LEAD Project Final conference held at VUB, Brussels, 10-12 September 2018
From 10 to 12 September 2018, the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) hosted the LEAD Project Final Conference. The conference was attended by 65 European and Chinese academic leaders and higher education experts from partner and non-partner institutions.
The first day of the conference, the 10th of September, was addressed by VUB Rector, Prof. dr. Caroline Pauwels, and of Eddy Van Gelder, Chairman of VUB University Council, among other European and Chinese university leaders. The Rector congratulated to all partners for the results achieved by the project (trainings, MOOCs and LEAD Book), as well as for the spin-off effects that it created (e.g. LEAD China Office). She underlined how the conference revealed the quality of in-depth exchanges and discussions that took place through more than 12 events (conferences and workshops) in Europe and China. As the Rector of the coordinating institution of the project, she particularly thanked the VUB team that worked on the management and implementation of LEAD.
Vice President of NAEA, Prof. Dr. Zhu Baojiang, greeted all participants on behalf on the Chinese institutions. He explained that the LEAD project greatly helped NAEA and the Chinese Higher Education institutions in enhancing their knowledge on university governance in Europe and in developing new EU partnerships. Furthermore, Prof. Zhu discussed the specificity of academic leadership in the European and Chinese context and enumerated the mains results of the LEAD project.
The LEAD Final conference was also attended by Antonella Giorgio, Project Manager at the Education, Audiovisual & Culture Executive Agency of the European Commission and by Minister-Counsellor Li Jianmin, Head of Education and Culture Office of the Mission of the People’s Republic of China to the European Union. Minister Li made some official remarks on the EU-China people-to-people dialogue and underlined the contribution of LEAD in enhancing mutual understanding between higher education institutions across Europe and China. He remembered that, given its relevant role in higher education cooperation between China and the EU, LEAD was one of serial events included in the agenda of the 4th round of the China-EU HPPD held in Shanghai in 2017.
During the three days of the LEAD final conference, academic leaders continued exchanging ideas on academic governance and leadership. In particular, they shared the personal and institutional impact of the LEAD project activities and outcomes and discussed dissemination strategies for LEAD MOOC and LEAD Book. The conference was also the occasion to share comparative analysis on academic governance, as well as to discuss challenges and needs related to EU-China scholars’ academic leadership development.
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