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International education


Universities want to make their international programmes more scalable and more effective by new modes of teaching and learning. This can be done by organising blended courses, e.g. with a few weeks of face to face education, or even by offering courses completely online, e.g. with interactions in learning communities. Most effectively, international education is organized in partnerships with shared responsibilities in networked courses/curricula (leading to specific certificates) or integrated programmes (leading to a joint degree). Both physical and online mobility can be involved.

Meet our experts on international education
Dario Assante, Università telematica internazionale (UNINETTUNO) [CHAIR]

Dario Assante is Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering at the International Telematic University Uninettuno. He is responsible of the Erasmus mobility programs and coordinates the double degree in ICT Engineering that Uninettuno organizes with Helwan University (Egypt). He is also the coordinator of the Masters courses in “Energy Management” and “Circular Economy 4.0”. He has taken part to several national and international project, being in particular the project manager of the Erasmus+ Strategic Partnership projects IN-CLOUD and IoT4SMEs, responsible for quality assurance of the Italo-Chinese satellite mission Limadou/CSES and academic referee of several Erasmus+ and LLP projects. His research interests are electromagnetic modelling problems, energy efficiency, particle accelerators and engineering education. He is author of more than 60 publications.

Dario contributed to the following EMPOWER Envisioning report: Assante, Dario. (2019) Smart online training experiences in the area of industry 4.0. in Ubachs, George (ed.) The Envisioning Report for Empowering Universities (3rd Edition). Maastricht, The Netherlands, European Association of Distance Teaching Universities, pp.9-11.

Dario contributed to the following webinar week:
Assante, Dario. MOOCs for digital skills: smart education experiences in the context of Industry 4.0. MOOC Design webinar week, 17 April 2019. 


George Ubachs, EADTU

George Ubachs is Managing Director of EADTU, the European Association of Distance Teaching Universities. EADTU is Europe's institutional association of leading universities in online, open and flexible higher education, and is at the heart of the modernisation agenda of European universities. Growing from its eleven founding members in ten European nations, EADTU now has a membership of fifteen institutions and fourteen national associations across 25 nations. Its membership covers over 200 universities and around 3 million students. 

George Ubachs is responsible for the development and support of the EADTU network, policies and execution of its goals in online, open and flexible higher education. 

He is coordinator of international academic cooperation networks on networked curricula, virtual mobility and on business models for lifelong learning. He is further coordinator of the European MOOC Consortium (EMC), representing the Common Microcredential Framework (CMF) and the E-xcellence movement on quality assurance in online, open and flexible education. In this position, EADTU is leading the ICDE-UNESCO focal point for QA in online education for Europe. With the EMPOWERing universities network, EADTU represents some 80 experts that cover 12 specific fields of expertise related to online, open and flexible education. As coordinator of these networks he is working closely with the EUA, ENQA, ESU, ICDE and Unesco. 

Before joining EADTU in 2002, George Ubachs has been working on various European programmes in the public and private sector in the field of regional social economic developments and was coordinator of the European Network of E2C-Europe (Cities for Second Chance Schools). George Ubachs graduated at State University of Leiden and Erasmus University Rotterdam on Public Administration with specialization in European Integration. 

Jukka Lerkkanen, Jyväskylä University (JYU)

Doctor of Education

  • Managerial skills, strategic planning of open university education, proven social and communicational competence.
  • Designing and delivering career guidance and counselling services based on guidance needs.
  • Research Associate in Florida State University, Center for the Study of Technology in Counseling and Career Development.


  • The National Forum of Finnish Open Universities, chair
  • EADTU EMPOWER chair for the Off-campus, online, open and flexible education expert pool
  • EADTU Supervisory Board, member

Last publications

  • Einarsdottir, S., Björnsdottir, M. D., & Lerkkanen., J. 2020. Cross-Cultural Validation of Asssessment instruments used in career counselling and guidance in Nordic countries. . In E. Haug, T. Hooley, J. Kettunen & R. Thomsen (Eds.), Career and career guidance in the Nordic countries. Career Development Series, 9. Leiden: Brill, 177–189 Sense. DOI: 10.1163/9789004428096_012
  • Andreassen, D.H., Einarsdóttir, S., Lerkkanen, J., Thomsen, R., & Wikstrand, F. 2019. Diverse histories, common ground and a shared future: The education of career guidance and counselling professionals in the Nordic countries. International Journal for Educational and Vocational Guidance. 19, (1), 1–26

See Jukka's institutional webpage here 

Nils Szuka, Fern Universität Hagen (FernUni Hagen)
Maria Amata Garito, Università telematica internazionale (UNINETTUNO)
Juan Garcia Blesa, Fern Universität Hagen (FernUni Hagen)
Esther Souto, UNED
Carme Anguera Iglesias, UOC
Katrien Vanelven, Katholieke University Leuven (KU Leuven)
Sabine Bottin, FIED

EMPOWER offers

At the course level, online international classrooms/seminars can be to organised, engaging all students in a class with new learning opportunities for own students and students in the partner institutions.

Finally, development cooperation programmes can be specifically enhanced by online education and partnerships. Topics include new approaches to  international/collaborative course and curriculum development and (blended/on line) mobility; new types of international partnerships; adapted learning environments, tools; international education formats (digital seminars, classrooms, learning communities; think tanks, etc.).

At the institutional level,  specific topics are: institutional strategies concerning online international programmes and related mobility; organisational support for new types of partnerships involving collaborative courses/ curricula and flexible courses/curricula; the involvement of OERs and MOOCs to enrich curricula and to  reach large scale effects.

Moreover,  aspects of funding, quality assurance, certification and accreditation are to be dealt with.