Tuesday, 30 April 2024

The European Association for International Education (EAIE), one of the most influential players in the internationalisation of higher education, is reorganising its structure and introducing new focus groups in the form of thematic committees, among other things. The consultation for the election of the new members is now open. Vote now for Maria Stergiou and Robert Buttery, the Swiss candidates.

Through its committees and various platforms, the EAIE offers a real ecosystem in which internationalisation is shaped. Through the networking of experts, best practices and innovative ideas are exchanged on a broad scale in order to build an international, fair and cosmopolitan education. Each member of the various working groups represents a country, a culture, a field of expertise and an institution. By voting for a candidate, you are choosing an ambassador who will shape the higher education landscape of tomorrow. Every vote in favour of a Swiss candidate is therefore of crucial importance.

Elections are open until 10 May 2024
As part of the thematic committees, only one Swiss application was submitted with:

  • Maria Stergiou, Programme Coordinator Higher Education at Movetia, candidate for the thematic committee "Teaching, Learning and Curriculum"

Within the General Council, a Swiss application was also accepted with:

  • Prof. Robert Buttery, Head of International Relations at the University of Applied Sciences Northwestern Switzerland, candidate (outgoing) for the General Council

It is crucial that Switzerland is represented in international bodies. Vote for good ambassadors to represent Switzerland!

Candidate from Movetia - Maria Stergiou
Maria Stergiou is a programme coordinator in the field of higher education and higher vocational education at Movetia and is applying for membership of the thematic committee "Teaching, Learning and Curriculum" with a focus on "Internationalisation at home". A topic that has been at the centre of her work for many years.

Interview with Maria Stergiou in three questions:  
1. Why is it important to play an active role as the Swiss representative at the EAIE?
The exchange of experiences, perspectives and knowledge as well as active participation in international discussions on current issues relating to the internationalisation of education must be intensified for our education stakeholders in Switzerland. I see myself as a bridge builder and networker between the international education area and the Swiss education area. I want to be fully committed to developing new approaches for the international future of our education system and to networking with the international expert community within the EAIE for its greatest benefit.

2. Why did you decide to take part in the thematic committee with a focus on "Internationalisation at home"?
"Internationalisation at home" aims to make the benefits of internationalisation accessible to all students, not just the mobile minority.  This concept takes on a new meaning in the context of the COVID pandemic. Even before the pandemic, we had begun to explore how we could help students and teachers who are at home rather than travelling or abroad to have international and intercultural experiences.  Ultimately, the experience of the pandemic made us realise the relevance of these considerations. Since the pandemic, the question of the internationalisation of teaching and learning has been at the centre of interest.  It has become clear that various interest groups are taking responsibility for internationalisation. Teachers and researchers are increasingly taking centre stage and experimenting with new teaching formats, particularly through digitalisation. "Internationalisation at home" is dedicated to such considerations and examines them from different angles.

3. What is the aim of your active participation in the group?
Using a stakeholder approach, I will find out what our various target groups - students, teachers, researchers, but also administrative staff - in the universities need in order to participate on an equal footing with their international colleagues in their field of activity and to work together on an equal footing at an international level. How can the institution of virtual exchange or COIL be facilitated? For example, what impact does it have when international students or staff work at their own university? How can the local university environment be utilised to open up international and intercultural perspectives for all? What provisions need to be developed to teach and learn in diversity? Rather than having the right answers, I find it more encouraging to ask the right questions. My aim is to discuss practical approaches within the EAIE team and to be able to put these into practice.

Are you convinced?
Take the time to give Maria Stergiou your vote! (only accessible for EAIE members)


Name, Surname     Maria Stergiou
NationalitySwiss / Greek
FunctionCoordinator for international cooperation programmes 
LanguagesGerman, English, French, Italian, Greek
Experience Active in international co-operation in the field of higher education and culture for 20 years
StrenghtsMany years of experience in the internationalisation of universities in Switzerland and in the Swiss academic network abroad. Intercultural and international network.
Flagship projects (as off 2006)Implementing "ThinkSwiss - Brainstorm The Future" in the US; co-lead of programmme for the "Internationalisation of Universities of Applied Sciences"; concept development for the "Movetia Academy - Laboratory for Internationalisation at home."

Take the time to give Maria Stergiou your vote! (only accessible for EAIE members)