EAIE Award for Vision and Leadership

Vision and leadership are fundamental in pushing the boundaries of international education. 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.  

2023 Award winner: Ligia Deca

It is both a privilege and a responsibility to receive this award, and an impetus to continue the involvement in advancing the internationalisation of higher education.

Ligia Deca.

Minister of Education of Romania, Romania

This year’s winner Ligia Deca, is the current Minister of Education of Romania. Ligia began her career in internationalisation as President of the European Students’ Union 15 years ago.  She was at the forefront of the work to advance Bologna Process in Romania, serving as head of the Bologna Secretariat between 2010-2012, and supporting the Bologna Follow-Up Group within the frame of the European Higher Education Area. 

Ligia journey and influence on international education in Romania and in Europe is a living example of the value of internationalisation. She is receiving this award in recognition of her significant achievements in international education throughout her career.

Eligibility criteria

  • The nominee has a proven record of providing vision, leadership and inspiration in international higher education to others. 
  • The nominee is widely recognised as a person who has contributed to both leadership processes and results in international higher education with dedication, innovation and perseverance. 
  • The nominee has been active in international higher education leadership for at least 10 years with a documented record of high professional standards that reflect one or more of the EAIE values: collaborative, inspiring, inclusive, excellence. 
  • The nominator is a member of the EAIE. 
  • The nominee is not required to be a member of the EAIE.   

Be the inspiration for your community 

We want to share the winner's journey to success to inspire our European and global community. The award winner will benefit from extensive recognition and exposure at the EAIE Conference and Exhibition. The winner will also benefit from:  

  • Invitation to participate in a podcast, webcast or blog post  
  • Extensive visibility on all EAIE platform  
  • Two fee waivers for the EAIE Annual Conference  
  • An EAIE award to display in your home or office  

History of the award

The Constance Meldrum Award for Vision and Leadership, now the EAIE Award for Vision and Leadership, is dedicated to its namesake who worked tirelessly at the frontlines of internationalisation. 


Constance Meldrum was a pioneer, innovator and a staunch supporter of the EAIE. Her work for the European Commission was instrumental in setting up cooperation activities in higher education between Europe and North America. She strived to create something beyond the ordinary, not accepting the status quo. Constance passed away in 2003, and her substantial bequest supported the Constance Meldrum Award for Vision and Leadership.