29 Sep 2023

Celebrating community and connection at #EAIE2023

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That’s a wrap! Today the largest EAIE Conference and Exhibition in history drew to a close, with more than 6700 participants from over 2600 institutions and over 100 different countries ‘connecting currents’ in Rotterdam. As the final sessions took place and all participants came together one more time for the Closing Plenary and Closing Luncheon, one thing was clear: community is key to doing impactful work in international higher education.

What a week it’s been in Rotterdam! Tuesday’s Opening Reception feels like it was just yesterday. The week has flown by with its plethora of workshops, near-endless networking activities, a bustling Exhibition and over 250 sessions to choose from. At the core of the programme and everything we’ve done together this week has been the vibrant, collaborative EAIE community.

One of the day’s first sessions offered an update on the state of that community and exciting changes on the horizon with EAIE Membership. This session touched on the success of initiatives like the Mentorship programme and future opportunities to engage with colleagues and the wider community, like the Association’s plans to launch a new community platform in 2024, where members will be able to engage in different topics and conversations with colleagues across the world.

One of the many chances to participate is the yearly EAIE Choir, which met for its final rehearsal this morning before wowing us at the end of the Closing Plenary.


Before the Choir took the stage, we were treated to an exciting performance by Dutch hip hop artist and speaker Typhoon, performing his song Alles is gezegend. He followed up this performance with an inspiring speech about the importance of community and connections between people for making a real difference in the world. “What can I do to see the bigger picture and help others? That's not possible without connection and holding space for others.” Before performing a second song and spoken poem, Typhoon closed out with a bold call to action to all in attendance. “Be open. Break barriers. Question everything.”

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‘Be open. Break barriers. Question everything.’ – Typhoon, Closing Plenary speaker

In wrapping up the Closing Plenary, EAIE President Piet Van Hove and Vice-President Sara López Selga invited us to reflect on all we learned and experienced together this week. “We can be a compassionate community, lift each other up and work on real progress together,” as Piet summed it up.

Indeed, if there was one common thread running through the entire week in Rotterdam, it was the power of our community and the endless opportunities for networking at the Annual EAIE Conference and Exhibition.

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‘We can be a compassionate community, lift each other up and work on real progress together.’ – EAIE Presiden Piet Van Hove

As the Conference draws to a close, our great community wishes each other au revoir until Toulouse 2024!

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