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Networking Meeting of the Higher Education Area

St. Pölten UAS Hosts 33rd EURASHE Annual Conference

Networking Meeting of the Higher Education Area

Every year, the European Association of Institutions in Higher Education (EURASHE) brings together representatives of the higher education sector in order to discuss and design a common path in important matters for the present and future of education. This year’s meeting was held at the St. Pölten University of Applied Sciences. The focus of the event was on transnational collaborations between higher education institutions and on cooperation with the business world and society. More than 200 experts from all over Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Middle East took part.

EURASHE, the European Association of Institutions in Higher Education, features approximately 600 universities, universities of applied sciences, university colleges, and similar institutions that conduct primarily professional higher education and applied research. St. Pölten UAS CEO Hannes Raffaseder is the current President of EURASHE, and the St. Pölten UAS – the coordinator of the European University Alliance E³UDRES² – was also the host of this year’s EURASHE Annual Conference.

More than 30 speakers from the European Higher Education Area contributed their experience. Keynotes were held by Sophia Eriksson Waterschoot, Director for Youth, Education and Erasmus+ of the European Commission, Pedro Teixeira, former Secretary of State for Higher Education in the Portuguese government, and Hannes Raffaseder.

Important Voice in the European Higher Education Area

“In order to come up with solutions to the diverse challenges of our times, it is necessary for us to integrate the knowledge and experiences of various fields and to further develop our creativity. In most cases, individual higher education institutions can generate only little impact unless they pool their forces. Therefore, international partnerships and university alliances are decisive for future-oriented development”, emphasises Raffaseder.

„Regarding higher education institutions it’s important that we have a diversity of voices in Europe and EURASHE is a very important voice for the universities of applied sciences. They bring in a different perspective. Typically they are very rooted in the local or regional context. They are close to the labour market and they are very innovative. So we need EURASHE to bring in their perspective and come up with new ideas on how we can make transnational cooperation work better at European level“, says Sophia Eriksson Watershoot, Director for Youth, Education and  Erasmus+ from the European Commission.

“I am happy to have our conference here in St. Pölten. The conference is different each year, and that is what makes EURASHE conferences so interesting. Here at this new campus, people get a feel of how fast changing this sector is. And we had a great diversity of people at the conference this year including guests from all around the world like North America, Asia, and the Middle East“, says John Edwards, Secretary General of EURASHE.

Promoting International Cooperation

The topic of this year’s conference was “Stronger Together: Fostering Transnational Cooperation in Applied Universities”. Building on the experiences of the European Higher Education Initiative, examples of transnational collaboration between universities of applied sciences in Europe and beyond were presented.

In addition, the event offered inspiring breakout sessions on the topics of quality assurance, lifelong learning, applied research, and their local and regional consequences.


EURASHE is a European association promoting the voice of applied universities. Its members are national associations, colleges, polytechnics, and applied sciences universities scattered across 30 countries in Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Middle East, overall representing more than 600 institutions. The association is an established partner for European institutions and stakeholders in the development of policy and practice in higher education, reflected in its participation in several high-profile forums and working groups, including the E4 group, the European Quality Assurance Register (EQAR), and the Bologna Follow-Up Group (BFUG).

33rd EURASHE Annual Conference

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FH-Prof. Dipl.-Ing. Raffaseder Hannes

FH-Prof. Dipl.-Ing. Hannes Raffaseder

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Mag. Hammer Mark

Mag. Mark Hammer

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