20 years of extraordinary: 2023 EAIE Award winners

20 years of extraordinary: 2023 EAIE Award winners

This year’s EAIE Awards celebrate 20 years of extraordinary achievements of individuals, institutions and organisations who have made outstanding contributions to the international education sector – and this year’s award recipients can stand firmly beside the long list of past winners. The EAIE Board and Awards Panel have recognised three winners who in their own way have contributed to creating a better world.

Award for Excellence in Internationalisation

This award celebrates higher education institutions that have developed and implemented creative responses to current and ongoing issues. This year’s winner Newcastle University in the United Kingdom has connected internationalisation with sustainability and inclusivity.

Newcastle University

They are committed to embedding social and environmental justice throughout their activities and to pursuing greener and more sustainable forms of internationalisation. As a focus on this latter goal, they have made virtual exchange a core part of their teaching and learning offer, and for students who participate in physical mobility, the university has offered travel grants for environmentally-friendly methods of travel to and from the destination.

They have also used physical mobility as a springboard for building sustainable global partnerships in addition to providing valuable professional experience for students. In 2021 their students undertook funded internships with the Ambassador of Barbados to the United Nations in Geneva and, as a result of this relationship, the university has been awarded additional research funding for Climate Change Education projects in Mauritius and Barbados.

In 2021 the university was awarded University of Sanctuary status in recognition of their long-standing commitment to offer educational, research and engagement opportunities to those fleeing violence and persecution.

Award for Vision and Leadership

This year's winner of the Vision and Leadership Award, Ligia Deca, is a living example of the value of internationalisation for improving education and society. Ligia Deca is the current Minister of Education of Romania. She began her career in international education as President of the European Students’ Union from 2008 to 2010. She subsequently served as head of the Bologna Secretariat between 2010-2012, supporting the Bologna Follow-Up Group within the framework of the European Higher Education Area and was at the forefront of the work to advance the Bologna Process in Romania.

Ligia Deca

Ligia co-led ‘Action Track 3: Teachers, Teaching and the Teaching Profession’ within the framework of the 2022 United Nations Transforming Education Summit and since June 2023 was co-opted by the UN Secretary General as a member of the High-level Panel on the Teaching Profession. She is also a member of the Fulbright Commission Board of Directors in Romania. Ligia Deca is receiving this award for her remarkable achievements and contributions to international education in Romania and in Europe.

Award for Outstanding Contribution

Few people epitomise outstanding contribution like this year’s award winner, Hans-Georg van Liempd. This award recognises individuals who have made a significant contribution to the Association’s work and there is little doubt the EAIE and the wider education sector are in a stronger position for the generous time and knowledge Hans-Georg has shared over his career.

Hans-Georg van Liempd

Hans-Georg first began sharing his time and expertise with the Association more than 20 years ago. From 2010 to 2014, he served as Vice-President and then President of the EAIE. Prior to being elected Vice-President, he served on the Conference Programme and Professional Development Committees. After serving as President and in the General Council, he continued to support the EAIE as a trainer and member of the Awards and Talent Committee.

Behind the scenes, Hans-Georg also shared his time as a writer, researcher, a mentor and as an advisor to the EAIE Mentorship Programme helping to match mentors and mentees. One of the most passionate members of the choir, his bellowing baritone could be heard as much as his tall frame could be seen in the choir at the Annual EAIE Conference.

President's Award

The President’s Award is awarded by the current EAIE President to an individual or group, in recognition of above-and-beyond contributions to the field. This year, EAIE President Piet Van Hove has recognised Leonard Engel, Executive Director of the EAIE for this award. Leonard joined the EAIE in 2010 and in this time has led the Association through significant growth and change. He has guided the Association to new levels of professionalisation and led EAIE’s commitment to operational excellence. During this time, the EAIE Office staff has tripled in size and the EAIE Conference has grown into the premier international education event in Europe and beyond. Piet has chosen to honour Leonard with this award for his service and commitment, to not just the EAIE but to the wider international education community.

Leonard Engel

Congratulations to the 2023 EAIE Award winners and thank you to all those who took the time to nominate! It is an honour for the EAIE to showcase and celebrate the extraordinary achievements of these stand-out contributors to our field. We look forward to honouring this year’s winners further during the EAIE Conference and Exhibition in Rotterdam this September.