Matilde Revelli is the new Communication and Events Officer of EURASHE. Get to know her better through this interview, where she shares her views about EURASHE, inspirations, and interests.

Hello Matilde, could you introduce yourself to the EURASHE network? Who are you? 

 I would define myself as a professional with an unsatiable urge to try new things and experience new places. Over the course of my somewhat brief career (I’m about to turn 28), I’ve lived, worked and studied in Australia, Belgium, France, Italy and the U.S., going from teaching archery at a summer camp in the Pennsylvania countryside to working in a hotel in the city centre of Melbourne. I’ve just come back from a one-year stay in Uganda, where I worked for an Italian NGO on a project aimed at boosting youth employment through sustainable agriculture. I came back to Brussels looking for yet another challenge, which I have now found in this new position at EURASHE.

On top of my native Italian, you can chat me up in English, French or Spanish—and I’m hoping to start learning a sign language soon!

What experiences from your previous jobs will help you in this new role?

 I have experience in Communications and event management from my internship at the Housing First Europe Hub, a Brussels-based NGOs working on homelessness. In 2021, I also worked as a translator for KU Leuven University on a research project investigating work precariousness in the GIG economy. My most recent achievement was publishing my very first academic paper, focusing on social sustainability in homelessness and which came out on the European Journal of Homelessness last year.

After a few days in EURASHE already, how do you see the organisation? 

 I see it as a place where dedicated professionals are committed to elevating PHE to the highest standard. It seems to run by the “work hard, play hard” rule, alternating intense periods of concentration and hard work to moments of relax and fun. Overall, not a bad place to be!

What are your main goals as the new Communication and Events Officer?

 I would like to make PHE more accessible to external stakeholders, specifically those from outside the Higher Education sector. I will for example try to simplify the EURASHE website, toning down the academic jargon and trying to come up with a new, simpler definition of PHE. I believe this would enhance EURASHE visibility, especially if delivered together with well-organised events that engage a variety of audiences.

What are the first tasks you are working on? 

 We’ve already started planning for our 33rd Annual Conference, which will take part in St. Pӧlten, Austria on 22-23 May 2024. I’m looking forward to collaborating with our Austrian colleagues, and of course to meet you all in person next year!

Which do you think should be the priorities when organising the next Annual Conference?

 A high-level conference like EURASHE’s requires careful planning and the ability to prioritise tasks, knowing what needs to be done when. Thanks to my predecessor Maite as well as the rest of the EURASHE Secretariat, I’m sure we’ll be able to deliver a great event.

What are the main challenges facing Applied Higher Education Institutions? 

 I find that universities in general often remain confined to the world of academia, finding it hard to relate to a wider audience that isn’t directly involved with the educational sector. It’s even harder for PHE institutions, whose definition is often unclear to a non-academic public. I believe we must try and be more relatable to this audience in particular.

Tell us, what is your biggest inspiration?

 The following quote: “Even if we don’t have the power to choose where we come from, we can still choose where we go from there”, from The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky (1999).

How does a perfect day look for you

 Catching up with friends I haven’t seen in a long time, having a meal together and sharing updates on what we missed from the past months/years.

A wish?.

 I wish I could fly, so I could see the world from a unique angle.

A song?

 “Welcome to Paradise” by Green Day.