičienė – EURASHE Board Member, Vilniaus Kolegija Higher Education Institution
9:00-9:30 Welcome coffee and registrations


Armando Pires – EURASHE President

Mihnea Cosmin Costoiu – Rector University Politehnica of Bucharest

Welcome to students from Ukraine



Ligia Deca – Minister of Education of Romania


POLICY ROUNDTABLE on the European Year of Skills

Moderated by Ulf-Daniel Elhers – Vice President of Quality and Academic Affairs Baden-Württemberg Cooperative State University

Ligia Deca – Minister of Education of Romania

João Albuquerque – Member of the European Parliament 

Joaquim Mourato– Director General for Higher Education in Portugal

Liesbeth Hens – Policy Advisor Higher Education at Ministry of Education and Training Flemish Community

11:00-11:30 Coffee Break
11:30-12:15 Breakout sessions I

PANEL DISCUSSION I | Labour Market and Cooperation with Industry

Moderated by Jon Altuna – Academic Vice-rector, Mondragon University

Luís Loures – President IP Portalegre

Frank Melis Founder and CEO Global

Isabelle Pouliquen – Vice Rector, Aix-Marseille University

Manuela Prina – Head of Skills Identification and Development Unit, European Training Foundation (ETF)

13:15-14:30 Lunch break & Networking
14:30-15:15 Breakout sessions II


Moderated by Claudia Kreipl and Thomas Berger –  Hochschule Fulda University of Applied Sciences

Victor Negrescu – Member of the European Parliament

Mona Roman – Innovation Director, Metropolia UAS

Kristina Sermuksnyte-Alesiuniene – Cluster Manager, AgriFood Lithuania

Liam Brown – Vice President, Technological University of the Shannon

16:15-16:30 Closing of the day


Meeting of institutions who are currently involved or interested in the European University Initiative 

  • Introduction by Michal Karpisek, Senior Policy Expert at E³UDRES² European University
  • Words of Motivation by Vanessa Debiais-Sainton, Head of Higher Education Unit, European Commission (online)
  • Experiences of applying for and running Alliances by Hannes Raffaseder, St. Pölten UAS, Jon Altuna, Mondragon University, and Mona Roman, Metropolia UAS

Gala dinner at Bragadiru Palace 

Calea Rahovei 147-153, București 050892, Romania

21:00-23:00 Informal get together


?Rectorate building – Amphitheater ‘Radu Voinea’

(All items on the agenda will happen in this room except the breakout session, which will happen in the Central Library Building)

DAY 2 – 9 JUNE
TIME (Romanian time) ACTIVITY
Moderator of the day: Hannes Raffaseder – EURASHE Board Member, Lead Coordinator European University E³UDRES² 
09:00-09:30 Registration and welcome coffee

KEYNOTE SPEECH | The profile of a boundary-spanning champion – how to enhance external engagement?

Arno Meerman – CEO of University Industry Innovation Network (UIIN)

10:00-10:45 Breakout sessions III
10:45-11:15 Coffee Break
11:15-12:00 Breakout sessions IV
12:00-13:00 Lunch break & Networking


Moderated by Ana Tecilazic – Secretary-General of Algebra University College

Cristina Ghitulica – Vice President, ENQA and Professor at University Politehnica of Bucharest, Romania

Eltjo Bazen – Chief Product Owner Quality Assurance, HU UAS, The Netherlands

Horia Onita – Vice President European Students’ Union, Romania

Anita Līce – Education and employability consultant, Employers Confederation of Latvia


Closing Session 

PHE Awards

Main take outs of the Conference – Denise Wornig, Head of European and International Cooperation at Carinthia University of Applied Sciences, Austria

Announcement of 2024 Conference

Investiture of new President and Board Members



Day 1 | 8 June

Official Opening

Armando Pires

Armando Pires

He is currently full professor in the area of Electrical Engineering at the Setúbal Polytechnic Institute in Portugal and Senior Researcher and Coordinator of the Energy Group at CTS/UNINOVA (Universidade Nova de Lisboa).

Mihnea Costoiu

Mihnea Costoiu

Mihnea Costoiu is the Rector of the University POLITEHNICA of Bucharest and General Secretary of the Romanian National Council of Rectors since 2012. He held several political positions between 2001 to 2014, including Secretary General, State Secretary, and Minister Delegate for Higher Education and Research with the Romanian Ministry of Education. Since 2017 Mr. Costoiu is a Member of the Board of Directors of CESAER (Conference of European Schools for Advanced Engineering Education and Research), while in 2020 he was elected Vice-president of CESAER and re-elected in 2022.  He is also a member of the Council of Administration of Agence Universitaire de la Francophonie (AUF) since 2017, actively promoting the academic Francophonie.

Keynote Speech I

Ligia Deca

Ligia Deca

Ligia Deca is the Minister of Education of Romania. Previously, as Presidential Adviser for Education and Research, she coordinated the Educated Romania project, which aimed to establish a long-term strategic vision for the national education sector. She is also a University Lecturer at the National University for Political Studies and Public Administration in Bucharest. Author of several papers and studies in the field of education policy, approaching topics ranging from the internationalisation of tertiary education to adaptive educational practices in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, Ligia Deca has also worked as an expert for the Council of Europe, European Commission, EQAR, DAAD, and others. In 2014, she was invited to be a member of the ‘Science in Education’ Expert Group set-up by the European Commission. Ligia Deca is also a member of the Fulbright Board of Directors in Romania.

Policy Roundtable

João Albuquerque

João Albuquerque

João Albuquerque, who was born on December 25, 1986, in Barreiro. He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and International Relations, as well as a Master’s Degree in History, Defence, and International Relations. He currently holds various political positions as Member of the European Parliament, including Vice-Chair of the Delegation for relations with Brazil, Member of the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs, and the Committee on Fisheries. He has also held political advisory roles in Portugal and worked as a trainee at the European Parliament. Additionally, he has worked as a consultant for a Portuguese company based in Brussels and is currently the Coordinator of the Agenda for Equality of the Setubal Regional branch of the Socialist Party.

Ligia Deca

Ligia Deca

Ligia Deca is the Minister of Education of Romania. Previously, as Presidential Adviser for Education and Research, she coordinated the Educated Romania project, which aimed to establish a long-term strategic vision for the national education sector. She is also a University Lecturer at the National University for Political Studies and Public Administration in Bucharest. Author of several papers and studies in the field of education policy, approaching topics ranging from the internationalisation of tertiary education to adaptive educational practices in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, Ligia Deca has also worked as an expert for the Council of Europe, European Commission, EQAR, DAAD, and others. In 2014, she was invited to be a member of the ‘Science in Education’ Expert Group set-up by the European Commission. Ligia Deca is also a member of the Fulbright Board of Directors in Romania.

Panel Discussion I | Labour Market and Cooperation with Industry

Frank Melis

Frank Melis

Frank has spent his entire professional life pursuing innovative ideas that help people communicate and collaborate more successfully. He has a passion for ideas and bringing them to operational reality. Frank haas held high-level positions in global technology companies, including Digital Equipment, AT&T, Bell Labs and IBM. His strength lies in learning, sharing and growing with others. Over the past two decades, Frank started new companies focused on Innovation and Talent Management based on the platform. He is responsible for establishing’s direction, setting goals and building a culture of success. Specialities: Technology; Product Development; Talent Management; Coaching; Assessments; Implementations; and International Business Development.

Luis Loures

Luís Loures

Luis Loures is a Landscape Architect and Agronomic Engineer, Full Professor at the Polytechnic University of Portalegre who holds a Ph.D. in Planning. Since graduation he has published more than 200 per reviewed papers at the national and international levels and he has been a guest researcher and lecturer at several Universities, including Michigan State University (USA), and at University of Toronto (Canada) where he developed part of his Ph.D. research with the financial support from the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology (Ph.D. grant). Additionally, during his academic career he concluded also a post-grad program in Smart Growth and Strategic Land Use Decision Making (Land Policy Institute – MSU), a Post-Doc on Sustainable Production and habilitation in Landscape Redevelopment.

Isabelle Pouliquen

Isabelle Pouliquen

Professor of Universities is Vice President of Quality for Aix Marseille University, and is currently working on the collective and participative construction of a prospective vision for the university and on a global quality approach based on the EFQM excellence model. She is also responsible for two Quality, Health, Safety and Environment management courses (professional degree and master’s degree) within Aix Marseille University, courses that she created and has been leading for over 20 years towards the university-company alternation. The QHSe master’s degree is ISO 9001 2015 certified and has adopted a skills-based approach and a project and problem-based teaching method for more than five years. Isabelle Pouliquen was seconded part-time to the Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation for 11 years, working on information systems issues.

Manuela Prina

Manuela Prina

Manuela is Head of the Skills Identification and Development Unit, within the Knowledge Hub department of the European Training Foundation (ETF), the EU Agencies supporting countries outside the European Union (EU) in the area of human capital development, life-long learning policies and skills identification and development. As Head of Unit, Manuela is responsible for steering ETF’s work in the area of skills relevance and anticipation, development of skills and validation, leading the knowledge co-creation and sharing across ETF partner countries, with the EU and the international community. Manuela joined ETF in 2008 and in her career at the ETF covered several assignments, including being responsible for the area of governance, the implementation of several projects in the area of monitoring and assessment of VET systems and human capital development policies, and leading in 2018-19 the development of the ETF’s strategy 2027.

Panel Discussion II | Applied Research

Mona Roman

Mona Roman

Mona Roman, Director, Innovation at Metropolia University of Applied Sciences, responsible for Functional City of People Innovation Hub. Doctor of Science (Technology) in Industrial Engineering and Management. Expertise in European research & innovation projects (H2020, Horizon Europe). Over 30 scientific international publications on citizen engagement and innovation management. Extensive business development experience from the telecommunications sector.  

Victor Negrescu

Victor Negrescu

Victor Negrescu is a Member of the European Parliament, Vice-Chair of the Committee on Culture and Education (CULT) and member of the Committee on Budgets (BUDG), representing the Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament. Victor Negrescu has been the rapporteur of the European Parliament for the report on Shaping Digital Education Policy and the promoter of the allocation of 10% for quality and inclusive education in the National Recovery and Resilience Plans, as well as 2% to the cultural and creative sector, that he managed to integrate in the official position of the European Parliament as a recommendation to member states.

Liam Brown

Dr Liam Brown

Dr Liam Brown is Vice President Research, Development and Innovation (RDI) at the Technological University of the Shannon: Midlands Midwest (TUS). With significant public and private sector experience, Dr Brown has a proven track record in strategic development and operational management of research, development and enterprise engagement.  He leads the RDI team at TUS and is focused on areas that have a clear economic, environmental or social impact regionally, nationally and internationally Collaboration and addressing the needs of internal and external stakeholders – academic, research institutes, industry and community is a key focus. Sustained growth of postgraduate and postdoctoral research along with funding across the RDI continuum and delivering for stakeholders through impactful projects, and meaningful research output though publications, patents, licences and spin-outs/spin-ins are his priorities.  Dr Brown holds a Bachelors and Masters Degree from the University of Limerick and a PhD from Trinity College Dublin focused on eLearning in the Workplace in the Enterprise Performance Optimisation Domain of Continuous Improvement – Lean and Six Sigma.

Day 2 | 9 June

Keynote Speech III | The profile of a boundary spanning champion – how to enhance external engagement?

Arno Meerman

Arno Meerman

Arno Meerman is the founder and CEO of UIIN, a leading global evidence-driven consultancy, training and community provider in university-industry engagement. Arno has been involved in research on the role of universities in our society and the opportunities external engagement provide to enhancing the impact of education and research.  He is an active researcher, facilitator and consultant and works with UIIN’s 120+ community members to train and advise university leaders and professional staff to become more entrepreneurial and innovative universities, develop strategic approaches towards partnering and enhance their impact.

Panel Discussion III | Quality Assurance

Eltjo Bazen

Eltjo Bazen

Eltjo Bazen has been working in quality assurance of higher education since 2011, on nearly all possible aspects of QA. He currently works as Chief Product Owner Quality Assurance at HU UAS Utrecht (NL). Eltjo is active in several Dutch and European networks concerning quality and quality assurance in professional higher education, and currently serves as one of EURASHE nominees in EQAR’s Register Committee. Though he loves innovative ideas and experimenting, his firm belief is that the best way to improve is openness and the willingness to learn from each other, whether it be on programme, institutional or system level.

Eltjo has degrees in Philosophy, Business Management and Professional Sailing. His activities in quality assurance are a perfect combination of his love for education and the fields of philosophy and business management. Sailing has been diverted to his free time.

Cristina Ghitulica

Cristina Ghitulica

Cristina Ghitulica, Ph.D., has an extensive experience in the field of quality assurance, being General Director (2022 – present), Vice-President (2015 – 2021), and member of the Council of the Romanian Agency for Quality Assurance in Higher Education (ARACIS) (2013 – 2014), as well as an external evaluator and member of the Distance Education Experts Permanent Commission, since 2009. She was the President of the Central and Eastern European Network of Quality Assurance Agencies in Higher Education (CEENQA), while since 2014 she was a member of the board of the network. Mrs. Ghitulica was elected in 2018 as a member of the European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education (ENQA) Board and since 2019 she is Vice-President of the organization.

Horia Onita

Horia Onița

Horia is Vice President of ESU working in the area of Quality of Higher Education (Quality assurance, learning and teaching policies, microcredentials, digitalisation, recognition) and Social Dimension. Horia represents ESU as co-chair of the BFUG Working Group on Social Dimension and co-chair of the Drafting Committee of the Tirana Communique. He also represents ESU in the EQAR Board and follows EU developments on education funding and monitoring through National Recovery and Resilience Plans and the European Semester.

Horia has been involved in the student movement for over eight years. Horia served as the president of the National Alliance of Student Organisations in Romania (ANOSR) for two mandates and member of the Council of ARACIS, the QA agency in Romania. He is a holding a Bachelor of Law and LLM degrees from the University of Bucharest.


Registration and fees

Type Standard fee
Members 390€
Non-members 490€
Breakout session organisers 290€
Students (from member institutions)* 140€
Group discount for EURASHE members (3 or more)** 20% off

*The fee is only valid for students from institutions that are EURASHE members and should register for the event using the institutional academic email address.

**If you are coming with a group, after registering each participant, please email [email protected] with the list of registered names so we can apply the discount fee. 


By completing and submitting the event registration form, you acknowledge and accept the obligation to pay the registration fees in full. Kindly note that your registration confirmation will be sent to you via email. It is important to wait for this confirmation before taking any additional actions. The deadline for registration is 26 May 2023.

Cancellation policy:

  • Cancellation before 8 May: 70%of your ticket will be refunded 
  • There will be no refunds given after 8 May

* All cancellations must be sent via email to [email protected]
* Participants who register and do not attend the whole event will not be refunded


Once register the financial department will send you an invoice and the payment has to be made prior to the event by bank transfer


Contact [email protected] for any questions you might have regarding the Annual Conference. 


Conference Venue | University Politehnica of Bucharest

The conference will take place in two adjacent buildings of the University Politehnica of Bucharest. The Pre-Conference Reception and the main sessions will be held in the Rectorate Building. The Breakout sessions will happen in the Central Library Building. Before the event, all participants will receive a map and a detailed explanation of the venues.

Rectorate Building UPB Rectorate Building
Central Library Building UPB Central Library UPB Central Library hall


Gala Dinner Venue

Participants will enjoy the conference Gala dinner at the historical Bragadiru Palace, a building from the early 1900s located nearby the Parlament Palace.

Bragadiru Palace

Calea Rahovei 147-153, Bucharest 050892, Romania

Bragadiru Palace Bragadiru Palace
Practical information and accommodation

These are some of the hotels EURASHE has partnered with for this Conference. We have some rooms allocated for some of the hotels, and they will offer participants a discount. To reserve a room in one of these hotels, please email us at [email protected], and we will send you the link to proceed with your booking. 

The booking link with the discounts is available for a limited period, so we recommend you book the hotel as soon as you register for the Conference.

HOTELS IN BUCHAREST SINGLE ROOM/per night + breakfast DOUBLE ROOM/per night + breakfast
IBIS Bucharest Politehnica 3* 67 euro 77 euro
Yesterday 3* 50 euro 60 euro
Novotel Bucarest City Centre 4* 124 euro 136 euro
Hilton Garden Inn 4* 135 euro 150 euro



If you have any questions, please get in touch with [email protected] 


Programme Committee


Bjørn Olav Østeby

Bjørn Olav Østeby

Bjørn is a bachelor student from the Western Norway University of Applied Sciences. His field of expertise is business administration, with a specialization in accounting and taxation. This year he is working full time as an Executive officer for International Affairs at The National Union of Students in Norway.

Ulla Preeden

Ulla Preeden

Since 2016, Ulla is the Rector of Tartu Health Care College in Estonia. She belongs to Rectors’ Conference of Universities of Applied Sciences of Estonia and she is a chairperson of the Supervisory Board of Estonian Quality Agency for Education. Since 2022, she also belongs to EURASHE Research Community of Practice core group. Ulla is passionate to improve the quality of vocational and higher education and to grow the research possibilities for universities of applied sciences.

Annelie Kohl

Annelie Kohl

Annelie Kohl is a senior policy maker at the Vereniging Hogescholen in The Hague, The Netherlands and chair of the UAS4Europe Management Committee during the Dutch presidency.

Before joining the Vereniging Hogescholen she worked at Shell International as education co-ordinator and represented industry in different EU settings. Annelie held different (international) positions in government and industry and always had a keen interest in education, recognizing that education is the key to solving many problems.

Joseph Ryan

Dr Joseph J.Ryan

Dr Joseph Ryan is the inaugural chief executive officer of the Technological Higher Education Association, being the advocacy and representative body for Ireland’s Technological Sector.  He was previously vice president academic & registrar of Athlone Institute of Technology.  He is a musician by formation and was the founding chairman of the Forum for Music in Ireland, an inclusive representative voice for music in the country.  Dr Ryan also served as the chair of the Contemporary Music Centre, Ireland’s national archive and resource centre for new music, supporting the work of composers throughout the Republic and Northern Ireland.


We invite universities of applied sciences leaders, the entire community of professional higher education, European businesses, public institutions and European students’ representatives to attend the Annual Conference to share their experiences and learn about trends, models and inspiring practices. The Conference will focus on five main topics:

  • Addressing labour market needs: Europe faces skills gaps in many different professions, varying between countries and regions. This is one of the main reasons for the 2023 European Year of Skills, and education is being prioritised in many Recovery and Resilience Programmes. Higher Education Institutions need to be more innovative and flexible to respond to these needs, including short cycle courses, in-firm training and lifelong learning. Contributions are welcomed in cooperation with businesses and governments to identify skills needs and strategies for upskilling and reskilling.
  • Future skills and competences: We know that many future jobs don’t currently exist, but we know that a range of horizontal skills or ‘competences’ will be vital to enable students to adopt new methods and technologies in the workplace and their lives more broadly. Contributions are welcome that show how higher education can provide the human capabilities of tomorrow and how these are needed to address grand challenges such as climate change and ageing.
  • Regional dimension: The ‘world is not flat’, and industry 4.0 is emerging in different ways depending on the economic structure of cities and regions. Skills intelligence is vital to ensure regions remain competitive and resilient, and cooperation between education, business and government is needed to develop and retain talent. Examples of such cooperation and skills intelligence are particularly welcome under this thread.
  • Digitalisation: This thread covers everything related to the digital transition, from edtech solutions to digital skills. Contributions are particularly welcome that show how higher education institutions are helping to implement the EU’s Digital Education Action Plan.
  • Research and innovation competences: Analytical skills and capabilities to use new technologies in the workplace are becoming increasingly important across sectors, not only for research professionals. This track seeks contributions on how applied research and innovation are being developed within institutions and graduates.

The Conference Programme committee will select the contributions with more impact in their communities, and the winner will be awarded the PHE Star title in each of the five themes.

The PHE Star awards aim to showcase individuals, the PHE community, and businesses working hard during these challenging times to take PHE to the next level.

We welcome to submit:

  • Breakout sessions: Each interactive parallel breakout session would be attended by about 30 participants. The breakout sessions should be organised interactively as workshops to encourage discussions between the participants. The structure can e.g. include an overview followed by group discussions. We expect to accept about eight proposals for next year’s Conference. The length of the proposal: is 45 minutes.

Presenting at EURASHE’s Annual conference allows you to reach a broad audience and give you visibility before and during the Conference. In addition, chosen contributions will have a reduced fee to attend the Conference.

The call for contributions is closed.