Press release: First major international education event following Brexit

Press release: First major international education event following Brexit

From 13–16 September, over 5000 members of the international higher education community from more than 90 countries will gather at ACC Liverpool, UK for the 28th Annual EAIE Conference and Exhibition. This year’s conference is inspired by the future–oriented theme ‘Imagine…’, a tribute to one of the host city’s most admired figures – the illustrious musician and peace activist John Lennon. The Mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson, will officially welcome conference participants on Wednesday. An abundance of sessions, posters, workshops and Campus tours to our local University Partners will be followed, each evening, by networking events taking place around the city.

From 13–16 September, over 5000 members of the international higher education community from more than 90 countries will gather at ACC Liverpool, UK for the 28th Annual EAIE Conference and Exhibition. This year’s conference is inspired by the future–oriented theme ‘Imagine…’, a tribute to one of the host city’s most admired figures – the illustrious musician and peace activist John Lennon. The Mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson, will officially welcome conference participants on Wednesday. An abundance of sessions, posters, workshops and Campus tours to our local University Partners will be followed, each evening, by networking events taking place around the city.

Liverpool, 12 September 2016.
Starting Wednesday, four exceptional and diversified keynote speakers will headline each of the conference days. Richard Gerver, award-winning educator and one of the advisers of the Hillary Clinton campaign will take the stage at the Opening Plenary on Wednesday 14 September at 09:30. At the ‘Refugees in focus’ Plenary, on Wednesday 14 September at 13:00, Kilian Kleinschmidt will discuss his humanitarian work in several emergencies and refugee crises. On Thursday 15 September at 13:00, Heather White, professional coaching specialist, will teach participants about networking at the Lunch-time Plenary. Finally, on Friday 16 September at 12:00, Chief Spokesperson at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Melissa Fleming will address the participants at the Closing Plenary.

Key issues

At its annual conference, the EAIE addresses some of the key issues affecting the field of international higher education in Europe and the world. In 2016, two of these issues will receive special attention: the refugee crisis and, of course, Brexit.
“Brexit and the refugee crisis are pressing issues affecting the work of international educators in Europe today. What will EU–UK partnerships look like from now on? How do we, as a higher education community, respond to the education needs and wants of refugees? Everyone is looking for answers and therefore our conference comes at an important time. Our field is experienced in finding creative solutions for complicated issues and in Liverpool we have unparalleled opportunities to join forces and imagine our futures together.”  — Leonard Engel, Executive Director at the EAIE.

‘Refugees in focus’ track

Following a Spotlight Seminar on integrating refugees into higher education in Europe this past June in Amsterdam, the EAIE conference will offer a 13-session programme track focusing solely on this key issue of our time. The track covers a variety of topics, ranging from flexible admission practices and hosting refugee students and scholars to offering free online courses and the importance of transferrable skills. Kilian Kleinschmidt’s keynote address on Wednesday officially opens the track with a thought-provoking talk on the role of dignity in aid. Kilian’s controversial and innovative style is certain to inspire educators faced with the challenges of refugee education throughout the European continent and beyond. Closing Plenary Keynote speaker Melissa Fleming of UNHCR will close both the conference and the ‘Refugees in focus’ track addressing participants on the importance of refugee and education and what they can do to make a difference on the ground.

Life after Brexit

That Europe’s largest international higher education conference is taking place in the UK so shortly after the Brexit vote offers a unique opportunity to discuss what the future holds for EU and UK collaboration in higher education. Two sessions will place the Brexit issue centre-stage: #Brexit: the future of Europe and the UK, on Wednesday between 14:30–16:00, and Life after #Brexit: UK–EU partnerships (research, student and staff mobility), on Thursday between 11:00–12:30.

About the EAIE

The EAIE is a non-profit, member-led organisation serving individuals actively involved in international higher education. The EAIE connects thousands of higher education professionals and provides a forum for professional development, information dissemination and networking. It has 3000 members from Europe and around the world.

Conference dates: 13–16 September 2016
Conference location: ACC Liverpool, Kings Dock St, L3 4FP, Liverpool, UK.

Media contact

Elise Kuurstra
Marketing and Communications Manager