Over 280 participants from the world of European university communications and higher education marketing came together for the 2016 EUPRIO conference hosted by the Belgium’s University of Antwerp in early September.
The conference, under the theme of Living the brand, saw representatives from Croatia and Montenegro take part for the first time as EUPRIO celebrated the 30th anniversary of its founding in Belgium back in 1986, writes NIC MITCHELL
The association’s president, Christine Legrand from France, thanked the conference task force and especially our hosts at the University of Antwerp, Jan Dries and Wouter de Pesseroey and their staff, for an excellent business and social programme.
Christine told the annual business meeting that EUPRIO had been growing since the UK conference at the University of Kent in 2014 when it had 602 members. It now has around 750 members from 23 countries.
With membership figures looking healthy and an ambition to grow still further in countries struggling with financial pressure, members agreed to a proposal from treasurer Paola Claudia Scioli to hold the EUPRIO annual membership fee level for 2017 at €115 for individuals and €230 for institutional membership. (Institutional membership enables four named-members to join EUPRIO from the same university for the price of two individuals).
Next conference in Mannheim
Delegates heard that the 2017 EUPRIO conference will be held in Mannheim, Germany, from June 29-July 2. The theme will be Networking for a better life: universities, cities, territories and enterprise.
The annual business meeting noted the retirement from the EUPRIO auditors of long-standing member Ulrike Reimann, who also served for many years as Germany’s representative on EUPRIO’s Steering Committee. She was thanked for her services as she moves out of higher education communications and into the commercial sector.
Two new auditors were announced, Wouter De Pesseroey from Belgium and former EUPRIO Paolo Pomati from Italy.
Revival of interest in EUPRIO
Christine said she was encouraged by the revival of interest in EUPRIO in several countries, including Spain, which had dropped during the recession.
She also welcomed the ongoing development of the website and intranet and new initiatives such as the Facebook ‘secret’ group just for members attending the annual conference set up by Italian representative, Paola Claudia Scioli.
The new conference app developed by the University of Antwerp and conference sponsor, Lumi, was also welcomed as a quick and easy of keeping track of the conference schedule.
Plans for next year include expanding the intranet for members-only. This should have a section on best practice drawn from entries to the EUPRIO Awards and a EUPRIO exchange programme and partner search facility.
It is also planned to publish on the intranet the Antwerp conference speakers’ presentation as soon as they are available
“A newsletter is also planned for next year for me to be able to be in contact with you”, the president told the annual meeting.
The meeting ended with a potted history of EUPRIO given by founding member, Edoardo Teodoro Brioschi, from Italy.
* The EUPRIO Awards were also presented at the annual business meeting, with the 2016 overall winner being the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences (HvA).