EQAR General Assembly in (unusual) balmy Brussels

EQAR members convened in Brussels in the afternoon of 12 April for the 21st General Assembly (GA), organised in conjunction with the Bologna Follow-Up Group (BFUG) meeting which was held on 11-12 April. The GA was graciously hosted by the Belgian Ministries of Education, in the framework of the Belgian Presidency of the Council of the EU.

Welcome and Thematic Session

Anne Verhaegen, Secretary General of the Department Education and Training, Belgium (Flemish Community), warmly welcomed everyone and stressed the importance of building further on the framework for European cooperation in education, embodied by the European Education Area (EEA) and the European Higher Education Area (EHEA). EQAR, the EEA and the EHEA played all three an important role in enhancing mobility in the higher education sector. EQAR President Stéphane Lauwick thanked her for her inspiring words and welcomed EQAR members to the General Assembly.

The thematic session consisted of a presentation on the recent expansion of DEQAR, featuring micro – credentials and other providers by Aleksandra Zhivkovikj, Policy and Project Officer of EQAR.

Yearly recurring agenda items

  • The General Assembly adopted the agenda, the minutes, the budget 2024 and the Workplan 2024-2025, and took note of the Annual Report, the Progress Report on the Work Plan 2023/24 and the updates.
  • The approval of the accounts and the discharge of the Board were postponed to a later date until the (imminent) arrival of the Auditors Report. During an online Extraordinary General Assembly, held on 23 May 2024, members approved the accounts 2023 and discharged the Board.

Special topics

  • Strategy 2024-2028
    The General Assembly adopted the Strategy 2024-2028. The strategy consist of three strategic goals:
    – transparency, information and connectivity;
    – trust and recognition;
    – strengthening EQAR’s organisational capacities.
  • Changes at the EQAR Secretariat
    The Board informed the GA of the circumstances that had led to decision to not retain the former director, who, since 22 March 2024, was no longer employed at EQAR. Annelies Traas had been appointed as Acting Head of the Secretariat as of 27 March 2024, until the time that a new Director would be recruited and would start working (hopefully by September).
  • Appointment of auditors
    The GA re-appointed the current statutory auditor for the next three financial years.

Confirmation of the EQAR Board

The President informed members that Goran Dakovic’s mandate was ending on 13 April 2024 and that Goran had decided not to re-stand. The President thanked Goran for his dedication and hard work over all these years, but especially during the last period.

The GA confirmed the founding members’ representatives on the Board for the years 2024-2026:

  • Anna Gover (ENQA) – newly elected
  • Jakub Grodecki (EURASHE) – re-elected
  • Maria Kelo (EUA) – re-elected
  • Horia Onita (ESU) – re-elected

According to the agreed rotation, the Board will assume the following functions as per 13 April 2024, with Stéphane Lauwick as President:

  • Maria Kelo – Vice-President
  • Horia Onita – Treasurer