Tag: EMA

News: Establishing of ESAA met with both enthusiasm and critique

DG EAC formally announced the launch of Erasmus+ Students and Alumni Association (ESAA) this Friday, 12th of June with a kick-off conference. About 250 participants were invited, including founding associations, representatives from the European Comimsion, and stakeholder representatives who have been involved in ESAA.

The new association is supported by DG EAC and represent uniting for existing associations under one umbrella, Erasmus Student Network (ESN), Erasmus Mundus Student and Alumni Association (EMA), the garagErasmus Foundation and Erasmus+ Oceans.

The website highlights ESAA aim to  be a “dynamic platform for networking, professional development and intercultural learning while promoting European Higher Education and worldwide cooperation”. On the press site, it is also highlighted that the foreseen aim is to develop projects and improve quality of education, in addition to providing an alumni network. You can view the presentations from the launch here, where they highlight the aims of the new organization.

The Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport,  Tibor Navracsics, said about ESAA in the press release: “Erasmus+ is one of Europe’s flagship projects, and rightly so. Studying in another country, whether for a short or longer period, is a great experience for young Europeans: It helps them to enhance their skills as well as to understand and accept cultural and other differences. Student and alumni associations offer crucial support to help young people make the most of this opportunity – before, during and after their stay abroad. That is why I am very pleased that ESAA will help to channel this support and know-how even more effectively. I am looking forward to seeing new activities that will further improve the mobility experience, encourage networking and help promote the opportunities Erasmus+ offers to a wider audience.”

It appears that the event was marked with enthusiasm by those attending, and in social media the role of networking amongst members was frequently highlighted. For discussions and photos from the event – follow the #ESAAkickoff hashtag on Twitter.

However, the establishment of ESAA has also been met with considerable critique from ESU – the European Student Union, who has raised concerns about the representative nature of ESAA, Commission involvement in shaping a student organization and the kind of policy agenda that is being pushed.




2013 in review – Hedda news

2013_3We continue our annual review of the yearly entries on the blog. In this second post we will focus on news from Hedda. Do not forget to check out the posts summarising Hedda podcasts and audio/video material, as well as the post reviewing all the wonderful guest entries of 2013

Hedda students

In 2012, we launched our new series FACE2FACE, where we interview our students on video. In 2013, we published two FACE 2 FACE videos. In the first one, we interviewed Evgenia  Bogun and Gordon Musiige. In the video the students shared their thoughts about why they decided to study in the Higher Education programme, their experiences of living and studying in Norway, and give tips to future students on how to cope with life as an international student.

In our second FACE 2 FACE video of 2013, we interviewed Anette Løken and Enzo Rossi who started their studies in autumn 2013. In their video, they share their very first impressions of higher education as a research field, why studying higher education is important in modern societies and what they expect from the Master Programme.

Hedda students also went to a study trip in Brussels, and Ljiljana Krstić who then was a first year student at the Hedda Master programme in Higher Education wrote about what they learned visiting various European organisations for higher education.

Hedda students were also a part of an innovative learning project at the University of Oslo where students were using video to interview professors about their research. The project leader, Professor Bjørn Stensaker, introduced the project and talked about the relevance of using video for these purposes. We also published the video where the students interviewed Prof Peter Maassen about his research. Later on, the students wrote an entry reflecting about their experiences with the project.




Hedda interview with Dr. Leasa Weimer – new EMA president

dr. Leasa Weimer

dr. Leasa Weimer

In June 2013 Dr. Leasa Weimer was elected as the new president of Erasmus Mundus Students and Alumni Association. Leasa is also a graduate of the Hedda Master Programme in Higher Education, so we thought it might be nice to ask her a few questions about her new position, what she took with her from the master programme and her plans for the future. 

First of all Leasa, huge congratulations on being elected as the president of Erasmus Mundus Students and Alumni Association, could you perhaps share a few words about your journey there?

My first exposure to EMA was in 2008 at the General Assembly in Perugia, Italy. At this meeting, I signed up to participate in the Promotions team (now called Community Development) and became involved in the creation of what is now the North American chapter. I quickly found that putting my energy into a few key projects made me feel part of an amazing community of like-minded international friends and colleagues. The more I became involved, the more I enjoyed the work of EMA and the incredible international reach and network of the organization. Plus, the work aligned well with my academic research interest in international education and student mobility policy and programs.

I have experienced many aspects of the organization (chapters, networks, and working groups) and now I will apply this wisdom and organizational knowledge to the future development of EMA. Prior to being elected President, I was President of the North American chapter and I co-led the Future of EMA working group analyzing the future strategy of the association. These two positions shaped my desire to run for President and they have shown me that there is a great need to think strategically in terms of EMA’s future.

Erasmus Mundus mobility programme covers a variety of different disciplines, so what exactly does the alumni association do? What have been some of the main activities this far?




Leasa Weimer elected new Erasmus Mundus Students and Alumni Association president

dr. Leasa Weimer

dr. Leasa Weimer

Hedda master programme in higher education was for a number of years also offering a joint degree as an Erasmus Mundus course. Erasmus Mundus is a EU funded programme to offer joint degrees, and includes cooperation between about 300 higher education institutions. The programme has this far attracted over 15 000 students. The Erasmus Mundus Students and Alumni Association (EMA) is an international professional and personal network for Erasmus Mundus students and graduates, and around 9000 of the graduates are part of t he association.

Each year, the Association holds a General Assembly (GA), which brings together representatives of various Masters and PhD programmes and the various governing units of EMA. The 7th Annual Erasmus Mundus General Assembly was held in mid June in Barcelona – at the  Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya.

During the general assuembly the association elects also new leadership, amongst else a new president for  the association. We are proud to acknowledge that Hedda graduate Leasa Weimer has been elected as the new president of EMA, along with Pavan Sriram as vice president.

We would like to congratulate Leasa and wish her the best of luck with her new responsibilities!




Reflections from the EMA General Assembly

This post is written by Aimee Haley who is the current HEEM Course Representative at The Erasmus Mundus Students and Alumni Association. Aimee and a number of our graduates participated in the recent EMA General Assembly. In this post she gives a brief overview of the event and the activities EMA is involved in. 

The Erasmus Mundus Students and Alumni Association (EMA) held its 5th annual General Assembly (GA) June 24-25, 2011 in Budapest, Hungary. Over 170 people from around the world met at the Central European University to discuss the goals and organization of the association. The GA consists of representatives from the Erasmus Mundus master and doctoral courses, steering committee and service team members, and regional and country representatives. Additionally, representatives from the European Commission were also in attendance, as well as general member observers since the GA is open to all members of the EMA.

EMA was established by the European Commission in June 2006 and is a network for students and alumni of all the Erasmus Mundus master and doctoral programs. The EMA activities are conducted by its members on a voluntary basis and in cooperation with the European Commission. The association is also democratic in nature, so a large portion of the GA was dedicated to voting on changes to the leadership structure and the election of a new President and Vice President.