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Explore our schedule for Wednesday

Wednesday 25 November

Book your sessions at EUTOPIA Week now

Some of our events are open to everyone, and some are invitation-only. If you are a member of the relevant EUTOPIA group, you will receive a personal invitation by email to join closed sessions.

EUTOPIA Workshop: International Partnerships

(08.00-9.30 GMT or 09.00-10.30 CET)

Invitation only

The joint development of our individual collaborations with other like-minded universities beyond Europe is a core aspect of EUTOPIA’s project. EUTOPIA Week offers the opportunity to begin to engage our first ‘global partners’ with the alliance.

This session will be an introductory meeting where participants get to know one other, their respective institutions, and the EUTOPIA alliance and project. It will allow participants to begin to share and evaluate experiences of building mature partnerships with global partners, a deliverable within WP6.

Please note, this event overlaps with the Student Council session.


Seán Hand (Chair)
University of Warwick

Professor Seán Hand is Deputy Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Europe) at the University of Warwick, and Warwick’s Academic Lead for the EU-funded EUTOPIA European university alliance.

He joined the University of Warwick as a Professor of French Studies in 2005, and after serving as Head of Department from 2008 to 2001, he was the founding Head of Warwick's School of Modern Languages and Cultures from 2014 to 2016. He holds degrees from the University of Oxford (B.A., M.A., D. Phil.) and Warwick (MBA, D.Litt.). He was made a Chevalier des Palmes Académiques in 2004, and a member of the Academia Europæa in 2011. He is an Honorary Professorial Fellow and an International Advisory Board member of Zhejiang University, and has been an Honorary Professor of Monash University, a Visiting Fellow at St. Catherine's College, Oxford, and a Visiting Fellow at the National University of Singapore. He is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

He is a strategic reviewer for the UK’s Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), has acted as a member of the AHRC Peer Review College, and has directed national projects funded by the AHRC and by the Higher Education Funding Council of England (HEFCE). He has also been an assessor for the Irish Research Council, the Israel Science Foundation, the South African National Research Foundation, and the French National Higher Education authority HCÉRES.

He sits on several international advisory and editorial boards, and is a European Commission expert evaluator and rapporteur. His teaching covers literature, ideas and related developments from the twentieth century to the present day, in French and international contexts.

He has supervised doctoral students at Oxford and Warwick, and has mentored post-doctoral and early career fellows funded by the British Academy, the Leverhulme Trust, the Wolfson Foundation, and the EU.His research, funded by Leverhulme, HEFCE, the AHRC, and the British Academy, examines reflexive or philosophical writings in French.

He has written, edited or translated nine books, acted as general editor of a series of ten critical collections, guest edited four journal issues, and published over 50 other articles, chapters or reports.

See Seán's profile

Gillian Olivieri (Chair)
University of Warwick

Gillian Olivieri supports the development of the University’s international strategy by identifying and evaluating international opportunities and advising the Executive Office on prioritisation.

She works closely with academic and professional services colleagues to promote, develop and deliver mutually beneficial international research and education collaborations in line with the international strategy. Building and managing relationships with strategic international partners as well as key organisations, networks and policy-makers in the UK and in the University’s priority countries is an important part of her work. The team she manages is responsible for the delivery of major strategic international partnerships and programmes (e.g., Monash Warwick Alliance, EUTOPIA).

Previously, Gillian worked in the division for International Co-operation of the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF). She was mainly responsible for setting up bilateral research programmes with the BRICS countries, South Korea, Japan and Romania and headed the task force set up to provide Switzerland with a replacement scheme to the European Research Council grants, due to the country’s exclusion of Horizon 2020.

Gillian studied biology at the University of Lausanne and Zurich, Switzerland. She obtained her PhD from the University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover, Germany, on the molecular phylogenetics and conservation genetics of mouse lemurs in Madagascar.

Michael Haymes (Chair)
University of Warwick

Michael Haymes (International Partnerships Manager, International Strategy and Relations)

Michael has worked for the University of Warwick since 2013. His current role involves supporting some of the University’s strategic initiatives including Warwick’s engagement in Europe. Michael works with the Director of European Strategy, Deputy Pro-Vice Chancellor and academic and administrative stakeholders to provide strategic and operational management across activities within the European Strategy, including the University's involvement in the EUTOPIA alliance of European Universities.

Isabel Valverde
Pompeu Fabra University, Barcelona

Sara López
Pompeu Fabra University, Barcelona

Jacqueline Couder
Vrije Universiteit Brussel

Hans Abelius
Göteborgs Universitet

Helena Deršek-Štuhec
Univerza v Ljubljani 

Luciana Radut-Gaghi
CY Cergy Paris Université

Luciana Radut-Gaghi is Vice-President for the European alliance and in charge of the deployment of EUTOPIA at CY, while accompanying the internationalisation of the university and participating into the new international partnerships.

Associate Professor in Information and Communication Studies at CY Cergy Paris Université since 2011, she holds a PhD in Social Sciences from the University Paris Descarts in 2008. Previously, she was a visiting professor at ESCP Business School (2010-2011) and post-doctoral fellow at the Université de Cergy-Pontoise.

Her researches and teaching activities deal with Europe’s representations in political, intellectual and media discourse, public opinions and controversies, political communication, media discourse of commemoration and experts’ discourse.

She has been coordinating the LEMEL research network since 2014 - a comparative research on the representations of Europe in the on-line media across European countries - and the the DIREPA project, since 2017 - the study of commemoration discourse in Europe.

She is member of the scientific board of LT2D research centre, founding member of the international DiscoursNet Association and member of the board of Hermès journal, CNRS éditions.

Carmen Branescu
CY Cergy Paris Université

Student Council

(09.00-11.00 GMT or 10.00-12.00 CET)

Invitation only

Please note, this session overlaps with the EUTOPIA Workshop: International Partnerships session.

EUTOPIAN Futures: University/Industry Partnerships

(12.00-13.00 GMT or 13.00-14.00 CET)

Open to all

This panel of industry leaders and researchers will review their shared challenges and opportunities as agents of collective development and enter prise in the European context.

Please note, this panel overlaps with EUTOPIA Presents: Student Opportunities

Book your place at the University and industry partnerships event now


Margot James, (WMG Executive Chair) has had a wide ranging career which has spanned working for the UK Government and as a business woman. Both in business and government Margot has championed the need to expand opportunities for diverse groups of young people.

Margot served as Minister of State for the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, with responsibility for Digital, Telecoms and the Creative Industries, piloting the Data Protection Bill through Parliament, incorporating GDPR into UK law. Previously she served as Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with responsibility for small businesses, consumers and corporate governance, including labour markets.

Margot co-founded Shire Health Group and led its growth to over 100 staff, having created a market for industry sponsored public health campaigns. She led the successful transitioning of Shire Health Group to the multinational WPP in 2000.

She served on the Europe, Middle East and Africa Board of Ogilvy Mather, leading European healthcare programmes.

See Margot's profile

Mr. Tord Hermansson is since October 2018 the new CEO for Lindholmen Science Park, one of the largest and most prominent science parks, and eco-system for innovation, in Sweden. He has an engineering degree and have before taking on this new assignment more than 35 years of experience from the vehicle industry. Among many different management roles at Volvo Cars, he was during the last ten years Director and overall responsible for driving Volvo Cars activities related to external funded research collaboration.

See Tord's profile

Matt Windle was appointed Executive Director, Engineering, in February 2020 when he took over responsibility for the Lotus Engineering consultancy. Prior to that he’d been Executive Director, Sports Car Engineering, since July 2018.

Matt started his career with Lotus in 1998 as a CAD designer. After many years away he rejoined the business in February 2017 as Chief Engineer, Body. He was promoted to the Executive team in July 2018. Matt has more than 30 years of experience in the automotive industry, filling senior management roles with both high and low-volume companies. He has worked internationally with brands such as Daewoo, Volvo, Tesla and Caterham.

Moving to start-up Zenos Cars in 2015 took Matt into an executive position as Operations Director responsible for Engineering and Production. He was tempted back to Lotus as Geely took control of the business.

In his current role Matt is responsible for all Lotus sports car product development and program management. This includes the all-electric Evija, managing the project through the engineering phase to production readiness.

First car

"It was a Hillman Hunter. Don’t ask me why, but I hand-painted it with a brush, Dormobile blue because I was working there at the time and used their paint."

Favourite Lotus

"The MK1 Elan. It’s just beautiful."

Outside Lotus

"It’s exercise. I run, play football, go cycling."

Claim to fame

"I’ve spent a lot of time with Elon Musk. He’s a very driven guy. I learned it’s okay to make quick decisions if it’s better than delaying."

Pete has developed one of Warwick’s largest current industry partnerships, encompassing multidisciplinary strategic research, professional services, education and recruitment across five departments; for this work he holds a Royal Society Industry Fellowship.

He is also founder and scientific director of the Warwick spin-out Interface Polymers, which is developing, manufacturing and marketing Pete’s unique recycling technology in partnership with large international plastics businesses.

In addition, his team conducts world-leading academic research in molecular self-assembly with applications in cancer, Alzheimer’s disease and antimicrobial resistance. Graduating in Applied Chemistry (Salford) he was awarded DPhil (Oxford, 1991) before taking up a Royal Society European Research Fellowship at Universität Konstanz, Germany and a Ramsay Memorial Fellowship at Sussex University, UK.

Moving to Warwick in 1997 he was promoted to Professor in 2004 and awarded DSc in 2008. Pete is Director of Warwick’s Institute of Advanced Study (2017-) and is a trustee of NMiTE; an engineering institute which will soon become a new industry-facing university.

See Pete's profile

EUTOPIA Presents: Student Opportunities

(12.30-13.30 GMT or 13.30-14.30 CET)

Open to all

Hear from students on what EUTOPIA means to them and find out how you can get involved in EUTOPIA activities.

Please note, this event overlaps with EUTOPIAN Futures: University and Industry Partnership.

Book your place at the Student Opportunities event now


Marie Marchand is a PhD student in British Political Sciences at CY Cergy Paris Université. She is the President of the EUTOPIA Student Council and has been a representative within the Alliance since May 2020.

Carmen Mazijn has been involved in the EUTOPIA alliance from the beginning and is currently the PhD student representative in the EUTOPIA Student Board. At the Vrije Universiteit Brussels, she researches the Fairness of Machine Learning

See Carmen's profile

Ferran Piqué is a Business and Management student at the School of Business and Economics at Universitat Pompeu Fabra. He is the UPF Student Representative at the EUTOPIA Student Council and has been involved in the project from the beginning in 2018. He is now working on his final degree project on change management, emotional intelligence and transformational leadership.

Karl Kilbo is a medical student at the University of Gothenburg. He currently serves as the President of the University of Gothenburg Student Unions and is vice-chair of the EUTOPIA Student Council. Karl also coordinates the Student Commission on Sustainability.

EUTOPIA Discusses: The EUTOPIA Education Model and the European Education Area

(14.00-15.30 GMT or 15.00-16.30 CET)

Open to all

The workshop focuses on the EUTOPIA educational model in relation to the core ideals of the European Education Area. It provides an opportunity to discuss the principles of our model and methodology and how it compares and contributes to the priorities of the current EU policy context and aspirations for 2025.

We specifically aim to address the principles of flexibility, openness and individual choice and identify similarities and differences between the EUTOPIA approach and micro-credentials agendas.

Book your place at the EUTOPIA Education Model event now


Jan Danckaert is Vice-Rector Education and Student Affairs at VUB.

As chairman of the educational board of the VUB, Jan is responsible for educational policy and student participation. He strongly encourages the professionalisation of academic staff, and he has been at the cradle of support mechanisms for major educational innovations. He also oversees the quality assurance of all programmes at VUB.

In terms of research, his interest goes to non-linear dynamical systems in different fields of science and technology: photonics, (meta)materials, biological systems, machine learning. He is head of the Applied Physics research group at VUB (APHY), comprising about 15 researchers. He was the (co‑)advisor of more than 20 successful PhDs, and many of his former PhD students now occupy academic positions in Belgium and abroad. In 2001 and 2002 he was a visiting scientist at IFISC (Institute for Cross-Disciplinary Physics and Complex Systems) in Spain, where he got the taste of interdisciplinary research.

The position of WP2 Co-lead is currently occupied by Dr. Mette Sandoff, associate professor of business administration and Deputy Vice-Chancellor at UoG, responsible for issues regarding education. She has worked as Vice-Dean of the School of Business, Economics and Law at the University of Gothenburg, and Head of Department of the Department of Business Administration.

Mette Sandoff is chair of the Board of Education, which is a preparatory and advisory body to the Vice-Chancellor with the main mission to develop university-wide principles for education. 2015-2018 she was at the Board of Universeum Science Park and has also had several other board assignments. She has extensive and varied teacher and research experience and is conducting research within the fields of leadership and human resource management, especially in the service and health sectors. She is now conducting research on experience-based pedagogical learning among teaching staff. The spring 2017 she attended an Administrative Fellowship at Kutztown University of Pennsylvania; shadowing the President’s and the Provost’s managerial work and shared experiences.

Recently she has been the chair of the quality assurance committee evaluating Malmö university. The evaluation is part of the Swedish national system for quality assurance. She is also a member of a national committee assigned to support pedagogical development within the higher education system.

Senior advisor of the vice-rector of Education and Student affairs at VUB. In her former position of secretary-general at the Flemish Interuniversity Council she handled a wide range of policy related issues and interacted with the ministry of education in Flanders. This background in educational policy development as well as the ability to connect institutions is of major importance for creating the support needed for this cross campus project.

Professor Jo Angouri is the Academic Director for Education and Internationalisation and serves on the Education Executive. She is a National Teaching Fellow and fully committed to pedagogic innovation and education for global citizenship. Jo leads on the development and growth of existing and new international education projects with Warwick's strategic partners.

She is a senior researcher and her work involves three interrelated interdisciplinary strands:

  • Leadership and teamwork in high-pressure, high-risk professional settings
  • Language, politics and ideology
  • Migration, mobility and multilingualism.

Jo is co-directing two international research networks, one under the Warwick-Monash alliance on Migration Identity and Translation and one under AILA on Migrants in Working life which have brought together a range of established scholars, early career researchers as well as non-academic stakeholders. She is the founding editor of Language at Work series (Multilingual Matters) and she is also co-editing Discourse Approaches to Politics, Society and Culture, a flagship series for John Benjamins.

Jo has strong presence and involvement in research policy and works for the UK Economic and Social Research Council and the Arts and Humanities Research Council. In the last ten years she has published 70 refereed papers, three special issues, two books, four edited volumes and two conference proceedings. She has been a visiting scholar in different institutions in New Zealand, Australia and Europe and she is currently a Visiting Distinguished Professor at Aalto University, School of Business, Finland.

See Jo's profile at Warwick

Working at VUB’s central department of Education. Linde is trained in intercultural management, didactics and educational innovation. Linde is coordinating a strategic project on Community Engaged Research and Learning, called UNIVER.CITY. This project aims at embedding community partnerships and transformative educational practices in VUB’s curricula. To this end, an institution wide learning community was set up, exploring innovative practices, scientific findings, metropolitan networks and tools relevant for CERL.

Dirk Van Damme (PhD, Ghent University) is Senior Counsellor in the Directorate for Education and Skills at the OECD in Paris, and Head of the Centre for Educational Research and Innovation. Before joining the OECD in 2008, he was professor of educational research (Ghent University, Belgium) and comparative education (Free University Brussels, Belgium, visiting professor at Seton Hall University, NJ, USA), was counsellor for several Flemish education ministers (1992-2000), General Director of the Flemish Rectors’ Conference VLIR (2000-2003), and chief of staff of minister Frank Vandenbroucke (2004-2008). He published extensively on educational quality assurance and evaluation and was a board member and expert to various quality assurance agencies and international organisations. At the OECD, he is supervising and promoting work on educational technology, the assessment of social and emotional skills, and innovation in education. His current interests are the science of learning, comparative analyses of educational systems, lifelong learning and higher education policy and evaluation. He is also leading work on the assessment of higher education learning outcomes.

The landscape of learning is changing fast and the pandemic seems to accelerate some of the developments. Universities’ unique value proposition, i.e. awarding degrees which provide access to professions and highly-valued jobs, seems to be losing strength. Some international corporations and employers now openly say they distrust university qualifications, because they’re not delivering on the skills they value most. Furthermore, universities seem to have lost the battle for the market of lifelong learning to various other players. Alternative credentials, including micro-credentials, digital badges, nano-degrees and others, are opening up a new space for higher learning, and opportunities for new providers. These credentials are reshaping the higher learning space and are challenging universities.

Professor Mark Brown is Ireland's first Chair in Digital Learning and Director of the National Institute for Digital Learning (NIDL) at Dublin City University (DCU). He is an EDEN Fellow and serves on the Supervisory Board of the European Association for Distance Teaching Universities (EADTU). In 2017, the Commonwealth of Learning recognised Mark as a world leader in Open, Online and Distance Learning.

In 2019, Professor Brown was Chair of the ICDE World Conference on Online Learning hosted in Dublin. He is a member of the European Commission's Consultation Group on Micro-credentials.

Unboxing Micro-credentials: Beyond the Flashy, Flimsy and Faddish

My intention is to help “unbox” the current micro-credentialing movement and to challenge us to ensure they are not just another passing educational fad. The question is how can we harness the potential and disruptive features of this movement to develop a more fit for purpose credential ecology for the 21st Century? Some of the current initiatives underway in Ireland both at Dublin City University (DCU) and nationally will be shared in seeking to answer this question. Overall the intention is to argue that micro-credentials should be in the service of big ideas rather than being seen as the big idea.

Lieve Van den Brande was a Senior Policy Administrator with the European Commission from 1988 to her retirement from this role in 2019, serving at the Directorate-Generals EMPL; EAC, RDT and Connect. She has worked as a researcher in Psychology and Educational Sciences at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel and Université de Liège, and her research focuses on EU-wide approaches to modernising education and training through innovative teaching and learning, including initiatives to help educators and students develop digital competences and entrepreneurial skills. She is an Honorary Fellow and Guest Professor at the VUB, and a member of the EUTOPIA Advisory Board.

Positioning statement by Lieve Van den Brande

Are micro-credentials the way forward for HE? Are micro-credentials going to open up education? My position is that micro-credentials have to be intrinsic part of an education model putting the individual learner within a lifelong learning perspective central. HE should offer an adequate response to changing future skills and huge demand of re-and upskilling. Putting the learner central sounds evident but it has major consequences for education. Personalized and more open, modular and flexible learning solutions will become important. An education model around learning communities opens the opportunity to LLL learners to engage, participate and reflect with peers and share (and even create) knowledge by action and interaction. HE has increasingly to take account of these LLL learners and change their business models accordingly. All future HE scenarios indicate also the importance of transversal skills requiring other kind of education models as well as ways to recognize these skills. Micro-credentials are as such part of a new way of opening education to all future lifelong learners.

EUTOPIA Discusses: Perspectives from Employers - Inclusion and Diversity

(14.00-15.30 GMT or 15.00-16.30 CET)

Open to all

This session is being organised by the Univerza v Ljubljani.

Book your place at the EUTOPIA Inclusion and Diversity event now >

For questions relating to registration, please contact Tamara Boh.

Regardless of our identity, background or circumstance, we all deserve the opportunity to develop our skills and talents to our full potential, work in a supportive and inclusive environment, be fairly rewarded and recognised for our work and have a meaningful voice on matters that affect us. Employers have an important role in role modelling inclusive working, improving workplace diversity and inclusion in their organisation. What are the good practices and what are the challenges


Elham Fardad
Founder and CEO of Migrant Leaders

Nejc Jaka Sekula
Head Diversity and Inclusion, Novartis Technical Operations and Global Quality, Novartis, Slovenia

Jasmina Feratović
Program associate, Legebitra, Slovene NGO

Klemen Dragar
IBM AI Applications Sales Leader, SEE, LGBT Ambassador

Student Forum: Gender Equality

(14.00-16.00 GMT or 15.00-17.00 CET)

Open to all

This session is taking place on the "International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women".

Although Gender Equality is regularly put on the agenda and discussed, there is still much to achieve. Education is obviously one of the main means to reach this goal. This session will explore a number of questions. How do we, as students, reduce gender inequality at university, and how can we encourage our institutions to promote equality? How do we reduce these gender prejudices concerning studies and jobs? How do we encourage everyone to avoid gender discrimination?

Please note, this session overlaps with the HR Directors' Meeting.

Book your place at the Gender Equality event now


Stefania Marcassa
CY Cergy Paris Université
Gender Equality Officer

Julia Zhigaleva
Göteborgs Universitet
President of the Feminist Student Society GU-Fem

Ana Germis
Univerza v Ljubljani
President of the Student Society for Human Rights and Democratization Aequitasr

Laura Llussà Rosell
Pompeu Fabra University
President of the Feminist Student Society

Amara Okoye
University of Warwick
Womens’ Officer of the Students’ Union

Lisa Wouters
Vrije Universiteit Brussel
Equality Team Member

Lisa Van de Schueren
Vrije Universiteit Brussel
Equality Team Member

Lisa Jongmans
Vrije Universiteit Brussel
President of the VUB Student Council