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Changing the Role of and Practices in Higher Education

Plenary / Debate
German and English language

How do national and European higher education sector want to move forward? What is needed for the implementation of the next steps for action identified in the afternoon sessions? Who are the key players? And how can the higher education sector shape its environment instead of being constantly driven by it?

Member of the Board, Bologna Follow-up Group; Under Secretary, Congregation for Catholic Education, Holy See; Vatican
Member of the Advisory Board, Observatory on Borderless Higher Education, London
Associate Professor, Institute for Science Communication and Research in Higher Education, Alpen-Adria-Universität Klagenfurt, Vienna
Member, Executive Committee 2013-14, European Students' Union, Brussels
Independent Facilitator, Quest Associates, Bath Chair

Dr. FSO. Friedrich BECHINA

Member of the Board, Bologna Follow-up Group; Under Secretary, Congregation for Catholic Education, Holy See; Vatican

1972-1985 School Education Vienna
1985-1991 Military Service (Officer) and University Studies in Economy, Philosophy and Theology (Mag. Theol) in Vienna
1991-1996 Postgraduate Studies and Doctorate in Theology, Gregoriana-University Rome
1997-2001 School teacher and pastoral service in Feldkirch
2001 Service at the Congregation for Catholic Education (Holy See - Vatican)
2007-2013 Head of department for International Relations and Higher Education Policy
2012-2015 Co-Chair of the BFUG working group on Structural Reforms in the EHEA
2013 Undersecretary of the congregation for Catholic Education
since 2014 Co-President of the Bologna Process Follow-up Group (BFUG)


Member of the Advisory Board, Observatory on Borderless Higher Education, London

1973-1974 Graduate Management Trainee, South of Scotland Electricity Board, Glasgow
1974-1979 Senior Committee Officer, Glasgow College of Technology (now Glasgow Caledonian University), Glasgow
1980-1992 Various positions to Assistant Registrar (Humanities) then (Credit Accumulation and Transfer), Council for National Academic Awards, London
1990-1995 Manager of the ECTS pilot project: Erasmus Bureau
1992-1997 Assistant Director, Chief Executive's Office, Higher Education Quality Council, London
1997-2002 International Consultant, Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education
1999-2002 Collaborative Education Provision Advisor, Roehampton Education Development Unit (now University of Roehampton)
2002-2014 Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education
 Assistant Director (International) Chief Executive's Office
 Head of International Affairs
 Head of Networks and Partnerships

Dr. Phil. Hans PECHAR

Associate Professor, Institute for Science Communication and Research in Higher Education, Alpen-Adria-Universität Klagenfurt, Vienna

1984 Dr.phil., University of Vienna
1986-1996 Civil Service, research function at the Ministry for Science and Research, Vienna
1990-1991 Fulbright Scholar, University of California at Berkeley
1996-2002 Assistant Professor, Institute for Interdisciplinary Studies, Vienna
2003 Habilitation, University of Vienna
since 2003 Professor, Alpen Adria University, Vienna location
since 2006 Regular Visiting Professor, University of British Columbia


Member, Executive Committee 2013-14, European Students' Union, Brussels

2010-2011 Teacher, University of Belgrade
2011-2013 Member, National Team for creating the Law on student organizing
  Coordinator, research and development of the Students Mentors Pool, WP5, SIGMUS project, Students Union of Serbia, University of Belgrade
2011-2014 Executive Committee Member, and Content Coordinator, Student Advancement of Graduates Employability project, European Students Union
since 2012 Delegate to the ad-hoc working group on the ECTS Users Guide revision, European Students Union
  Delegate and policy maker in the Structural Working Group of the Bologna Follow Up Group, European Students Union
2013 Co-drafting of the ECTS Users Guide (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System), European Commission, Directorate General for Education and Culture


Independent Facilitator, Quest Associates, Bath

 Peter Woodward is an experienced independent facilitator. He specialises in the design and delivery of effective participative processes through his own business, Quest Associates Ltd. Assignments range from helping small teams to develop a strategy through to major multi-stakeholder international conferences. Peter supports clients from all sectors including local citizen groups, business, through to the European Commission. He is particularly active with clients who are working towards social, environmental and economic sustainability goals. Recent clients include the European Sustainable Development Network, EC EcoAP Green Innovation programme, the UK Charity Bank, The European Business Network and the Church of England. He has established a special reputation for bringing energy, enjoyment and added value into the conference setting.

Higher Education Symposium

show timetable


17:00 - 20:00Alpbach IdeaJam: SEM meets EDUPlenary
19:00 - 20:30Vienna Lectures: “Brainier, Better, More Beautiful… – Can Humans be Optimised?”Culture


07:00 - 07:10OpeningPlenary
07:10 - 07:20Framing the ChallengePlenary
07:20 - 08:30Times They are a-Changin’ – How Societal Trends Impact European UniversitiesPlenary
09:00 - 10:00Transformation Messages for UniversitiesPlenary
10:00 - 10:15Introduction to the World CaféPlenary
11:50 - 12:00Universities of the Future – Showcasing Transformation in ActionBreakout
12:00 - 14:00Breakout Session 01: Scientists in Society: Towards Interdisciplinary Capacity BuildingBreakout
12:00 - 14:00Breakout Session 02: How Can Internal Quality Management Assure Competence-Based Education?Breakout
12:00 - 14:00Breakout Session 03: Arts-Based Research on the Doctoral LevelBreakout
12:00 - 14:00Breakout Session 04: Artistic Practice Equipping Us for a Changing WorldBreakout
12:00 - 14:00Breakout Session 05: Blogging for Interactive Critical ThinkingBreakout
12:00 - 14:00Breakout Session 06: Multiple Choice Tests: More than a Time Saver for TeachersBreakout
12:00 - 14:00Breakout Session 07: Technology and Art as a Symbiosis for Media ProfessionsBreakout
12:00 - 14:00Breakout Session 08: Education by Two: Tertiary Education Jointly Designed by Universities and CorporationsBreakout
12:00 - 14:00Breakout Session 09: Supporting Women Is Important, But What About Supporting Men?Breakout
12:00 - 14:00Breakout Session 10: Interdisciplinary Team-Teaching to Foster Mutual Understanding of Different DisciplinesBreakout
12:00 - 14:00Breakout Session 11: Addressing Student-Centred Learning in External Quality AssuranceBreakout
12:00 - 14:00Breakout Session 12: Mastering Challenges of Lifelong Learning at UniversitiesBreakout
12:00 - 14:00Breakout Session 13: Online Teaching for All!Breakout
12:00 - 14:00Breakout Session 14: Doctoral Education in a Global Context: Challenges and OpportunitiesBreakout
12:00 - 14:00Breakout Session 15: The Role of Universities in a Knowledge-Based SocietyBreakout
12:00 - 14:00Breakout Session 16: Education in Sustainable Development: Implementation and EvaluationBreakout
12:00 - 14:00Breakout Session 17: Gaming Simulation for Training in Systems-ManagementBreakout
12:00 - 14:00Breakout Session 18: Active Learning in Spite of a Large Amount of Material – An Illusion?!Breakout
12:00 - 14:00Breakout Session 19: How Can Public Health Education Be Constructed Flexibly?Breakout
12:00 - 14:00Breakout Session 20: How Can a University Assert Itself in the International Environment?Breakout
12:00 - 14:00Breakout Session 21: Learning by Researching. A Best Practice Example where “Money Matters”Breakout
12:00 - 14:00Breakout Session 22: In Austria, Dropouts Aren’t Dropouts and Students Aren’t StudentsBreakout
12:00 - 14:00Breakout Session 23: Transfinlandia: Gender Invention in Artistic EducationBreakout
12:00 - 14:00Breakout Session 24: Service Learning – Applied Knowledge in Higher EducationBreakout
12:00 - 14:00Breakout Session 25: How to Combine Different Disciplines to Face Bioeconomic Challenges?Breakout
12:00 - 14:00Breakout Session 26: Living Knowledge – Social Impact in Higher EducationBreakout
12:00 - 14:00Breakout Session 27:  University Meets Industry  A Lifelong Learning ProjectBreakout
12:00 - 14:00Breakout Session 28: Lab Inter Arts – A Platform for Cross-Cultural Performance ProjectsBreakout
12:00 - 14:00Breakout Session 29: Community-Based Learning through Community Health AssessmentBreakout
12:00 - 14:00Breakout Session 30: The University of the Future – A Haven for Self-Realisation?Breakout
12:00 - 14:00Breakout Session 31: Teaching Research? Interdisciplinary Grant-Writing Skills for PhD StudentsBreakout
14:00 - 16:00Breakout Session 10: What are the Implications of Internationalisation for Students?Breakout
14:30 - 16:00Shaping the Future – Concrete Next Steps for ActionBreakout
18:00 - 18:45Changing the Role of and Practices in Higher EducationPlenary
18:45 - 19:30CityScienceTalk: Universities – Trendsetters for a Changing World?Plenary
19:30 - 21:00ReceptionSocial
21:15 - 21:30Closing RemarksPlenary


07:00 - 08:30Doctoral Training at Universities – Potential and ChallengesPartner
09:00 - 10:30The Significance of Gender at Higher Education Institutions – Gender Diversity and Feminism, Blessing or Curse?Partner