1 July 2017: Having held numerous leadership positions in higher education during the last decades, Dittrich is taking over the position for the first time following changes in the EQAR organisational structure and his election by the General Assembly in Malta.
Karl Dittrich 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. He 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). Recently, Karl Dittrich has chaired the Association of Universities in the Netherlands (VSNU), a position from which he will retire in October 2017. As VSNU Chairman, Dittrich has also sat on the Council of EUA.
In his speech to EQAR members before his election, on 25 May 2017, he emphasised EQAR’s role in supporting and strengthening European ideals and cooperation in the field of higher education: “It is important for the European higher education community to continue its path of dialogue and cooperation despite some nationalist tendencies. EQAR guarantees the quality of the quality assurance agencies and promotes trust in and between them, a precondition for recognition and mobility of students and staff. Exchange and mobility promote understanding between European citizens and help us build strong, democratic and equal societies.”