Executive Board

The Executive Board is in charge of the overall governance and management of EQAR, including administrative, financial matters and strategic coordination, with the support of the Secretariat.

Nominations and Terms of Office

The Executive Board comprises of five members: the President of EQAR and one from each Founding Member.

The Executive Board is elected by the General Assembly for a two-year mandate. It designates, one Vice-President and a Treasurer from among its members. The Executive Board has agreed to annually rotate these functions amongst its members.

The President of the Board legally represents the EQAR association.

The Executive Board convenes four to five times annually, normally at the EQAR office in Brussels or in conjunction with other meetings.


The President of EQAR, elected by the General Assembly for a three-year period, chairs the Executive Board.

Karl Dittrich (President)

Karl Dittrich was Chair of the Association of Universities in the Netherlands (VSNU) until October 2017.

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He started his career as a political science researcher and lecturer in Leiden, Florence and Maastricht. He chaired the Executive Board of the University of Maastricht from the 1990s until the early 2000s.

Karl Dittrich was the inaugural chairman of the Dutch-Flemish Accreditation Organisation (NVAO) from 2005 to 2012. In that capacity, he also held functions on the ENQA Board and in the European Consortium for Accreditation (ECA). As VSNU Chairman, Dittrich has also sat on the Council of EUA.

Karl Dittrich can be reached via the following email: karl.dittrich@eqar.eu.

The other Board members have a 2-year mandate. The mandate of the current Executive Board will finish after the General Assembly of 2024.

Goran Daković (Vice-President)

Goran Dakovic is a Reviews Manager at the European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education (ENQA),

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where he manages the external reviews of quality assurance agencies against the Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in the European Higher Education Area.

Prior to this position, he worked as a Policy and Project Officer for the Institutional Development Unit at the European University Association (EUA), where he focused on areas such as quality assurance, learning and teaching, and recognition of qualifications and of prior learning. Moreover, he engaged in the EUA Institutional Evaluation Programme’s coordinated evaluations that are initiated at the joint request of institutions and public authorities.

Goran has been active in the higher education field since 2008, including holding a position of the head of the research unit in one of Slovenian higher education institutions, and participating as an external assessor in the HR Excellence in Research Award by the European Commission. Goran holds a master’s degree in Public Policies from the University of Twente, the Netherlands.

John Edwards (Treasurer)

John Edwards is the Secretary General of EURASHE, the European association that represents institutions offering applied/professional higher education.

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He previously worked for the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre between 2011 and 2020, managing its project on the role of higher education in smart specialisation, together with DGs Education and Regional Policy.

He is currently coordinating an Erasmus+ project on mapping the regional impact of Universities of Applied Science.

John holds degrees from the University of St Andrews, the College of Europe in Bruges, and Newcastle University, where he completed his PhD in economic geography. He is a dual Portuguese/UK national.


Maria Kelo (co-opted)

Maria Kelo is the director of the Institutional Development Unit (EUA), which focuses on issues related to higher education learning and teaching, recognition and quality assurance.

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She is also a member of the Swiss Accreditation Council.

Before joining EUA in January 2022, Maria was for over a decade the Director of ENQA, the European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher as well as member of the EQAR Executive Board in 2013-2020. She took part in European policy making processes within the Bologna Process and through cooperation with the European Commission.

Prior to joining ENQA, Maria worked for nine years in the field of international higher education in different European organisations and as a private consultant and has gained significant experiences on issues such as quality assurance, international higher education, and higher education reform.

Maria is a graduate of University College London and the London School of Economics.

Horia Onita (co-opted)

Horia Onița is currently serving as Vice President of the European Students’ Union.