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Conference Future Governance Models of the European Universities – 5th May 2022 Brussels

One of the challenges for the 41 European University alliances is the definition of governance and management structures, not only during the pilot period but also in the long run. Although a variety of models have already been implemented inside the existing alliances, several issues remain to be clarified, especially outside the alliances and related with their legal statute in the European arena for education and research transformation.

In order to discuss these issues and further deepen the reflection around the European Universities initiative, the FilmEU Alliance is promoting a conference in Brussels on the 5th of May on the topic of “Future Governance models of the European Universities”. Like all other Alliances involved in this pioneer European initiative, FilmEU is eager to further discuss with other stakeholders the possible future governance models of the European Universities.

The purpose of this one-day conference is to bring together different stakeholders around the European Universities initiative. We want to promote an open debate about governance models and management structures of the future European Universities, and the challenges and problems associated with their implementation.

The conference will be a live event and will take place on campus Sint-Lukas (Paleizenstraat 70, 1030 Schaarbeek – BE). Furthermore, the event will be streamed via Zoom simultaneously.

The event is free but registration is mandatory:

Note: the live event is restricted to 50 people.

5th May 2022

TIME ZONE CET (Central European Time)

Location: LUCA School of Arts, Campus Sint-Lukas - Paleizenstraat 70, 1030 Schaarbeek (Brussels), Belgium

Room C-3.17 and online via Zoom.


9h30 - Simon Van Damme (President of LUCA)


10h00 - Preparing a fit-for-purpose governance model for a European University of the Future – reflections from Una Europa

  • Emily Palmer (Secretary-General of UNA Europa)
  • Host: Manuel José Damásio (FilmEU coordinator)

11h00 - Coffee Break

11h30 - How to successfully balance academic autonomy and strategic governance - An never ending story!

  • Barbara Haering (Vice-President of ETH Board)
  • Host: Pedro Matias (Lusófona University)

12h30 - Lunch


14h - National/ European friction and the Future Legal Status of European Universities

  • Dana Samson (Chair FOREU2 subgroup Legal Statute/Governance)
  • Meritxell Chaves  (Chair FOREU1 subgroup Legal Statute/Governance)
  • Moderator: Marc van De Walle (LUCA School of Arts)

15h30 - Governance and Management of the European Universities

  • Thomas Estermann (Director for Governance, Funding and Public Policy Development - European University Association)
  • Enora Bennetot Pruvot (Deputy Director Governance, Funding & Public Policy Development - European University Association)
  • Moderators: Bragança de Miranda (Lusófona University)

16h30 - Coffee Break

17h - Future Governance Models of the European Universities

18h - Closing session - Veerle Van der Sluys (LUCA School of Arts)


Emily Palmer

  • Secretary-General of Una Europa vzw since April 2019
  • 2014-2019 – Head of Brussels Office, EuroTech Universities Alliance
  • 2012-2014 – Advisor, EuroTech Universities Alliance
  • 2006-2011 – European Officer, South West UK Brussels Office
  • 2004-2006 – European Policy Assistant, West Midlands in Europe
  • 2003 – Stagiaire at DG Education and Culture, European Commission
  • 2003 – MA degree and Jean Monnet Prize in European Studies, University of Sussex.

Thomas Estermann

Thomas Estermann is Director for Governance, Funding and Public Policy Development with responsibilities for EUA’s work aimed at strengthening universities’ autonomy, governance, management and their financial sustainability.

Before joining EUA in 2007, Thomas Estermann was Deputy Head of Strategic Development and Deputy University Director at the University of Music and Performing Arts, Vienna, a member of the universities' senate and involved in the last two reforms in higher education in Austria. Before entering the University in 1997, he pursued a career as a lawyer.

Thomas is member of several European and national committees, expert groups, editorial boards, advisory groups and contributes on a regular basis to higher education management programmes and national higher education reform processes. He has published on the topic of university funding, governance and management.

He holds a Master’s degree in law from the University of Vienna.

Enora Bennetot Pruvot

As Deputy Director, Enora Bennetot Pruvot is responsible for implementing EUA policy on university funding and governance. She focuses on financial sustainability, institutional autonomy, mergers as well as EU funding programmes. She is responsible for the organisation of EUA’s biannual Funding Forum and for EUA’s annual Public Funding Observatory, which monitors the evolution of public funding to higher education institutions throughout Europe.

Barbara Haering

Barbara Haering chairs the Strategic Advisory Board of the University of Geneva. Moreover, she is Vice-President of the Board of the Federal Institutes of Technology (ETH Domain) and member of the Board of the TU Dresden and of the Innovation Board of the TU Graz.

Barbara Haering chairs also the Board of Directors of econcept Inc., a private think tank and consultancy she has been building up over the last twenty-five years with 28 co-workers based in Zurich specializing in applied research, evaluation and strategic planning for ministries, administrations, and universities – mainly in the fields of research and innovation as well as public sector reform. In her capacity as head of econcept Inc. she is responsible for supporting strategy developments of public institutions as well as evaluating public policies and institutions in Switzerland and abroad. Barbara Haering teaches public management at the University of Lausanne.

published 13 April 2022modified 10 May 2022