New “Beyond Rankings” webinar: Can Higher Education be Changed?

8 May 2024

  • Speaker
    Dr. Andrée Sursock
    Senior Advisor,
    European University Association
  • Moderator
    Dr. Alexandra Borissova Saleh
    Senior Expert in Science Communication,
    E-Quadrat Science & Education
We are excited to announce an upcoming webinar "Beyond Rankings: Can Higher Education be Changed? France’s Academic Excellence Initiative," scheduled for May 20, 10:00 am CET.

This webinar promises a deep dive into the transformative landscape of higher education, with a spotlight on France's Academic Excellence Initiative (AEI). The discussion will be led by Dr. Andrée Sursock, Senior Adviser and former Deputy Secretary General of the European University Association (EUA).

Trained as a social-cultural anthropologist and with extensive experience advising universities and governments worldwide on higher education policies, Dr. Sursock brings unparalleled insights into the mechanisms driving change in higher education. Together we will explore pivotal questions surrounding the efficacy of concentrating funding and implementing policies of excellence, the role of mergers in engineering transformative changes, and the broader implications of these mechanisms on universities and the educational system.

One can argue that the AEIs can be beneficial for the whole education system but only if they are focused on national and institutional goals, reducing the role of rankings and other measures to the benchmark level. Since 2010, France has embarked on a bold reform agenda aimed at enhancing the performance and global competitiveness of its higher education sector. Through the Academic Excellence Initiative (Idex), approximately €10 billion has been allocated to foster the emergence of comprehensive educational entities capable of rivalling the world's best.

During the webinar, Dr. Andrée Sursock will focus on a case that represents, in our opinion, a highly successful AEI that addresses its nation’s particular weak point – a system that, due to historical reasons, became too fragmented and with limited autonomy to pursue ambitious goals.
May 20, 10:00 am CET