Sector superheroes: 2022 EAIE Award winners

Sector superheroes: 2022 EAIE Award winners

The last year has challenged our sector in both new and familiar ways. In the wake of the pandemic and at the dawn of armed conflict in Europe, higher education institutions and their staff have rallied to support those affected by war and keep higher education institutions running and students and staff safe. It is precisely these types of courageous efforts that the EAIE Awards seek to highlight and honour within the international higher education community.

This year, the EAIE Awards and Talent Committee recognises one higher education institution, one individual and one national higher education sector, in addition to one network highlighted by the EAIE President, all of whom have gone above and beyond in demonstrating the full spectrum of what international higher education can do for global society.

Award for Excellence in Internationalisation

The EAIE Award for Excellence in Internationalisation celebrates higher education institutions that have demonstrated excellence in the field and have successfully implemented internationalisation strategies and activities that reflect the EAIE values. This year’s winner is Masaryk University in the Czech Republic, for the work done by its MUNI HELPS volunteer centre.

Masaryk University

In addition to its systematic emphasis on internationalisation of the curriculum, research with international partners, expansion of inbound and outbound mobility and hiring of international staff and lecturers, Masarysk University is also a core member of the EDUC alliance. This comprehensive focus on internationalisation underpins the MUNI HELPS centre, originally established in response to COVID-19. During the pandemic, MUNI HELPS coordinated volunteer work at hospitals, on crisis hotlines and in nursing homes, but also focused on everyday needs like childcare and tutoring children, helping people with shopping, and delivering medicine and masks. More recently, when the Russian government invasion of Ukraine began in February 2022, the centre pivoted to focus on helping Ukrainian refugees by disseminating information about vacancies for Ukrainians and scholarships for Ukrainian students, as well as interpreting services and a crisis hotline for psychological assistance.

In addition to the outstanding work done by this year’s award winner, the Awards and Talent Committee also commends FH JOANNEUM University of Applied Sciences and The Hague Pathway College, Navitas for their exemplary internationalisation programmes.

Award for Vision and Leadership

This award recognises inspiring individuals or organisations for their remarkable achievements in demonstrating and developing strategies that create new ways of thinking and opportunities in the field of international higher education. The winner of the 2022 EAIE Award for Vision and Leadership is not a single organisation, but instead the Ukrainian higher education sector as a whole.

Ukrainian higher education

With this award, the EAIE aims to recognise and applaud the outstanding fortitude and resilience displayed by Ukrainian higher education institutions throughout the Russian government invasion and the conflict that continues to claim lives every day in Ukraine. Ukrainian universities and other actors in the education sector have banded together to continue providing higher education to Ukrainians during the conflict, in addition to both providing humanitarian support to their communities and maintaining their connections to the international community through partnerships and mobility programmes. The EAIE wishes to honour and recognise Ukrainian universities as a whole and extend this award to them for their collective efforts in the face of adversity. 

Award for Outstanding Contribution

The EAIE Award for Outstanding Contribution acknowledges members who contribute their valuable time and expertise to the Association and the European international higher education community at large. This year’s winner, Stephanie Griffiths, has done exactly that, and the impact of her contributions can be felt both within and beyond the EAIE.

Stephanie Griffiths

Stephanie joined the Steering group of the Guidance and Counselling Expert Community in September 2016 and has served as its Chair since 2020. In this role within the EAIE, as well as in her various professional roles within her institution of King’s College London and in the wider professional field of counselling and mental health, Stephanie strives to support international education by ensuring that the students and staff within our institutions can thrive. During the pandemic, Stephanie provided input to a wide array of EAIE events on student well-being and mental health, and through her contributions to webinars, sessions and training she has provided much-needed support in this very important area. She has raised our awareness of new strategies for fostering well-being at our institutions and has provided insights and tips to help us move forward. 

Furthermore, Stephanie embodies the EAIE values. She is collaborative, having created strong connections with Board members and the wider community; she is inclusive, ensuring that everyone gets the best out of themselves and takes into account their individual workload and available time commitment; and the support she has provided before and during the pandemic has been nothing short of inspiring. We thank Stephanie for her important contributions to the EAIE and to the international higher education sector as a whole.

President’s Award

The President’s Award is awarded by the EAIE President to an individual or group of her choosing, in recognition of above-and-beyond contributions to the field. This year, EAIE President Michelle Stewart has chosen to recognise CANIE: Climate Action Network for International Educators.

CANIE

CANIE is a grassroots initiative formed by international education practitioners from around the world, including EAIE members, who see the need and the opportunity for our sector to step up and act on climate. The EAIE is proud to be one of the first signatories of the CANIE Accord, which charts concrete actions we can take to strengthen and accelerate our sector’s response to the climate crisis. According to Michelle, “The EAIE has, for many years, taken a proactive approach to addressing the climate crisis. The CANIE Accord offers all organisations a roadmap, a way to tailor a response to the issues we face. The EAIE President’s Award will, I hope, help raise awareness of the Accord and encourage others to sign up.”

It is our honour to celebrate the achievements of the individuals and institutions who are working hard each day to advance international higher education in Europe and beyond. Congratulations to the 2022 EAIE Award winners and thank you to all those who took the time to nominate. We look forward to honouring their achievements at the EAIE Conference and Exhibition in Barcelona.

EAIE Barcelona 2022

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By EAIE