How can universities move Virtual Exchange forward? Policies and strategies

Virtual Exchange: Next Steps in University Education

Virtual Event 3, 30 October 2020

The third Virtual Event in our series “Virtual Exchange: Next Steps in University Education” on Friday 30 October 2020, 12:00 PM (noon) CET focuses on:

How can universities move Virtual Exchange forward? Policies and strategies

Executive leaders in university education, internationalisation and digitalisation share ideas on the role of Virtual Exchange in university education in a panel presentation and interactive audience participation.

Registration for this event is now open. Please use this form to register your attendance.
Registration closes on 27 October.
Registered participants will receive the link for participating a few days before the event.

The full programme is available below.

If you have any questions, please contact us at:


Virtual Exchange: How can universities move Virtual Exchange forward? Policies and strategies

EVOLVE Virtual Event, in collaboration with NICE and Erasmus+ Virtual Exchange

Date: Friday 30 October 2020
Time: 12:00 PM (noon) – 1:00 PM CET

Introduction and welcome
Anna Creery, Projects Manager, Study and Work Away, University of Edinburgh

Panel discussion 

“What role can Virtual Exchange have in university education? Perspectives of policy makers and university leaders”

Moderated discussion with:

  • Luca Verzichelli, Coimbra Group Executive Board member, University of Siena

    Professor of Political Science at the University of Siena. PhD in Political Science (Florence, 1995). Studies in Heidelberg, Essex and Columbia University. Visiting Fellow at the University of Oxford (2005–2006), the Max-Planck-Institut für Gesellschaftsforschung of Koeln (2007) Universitè de Montreal (2009) and Australian National University (2011).Former dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences, Director of the Master Conflict Management and Humanitarian Action, Delegate of the Rector for International Studies (since 2016).
    Member of the Executive Committee of the European Consortium for Political Research (2012-2018).
    He has extensively published in the fields of comparative political institutions and political èlites in Europe.


  • Alan Mackay, Deputy Vice-Principal International, Edinburgh Global, University of Edinburgh

    Alan provides strategic leadership on internationalisation and works with senior leaders to advance the University’s international ambition and partnership. He directs the University’s international operation and has over twenty years of experience in international higher education. Appointed Deputy Vice-Principal International at the University of Edinburgh in 2012 and prior to joining the University he worked for the University of St Andrews.
    He has an undergraduate degree in Public Policy and Management, Postgraduate Diploma in European Policy and Law and is an alumnus of the Harvard Graduate School of Education, Institute for Educational Management. He is a member of the Advisory Committee of British Council Scotland, Trustee and Honorary Treasurer for the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) and is an Advisory Board member for ETS-TOEFL.

  • Alexander Knoth, Head of section Digitalisation, DAAD

    Alexander Knoth, historian and sociologist, works as Head of Section Digitalisaton at the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) in Berlin. He is responsible for the strategic planning and management of DAAD’s digitalisation activities. Before he took over this position, Alexander Knoth worked as an Advisor for the Digitalisation of Teaching and International Affairs at the President’s Office of the University of Potsdam. As Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL) coordinator, Alexander has gained experiences in interdisciplinary and international co-teaching scenarios, connecting classrooms around the globe. He also worked at the chair of Complex Multimedia Application Architectures (Institute for Computational Science) and at the chair of Gender Sociology both at the University of Potsdam. Alexander is an Educational Expert Fulbright Alumnus. He has been honoured by the Federal President of Germany and he has won the Teaching Award of the Federal State Brandenburg twice. His mobile application “Reflect.UP” has been nominated for the German E-Learning Innovation award.

Session moderator: Isabell Majewsky Anderson, Head of Service, Study and Work Away, University of Edinburgh

Audience Q&A
Questions from the Q & A panel, answered by the presentersAudience engagement
Interactive polling of audience views, ideas and experiences

Registration for this event is now open. Please use this form to register your attendance.
Registration closes on 27 October.
Registered participants will receive the link for participating a few days before the event.

This is the final event in our series.

Recordings from the previous events may be accessed through the links below.

Previous event 1: Information and a recording of our first event “Implementing Virtual Exchange in European Higher Education: Different Approaches and Initiatives” can be found here

Previous event 2: Information and a recording of our second event “Virtual Exchange: Learning outcomes and students’ experiences” can be found here.

About the series Virtual Exchange: Next Steps in University Education

Three major European initiatives about Virtual Exchange, EVOLVEErasmus+ Virtual Exchange and NICE have come together to organise a series of virtual events on the current state and future directions of Virtual Exchange in Higher Education and its relevance in the light of the COVID19 pandemic.

In a global educational context which is increasingly characterised by an interest in internationalisation at home and considering the impact of the current COVID19 pandemic on international student mobility, Virtual Exchange offers universities a powerful complement to physical mobility programmes.

These events will offer members of the Higher Education community an opportunity not only to learn about the basic principles of Virtual Exchange, but also to become informed about different Virtual Exchange initiatives which are currently underway to promote this approach to learning in Europe and to provide evidence of its effectiveness in university contexts. The different sessions will therefore be of interest to university management, educational policy makers as well as university faculty members across disciplines.

The events include contributions by Virtual Exchange practitioners, university decision makers, faculty and students from each of the participating projects. This will provide participants with a comprehensive overview of this fascinating activity. The virtual events include opportunities for questions and answers on the themes which emerge during the event.

Key questions which will be discussed during these virtual events include the following:

  • What is the current level of impact and up-take of Virtual Exchange in European higher education?
  • In what ways is Virtual Exchange being implemented by European universities?
  • What can research tell us about the contribution of Virtual Exchange to student learning?
  • What barriers exist to the implementation of Virtual Exchange?
  • What are students’ and teachers’ experiences of Virtual Exchange?
  • How do university decision makers view Virtual Exchange? What role do they see it having in the future?


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