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EUPRIO looks at the future of universities

Great Italian food and weather combined with thought-provoking workshops and speakers helped to make EUPRIO’s 2015 annual conference one of the most successful in recent years.

conf posterA total of 284 participated, among them 28 speakers, for the three days of intensive networking and learning and sharing fresh ideas in the beautiful historic setting of Perugia, capital of Italy’s Umbria region.

There were representatives from 27 countries, including a delegate from Ireland for the first time in years as well as representatives from two new countries – Bulgaria and Australia – and a speaker from Canada, Adrian J Ebsary, to broaden our world view.

This conference was organised by Università per Stranieri di Perugia – the University for Foreigners of Perugia – and AICUN, the Italian association of university communicators.

Paola Claudia Scioli, one of the main organisers and Italy’s representative on the EUPRIO Steering Committee, said: “There was a very nice atmosphere and everyone seemed enjoy the content, the organisation and the city. The Italian food and the weather certainly helped, too!

Thanks to conference team

“I’d like to thank Paul Helbing, chairman of the task force, and all the members of the conference team for all their hard work which helped make sure the conference was such a success.”

Professor Petra Wand

Professor Petra Wand

Among the highlights praised by many participants was the opening keynote address by Professor Petra Wand, rector and vice-chancellor of Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh, Scotland.

Her speech on ‘How can universities prepare for the future in a changing world’ was a wide-ranging look at the origins of universities and their development over the centuries as well as a look into the future.

It set the theme for EUPRIO’s conference titled ‘Turn it upside down’ and was very well received.

Stimulating debate

EUPRIO’s President Christine Legrand said the conference achieved its aim of stimulating debate around what the universities of the future will be like and the implications for communication and marketing professionals in the years to come.

She said: ”I‘d like to thank all of you for your participation to the Perugia conference.

“You were terrific and I sincerely appreciate your attendance, your motivation together with your gaiety.

Christine (second from left) with the Italian organisers

Christine (second from left) with the Italian organisers

“I am convinced that our network is very strong and I am confident in our future.”

  • Christine was confirmed at the annual business meeting as EUPRIO’s President for the next three years and will be assisted in her role by Uwe Steger from Innsbruck University, Austria, who becomes vice-president.

EUPRIO Awards 2015

This year’s winner of the EUPRIO Award 2015 was Loughborough University in the United Kingdom for their IAMIN innovative social media and PR/communications led recruitment campaign.

The runners-up were the University of Lodz, Poland, in second place, and third place going to VLIR-OUS – an organisation to promote science in Belgium.

See you next year

Next year’s EUPRIO conference will be in Antwerp, from September 1-4 2016. See you there!

  • We will be looking in more depth at the EUPRIO Award winners in a future news blog and plan to talk to Professor Wand about her thoughts for the future of universities.

 Story: Nic Mitchell

Pictures from Università per Stranieri di Perugia