Universities and Re-Construction of Cities: the Role of Research and Education

Anniversary of the Magna Charta Universitatum - MCU2020 in collaboration with the University of Lodz

  • Date:

    23 OCTOBER
    25 OCTOBER 2023
  • Event location: University of Lodz

  • Type: Magna Charta Anniversaries

The Magna Charta Universitatum, first signed by 388 rectors in 1988 in the presence of many political leaders and representatives of society and revised in 2020 to reflect changes in the world faced by universities, continues to underpin the mission and operations of universities everywhere. Over 950 university leaders from all over the world have now signed it. Each year the Magna Charta Observatory organises an international conference to address current challenges in upholding the fundamental values and serving society responsibly and celebrates in a ceremony as more rectors sign the Magna Charta Universitatum. This year’s conference and ceremony take place on 23, 24 and 25 October 2023 in Lodz, Poland.

The theme of the 2023 MCO conference is Universities and Re-Construction of Cities: the Role of Research and Education.

Well-known international speakers will provide perspectives and lead discussions and participants from universities around the world will be able to engage closely through a wide range of focused small-group discussions. Details can be found in the conference programme (see link above).

The conference is open to university leaders and their representatives, higher education professionals and students, policy-makers and higher education stakeholders from all sectors to attend the event. Its purpose is to enable them to respond more effectively to the challenges which they face and anticipate and strengthen their universities’ capability to uphold fundamental values for the benefit of their students, society and their university communities.

On 25 October, the Magna Charta Observatory and the University of Lodz will host the Ceremony for the Signing of the Magna Charta by universities committed to the principles of the Universitatum. All participants and companions travelling with them are invited to attend. 

Please, find a sum up of the programme here below.

Pre-conference programme

Regional perspectives on universities serving societies, challenges and responses

Magna Charta Anniversary - 24 October 2023 - Conference day

Universities and Re-Construction of Cities: the Role of Research and Education Anniversary of the Magna Charta Universitatum - MCU2020 in collaboration with the University of Lodz

World café session - Student Perspectives on engaging with society and reconstruction

- Student essay competition winners to present and discuss their essays on student involvement in universities serving society; - Global Students’ Forum - student involvement in reconstruction - Students engaging with society as part of their programmes Host: Peter Kwasi Kodjie, Secretary General, All-Africa Students’ Union

Magna Charta Anniversary

25 October 2023 Ceremony for the signature of the Magna Charta Universitatum - MCU2020

Draft programme


Monday 23rd October 2023

Pre-conference programme

13.30 – 18.30


Plenary sessions – Waclaw Schubert’s Assembly Hall



            Elżbieta Żądzińska, Rector of the University of Lodz

            David J. Lock, Secretary General, Magna Charta Observatory


            Regional perspectives on universities serving societies, challenges and responses

Introduction to the Higher Education landscape and current issues in Poland and Ukraine
Chair: Elżbieta Żądzińska, Rector of the University of Lodz

Arkadiusz Mężyk - President of the Conference of Rectors of Academic Schools in Poland - CRASP

Civic and Ministry speakers from Poland and Ukraine

Students’ perspective
Kevin Lewicki - President of the Students' Parliament of the Republic of Poland
Polina Hombalevska - President of Ukrainian Association of Students 

Maksym Svysenko – Board member of Ukrainian Students League


            Q & A



Magna Charta Observatory: serving signatory universities

            Review of the year -David Lock, Secretary General

            Research initiatives -

Giga Zedania, Member of the MCO Governing Council

Julia Berruezo – Researcher

Questions and discussion


Networking sessions

Focus group for students


Free evening



Tuesday 24 October 2023

Waclaw Schubert’s Assembly Hall


Universities and Re-Construction of Cities: the Role of Research and Education

09.00 – 17.30



Elżbieta Żądzińska, Rector of the University of Lodz


Introduction to the conference
Patrick Deane
President of the Magna Charta Observatory Governing Council and Chair of the conference




Universities and Re-Construction of Cities: the Role of Research and Education


The Contribution of Research
Ed Brinksma - President of the Executive Board, Erasmus University of Rotterdam, President of the UNIC European University of Post-industrial cities

The Contribution of Education
Rahman Elfihri, Chief of Section Capacity Develompent, and Water Family Coordination (CDW) - Virtual

Reconstruction following situations of Conflict
Brendan O’Malley, Editor of University World News


            Panel Session


            Case studies of universities which have actually contributed to re-construction in different situations/locations including natural disasters, pandemics, etc
The purpose of the session is to share evidence of universities contributing of reconstruction of different types and in different ways to inspire ideas


Moderator: Ivan Pacheco, MCO ambassador and Research Fellow Boston College Boston, USA

Case from USA – To focus on the reconstruction of the region of the Rust Belt that experienced industrial decline starting in the 1950s.
John C. Austin, Former President, Michigan State Board of Education

Case from Europe – To focus on post-floods reconstruction in Emilia-Romagna
Gian Luca Morini, University of Bologna, Italy

Case from Asia - To focus on attention paid to the Sustainable Development Goals
Pornchai Mongkhonvanit, President, Siam University, Thailand


Briefing for afternoon session:
            David Lock, MCO Secretary General of the Magna Charta Observatory



3 World Café Sessions


World Café Topics and partners



1                     Student Perspectives on engaging with society and reconstruction:
- Student essay competition winners to present and discuss their essays on student involvement in universities serving society;
- Global Students’ Forum - student involvement in reconstruction
- Students engaging with society as part of their programmes
(Session led by GSF and ESU)
Host: Peter Kwasi Kodjie, Secretary General, All-Africa Students’ Union
Rapporteur: Julia Berruezo, Research Assistant, Magna Charta Observatory

Room 0.5 downstairs


This will operate as a single session from 14.45 to 17.15 approx although participants may join and leave the session as they wish.


2                    European Universities and the creation of a truly European innovative ecosystem of post-industrial cities
Host: Peter Scholten – Professor, Erasmus University Rotterdam - UNIC
Rapporteur: Ivan Pacheco, Research Fellow, Center for International Higher Education. Boston College, USA


3                    Building back sustainably: University engagement with the Sustainable Development Goals for research and teaching for reconstruction
Host: Hilligje van’t Land, Secretary General, International Association of Universities
Rapporteur: Martine Rahier, member of the MCO Governing Council
(Session with IAU)


4                    Building Equity and Fairness into reconstruction activities (with special reference to Gender)
Host: Cristina Demaria, Vice-Rector Alma Mater Studiorum – Università di Bologna, Italy
Rapporteur: Ella Ritchie, Emeritus Vice-Rector, Newcastle University, UK


5                    Including Values in leadership training for staff and students
Hosts: Martina Darmanin, Member of the MCO Governing Council & Professor John Davies, MCO Ambassador
Rapporteur: Martina Darmanin, Member of the MCO Governing Council


6                    Magna Charta Observatory – have your say on its future strategy
Host: Patrick Deane, President of the MCO Governing Council

Rapporteur: David Lock, Secretary General, Magna Charta Observatory


7                     Living your Values: the MCO’s Living Values Project
Host:  Mandla Makhanya, Worclaw Medical University, Poland and representative(s) from pilot sites
Rapporteur: Caroline Parker, MCO Ambassador


8                    University and realization of social function: Life-Long Learning and interaction with local authorities, business and civil society.
Host: Tetiana Oriekhova, Dean, Vasyl` Stus Donetsk National University
Rapporteur: Anna Osmolovska, Deputy Director, Educational Academy "UAdvise", Ukraine


9                    The role of digitally enhanced education in enhancing the resilience of a HEI and a university community
Host: Oksana Zamora, PhD, associate professor, International Economic Relations Department, Sumy State University
Rapporteur: Marcelo Knobel, Member of the MCO Governing Council


10                Supporting students: experience of Polish universities
Hosts: Marcin Palys – Member of the MCO Governing Council & Kevin Lewicki - President of the Students' Parliament of the Republic of Poland
Rapporteur: Giga Zedania, Member of the MCO Governing Council


1930  Conference gala dinner



Wednesday 25 October 2023

Ceremony for the signature of the Magna Charta Universitatum MCU2020

10.00 – 12.00

Waclaw Schubert’s Assembly Hall


Europe at a crossroads. Also a challenge for our universities

Herman Van Rompuy - Former President of the European Council (DHC University of Lodz)


Signature of the Magna Charta Universitatum MCU2020


Signature of Memorandum of Understanding with the Global Student Forum


Presentation of Certificates to winners of MCO Student essay competition 


Rite of passage  

Launch of the 2024 Anniversary celebration


Concluding remarks

Patrick Deane, President of the Magna Charta Observatory Council

Professor Elżbieta Żądzińska, Rector of the University of Lodz




The Ceremony will be held in English







John Austin directs the Michigan Economic Center a center for ideas and network-building to advance Michigan’s economic transformation.  He also serves as a Non-Resident Senior Fellow with the Brookings Institution, the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, and is a Research Fellow with the Upjohn Institute where he leads these organizations efforts to support economic transformation in the American Midwest and in the industrial heartlands of Western democracies.  Mr. Austin also Lectures on the Economy at the University of Michigan. Previously he served 16 years in elected service on the Michigan State Board of Education, serving as President for six years. Austin received his Master’s in Public Administration from Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, and a Bachelors from Swarthmore College in Economics & Political Science, with High Honors and Phi Beta Kappa.




Ed Brinksma (1957) is President of the university’s Executive Board since 1 September 2020. In that capacity he is responsible for general governance issues, among which the relationship with the Supervisory Board, the university’s strategy and strategic policy and international affairs. In addition, he creates and maintains contact with external parties including government departments and agencies, the business community and other knowledge institutions.
Ed Brinksma was President of Hamburg University of Technology (TUHH). As Chair of the Presidium he has primarily worked on the development and implementation of TUHH’s growth strategy and its strategic cooperation with other universities and research institutes in the Hamburg metropolitan area. In the period 2009-2016, Brinksma served as Rector Magnificus at the University of Twente (UT) where he still is appointed as Professor of Computer Science (Formal Methods of Embedded Systems). While at UT, Brinksma was a strong proponent for seeking and establishing cooperation and connection between technical and social sciences and the humanities as a requirement for solving societal issues (High Tech, Human Touch). He was instrumental in establishing the ATLAS University College. 
Brinksma studied Mathematics at Groningen University (1982) and was awarded a Doctorate in Computer Science by the University of Twente in 1988. He served as Dean of UT’s Faculty of Computer Science from 1995 to 1997 and served as Academic Director of the Embedded Systems Institute and Professor of Computer Science at Eindhoven University of Technology (2005-2008). In addition, Brinksma was an adjoint professor at Aalborg University.



Łukasz Bogucki is full professor of English linguistics and translation studies at University of Lodz. He holds the position of Vice-Rector for International Relations and Head of the Department of Translation Studies and Language Pedagogy. Previously, he was Head of the Institute of English Studies. Łukasz Bogucki is also a researcher in the field of audiovisual translation and translation/interpreting studies. He coordinates the operation of University of Lodz within the European University of Cities in Post-Industrial Transition (UNIC) alliance. Łukasz Bogucki is the founder of Intermedia, a Polish research group, and co-editor of the Peter Lang series Łódź Studies in Language. Over the years, he collaborated on the creation of the peer-reviewed international Journal of Specialised Translation. Since joining academia in 1993, he has been involved in popularising and developing translation studies (later audiovisual translation studies) as a university discipline. His scientific interests include audio-visual and computer-assisted translation, as well as theory and methodology of translation and interpreting.


Emeritus Professor John L. Davies has a career which includes senior institutional management and international research, consultancy and teaching in the field of higher education policy and management.  He has been since 2000 a Visiting Professor of Higher Education Management at the International Centre for Higher Education Management at Bach University (and one of the founders of the DBA) and also the Copenhagen Business School.  He has been Pro Vice Chancellor (Research and Enterprise) at Anglia Ruskin University, and has also been Dean of the Anglia Business School and Dean of the Graduate School at Anglia; and Pro Vice Chancellor (Quality and Organisation Development) at La Trobe University, Australia.
He has been one of the leading commentators on European higher education management for many years and has been a Consultant with the OECD, the European Rectors Conference (EUA), UNESCO, Soros Foundation, World Bank and the European Commission.  He has undertaken numerous strategic consultancy projects in higher education in 60 countries including Brazil, UK, India, Australia, Netherlands, Argentina, Finland, Sweden, Italy, South Africa, New Zealand, Russia and Denmark.  His recent projects are in the Republic of Ireland, Kazakhstan, Iraq, Pakistan, Sweden and with the Vatican and Magna Charta Observatory for Universities.
He is very active internationally as a leader, author and team member of strategic audits/reviews of universities especially with the EUA Institutional Evaluation Project; the International Quality Review Project undertaken jointly by EUA, OECD (IMHE) and ACA; the Salzburg Seminar’s Visiting Adviser Programme and latterly with the Australian Universities Quality Agency, the Lithuanian Quality Agency and the Bahrain HE Review Unit.  
He has been active nationally and internationally in establishing flagship higher education leadership and management programmes for universities in UK, Europe, Latin America and Australia.
He has authored 80 plus international strategic review reports.  His main consultancy, publications and research interests for international, intergovernmental, national, government and HE organisations have been focused on various strands of strategic university development, including internationalisation, strategic planning and quality assurance, the regional role of universities, institutional mergers and reconfigurations, and legislation for Higher Education reform.  He is also currently active in the field of Living Values at institutional, national and global levels in the University sector.



Principal and Vice-Chancellor, Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada
Patrick Deane became the 21st Principal and Vice-Chancellor of Queen's University on July 1, 2019. He is the former President and Vice-Chancellor of McMaster University, a position he held for nine years. Prior to that he served as Vice-Principal (Academic) at Queen's and also held a number of academic administrative appointments at Western University and the University of Winnipeg. Dr. Deane is a Professor of English Literature, with his principal research focus being the relationship between cultural production and British politics in the first half of the Twentieth Century. He read English and Law at the University of Witwatersrand, South Africa, before undertaking graduate studies and receiving both an M.A. and a Ph.D. in English Literature from Western University. Dr. Deane was the first recipient of the John Charles Polanyi Prize for Literature in 1988, and was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012.
He is President of the Governing Council. His mandate as President started on June 13th 2021.
His mandate as Governing Council member started on March 14th, 2019 and his first mandate will expire the 13th March, 2023.



Former President, European Students' Union (ESU), Brussels
Martina Darmanin held the office of President in the European Students Union (ESU) between 2021-2022, Vice-President in 2020 and Human Rights Coordinator between 2019 - 2020. Her portfolio at ESU focused on equitable access to education, academic freedom, student agency in education governance and international cooperation on education. She is currently the Vice-President of the Lifelong Learning Platform (LLLP) and has represented the international youth and student constituency in the Global Campaign for Education (GCE) between 2020-2022. She has been active as an elected student leader on the local level through the Malta Health Students’ Association as well as the national level through Malta’s University Student Council prior to her European engagement. Martina’s academic background is in the field of Health Sciences and holds a Master of Science degree by research in Food Studies and Environmental Health from the University of Malta. Her M.Sc. research was conducted in partnership with the Leibniz Institute of Agricultural Engineering and Bio-economy e.V. (ATB) in Potsdam, Germany.
Her mandate as Governing Council member started on September 16th, 2022 and her first mandate will expire the 15th September, 2026




Ernesto Fabbri is a 24-year-old Italian student who lives near Bologna and deals with Brand Management.
He has a bachelor's double degree (UniBO & UniRSM) in Communication Sciences and Digital Media Marketing. At the moment Fabbri is finishing a master's degree in Strategy Fashion Management (UniBO). He recently took part in, and obtained, the I.S.M. International Business Certificate during an Erasmus period in Germany, at I.S.M. University (International School of Management).
At the moment Fabbri is participating in a Summer School of UniFE "International School in Circular Economy: Project Management". He is Manager for the FAST team of ZoneModa UniBO (https://zonemoda.unibo.it/ernesto-fabbri-fast zonemoda-team/ online article). Ernesto Fabbri has a Start-Up, (business idea), with UniBO for the Start-Up Day call and StudENT for Africa, to develop a sustainable entrepreneurship project, in terms of climate, energy and also social responsibility in Kenya (https://change-makers.cloud/spine-la-startup-che-vuole-coltivare-il-fico-dindia-in-kenya-per creare-similpelle-sostenibile/ online journal article). Fabbri is also Student Ambassador for the University of Bologna.
Ernesto has been working in the Marketing and Communication field for some time: creating and promoting strategic contents, to generate awareness for various products and projects. To continue his studies and his academic career, Ernesto plans to take part in a PhD in Management or Marketing.
His main fields of interest and research are: Management, Marketing, Customer analytics and data-driven marketing, Consumer behavior, Branding, Creativity, Sustainability and corporate social responsibility, Strategy and competitive dynamics, Strategy and innovation … For more information, Ernesto leaves you his LinkedIn and invite you to connect with him: www.linkedin.com/in/ernestofabbri/



Polina Hombalevska is originally from the Northern part of Ukraine, city Chernihiv. In 2018 she entered Taras Shevchenko National University “Chernihiv Colehium” to complete a bachelor degree in Computer Sciences. During her studies at the University she became an expert of National Agency for Higher Education Quality Assurance of Ukraine in 2019. After graduation which was after the full-scale invasion of Russia on Ukraine’s territories she decided to continue studying in Ukraine and entered Ukrainian Catholic University (Lviv, Ukraine) for her master’s degree in “Non-profit management”.
While studying, she was an active participant in various processes for developing of Ukrainian higher education area, promoting student-centered learning and helping student activists. From the 1st of July she took the position of the President of Ukrainian Association of Students – the national students’ union of Ukraine, which unites more than 150 local students’ unions of higher educational institutions all over Ukraine. Its responsibility is to represent students on the national and international levels because UAS is a full member of the European Students’ Union. Thus, she has been a delegate for the ESU Board almost for a year. 



Marcelo Knobel is a Full Professor of Physics and he was the 12th Rector of the University of Campinas (Unicamp), in Brazil, institution to which he has been linked for more than three decades.
After obtaining both his bachelor’s and his PhD degrees in Physics from Unicamp, Knobel spent some time in Italy and Spain as a postdoctoral researcher. He joined Unicamp again upon his return to Brazil, but this time as a faculty member. Prior to becoming Rector, Knobel held several leadership roles at Unicamp. He was the first Executive Director of the Unicamp Exploratory Science Museum and served as Vice-Rector for Undergraduate Programs, just to mention a few examples. While in this last position, he was responsible for implementing an innovative interdisciplinary program, named ProFIS, which combines social inclusion with general higher education. This initiative gained him the 2013 Peter Muranyí Prize in Education.
Knobel held other important roles outside of Unicamp as well, including Vice-President of the Brazilian Physics Society and Executive Director of the Brazilian Nanotechnology National Laboratory (LNNano) at the Brazilian Center for Research in Energy and Materials (CNPEM). He is currently a member of the CNPEM Board of Directors.
A researcher with a strong interest in science dissemination and higher education studies, Knobel has already published more than 250 scientific papers, in addition to numerous opinion pieces in both national and international newspapers and magazines. He is the editor-in-chief of the Journal of Magnetism and Magnetic Materials (Elsevier), and he was editor-in-chief of Ciência & Cultura, a science and technology magazine published by the Brazilian Society for the Progress of Science (SBPC) during 10 years.
Knobel is an Eisenhower Fellow (2007), Fellow of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation (2009) and Lemann Fellow (2015). His mandate as Governing Council member started on June 14th, 2021 and will expire the 13th of June 2025.




Pamela Eyre Victoria R. Lira is a fresh Cum Laude graduate of Bachelor of Science in Geology at the University of the Philippines Diliman. In 2022, she received UP Diliman’s Gawad Tsanselor sa Natatanging Mag-aaral, the highest, most prestigious University award given to students who attained a high level of academic accomplishment, demonstrated good leadership, and exemplified honor and excellence in the service of the people. Pamela was also a member of various student organizations namely: UP Geological Society, UP Cwm Zena'na, Maroon FM, and currently the Storytelling Lead for the Youth Strike 4 Climate PH where she amplifies the call for “science for the people''. Asides from promoting her advocacies, she is a passionate writer of essays, fiction etc. with published journals on entrepreneurship education under her name.




Magna Charta Observatory Secretary General
David Lock has had a varied career in international higher education and university leadership.
As Director of International Projects at the UK’s Leadership Foundation for Higher Education, David was responsible for instigating and delivering projects with over 30 different countries, some at Governmental level. Projects have included major programmes for Rectors and Ministry Officials to implement national HE reform and autonomy strategies over several years and building partnerships between universities in different countries.
Until October 2007 David was the founding Registrar and Acting Chief Executive of the British University in Dubai where he structured, built and then led the University following its legal creation by the Ruler of Dubai as a not-for-profit provider of Higher Education to UK standards.
Prior to going to Dubai David was Secretary to the University of Huddersfield and Registrar and Secretary to the University of Hull in the UK for a total of 14 years. A teacher and Chartered Secretary by background, David has served on a number of international bodies and undertaken a range of consultancy assignments including international development and UK HE governance projects. He is Chairman of the Gulf Education Conference and serves on the International Advisory Committee of the British Council.
He has been appointed Secretary General of the Magna Charta Observatory in September 2014.




Former Rector, University of Warsaw, Poland
Born on December 5th, 1964, in Warsaw. Graduated in chemistry from the University of Warsaw in 1987, then earned PhD in chemistry from University of Twente (Netherlands) in 1992. followed by "habilitation" in 2005 from University of Warsaw. Since 1995 working in University of Warsaw, first as researcher, and from 2010 as professor in the Faculty of Chemistry. His scientific interest covers research on transport phenomena in electrochemical structures; modelling of chemical processes on phase boundaries; and use of AI tools in electrochemical studies. He is a member of International Society of Electrochemistry.From 2008 till 2012 served as Vice-rector of University of Warsaw (portfolio: development and financial policy). In 2012 elected Rector of the University of Warsaw for the term 2012-2016, and then re-elected for the second term (2016-2020, finished on August 31, 2020). In that period University of Warsaw designed and implemented multi-annual development plan, co-established 4EU+ European University Alliance and was awarded Polish Excellence Initiative multiannual grant.
Marcin Pałys actively participated in the work of Polish rectors conference CRASP, serving as a chair of Standing Committee on Organization and Legislation (2014-2020), and a member of CRASP Committee on Strategic Problems of Higher Education (2016-2020). Currently, as a former rector, he chairs the CRASP Group for European Networks of Universities. He also served as vice-chair (2012-2016) of the network of Polish comprehensive universities.
For a number of years he participated in activities of European University Association, in groups devoted to funding and - later - to innovation ecosystems. In 2019 he was elected as a member of the EUA Board for the term 2019-2023.His mandate as Governing Council member started on November 19th, 2020 and his first mandate will expire on November 18th, 2024.




Professor Caroline Parker is Assistant Vice Principal Values at Glasgow Caledonian University and coordinator of its successful Values project. She has a first degree in Psychology and over 25 years research experience in applied Human Factors. Her work on values and staff engagement began in 2014 prior to which she held a range of posts within the University’s Senior Management Team. 
Caroline has been an MCO Ambassador since 2018. She co-designed and co-led the successful 2017 GCU/MCO Workshop on Fundamental and Institutional Values in Practice; supported the development of the MCO Living Values support materials and has contributed to several of the MCO’s Living Values practical guides. She is in the process of co-authoring an e-book on GCU’s Values project experiences.
Since taking on leadership of GCU’s Values initiative Caroline has delivered a range of mechanisms for embedding the institutional Values including a Behaviours Framework which is now being used to underpin a wide range of organisational activities from recruitment, induction, personal development, appraisal, team development and management training. In recent years she has worked on embedding the GCU Values within the universities Staff Engagement monitoring process, Rewards and Recognition policy and Academic Career Pathway and Promotions process. 



Former Rector University of Neuchatel
Originally from Belgium, and mother of one, Martine Rahier holds an Engineering degree in Agronomy from the Free University of Brussels (1977). She continued her studies in the USA at the Universities of Cornell and Berkeley, and obtained a PhD in Science from the University of Basel in 1983, and “Habilitation” in Ecology from the University of Zurich in 1993.
Granted a professorship by the Swiss National Science Foundation in 1988, she became a Professor of Entomology and Animal Ecology at the University of Neuchâtel in 1994. In 2001, she founded the “Plant Survival” National Centre of Competence in Research (NCCR), a network comprising more than 200 people.
In 2008, she was elected rector of the University of Neuchâtel ending in August 2016.
Martine Rahier has been a member of several national and international university committees, from appointment commissions to committees designing study programs in various universities; she has also been president and member of committees assessing research programs and projects, as well as of scientific associations. Author of numerous publications, she has also supervised a large number of doctoral theses. Martine Rahier was a member of the Rectors’ Conference of Swiss Universities (2008-2016) and president (2013-2015) of the “swissuniversities”.She is member of the German accreditation council since 2013, vice-president of European University Association since 2015, member of the council of the Agency for Quality Assurance and Accreditation Austria since 2017, and board member of WWF Switzerland since 2017.
Her mandate as Governing Council member started on October 18th ,2019 and her first mandate will expire on October 17th, 2023.




Chief of Section, Capacity Development and Water Family Coordination, UNESCO-IHP
Dr. Rahmah Elfithri is an environmental scientist and sustainable water resources management specialist, currently hold a post as Chief of Section for Capacity Development and Water Family Coordination (CDW) in the Division of Water Sciences (HYD), Intergovernmental Hydrological Programme (IHP), UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, France. She is responsible for Ecohydrology, Water Quality and Water Education related activities in UNESCO. Prior to joining UNESCO, she worked at the Global Water Partnership Southeast Asia (GWP-SEA) as Deputy Regional Coordinator (2021-2022) and at the Institute for Environment and Development (LESTARI) within the National University of Malaysia (UKM) as Visiting Professor (2019-2021); Senior Lecturer/Senior Research Fellow (2009-2019); Lecturer/Research Fellow (2007-2009) and has more than 15 years research and academic experience especially in the field of water, environment and sustainable development. She has published more than 300 publications in the form of journals, books/chapter in books, proceedings, etc. She is bringing a wealth of experience on ecohydrology, sustainability science, IWRM, water education and capacity development, watershed and community-based water management and multi-stakeholders’ water partnership at various levels. 



Ella Ritchie is a Professor of Politics and Emerita Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Newcastle University UK. She is currently Deputy Chair of the Board of Lancaster University. She has had a long involvement with developing the European Higher Education Area and is currently a member of the EHEA Co-Ordination Group on Global Policy Dialogue.




Professor Mandla Stanley Makhanya served as a Principal and Vice Chancellor of the University of South Africa (UNISA) from 01 January 2011 until 31 December 2020. Prior to being appointed as a Principal and Vice Chancellor, he was a Pro Vice Chancellor at the same university. He is a prominent proponent of higher education leadership and advocacy. Professor Makhanya has recently been appointed as an Ambassador of Magna Charta Observatory. He is past President of the International Council for Distance Education (ICDE). He served two terms as a Treasurer of the African Council for Distance Education (ACDE) and he is now their Goodwill Ambassador. Professor Makhanya also served as a President of the Higher Education Teaching and Learning Association (HETL). As such he has a thorough knowledge of higher education trends in both the developing and developmental higher education contexts. 
Professor Makhanya has always been firmly of the view that the humanities and the sciences are mutually inclusive and that the one will not achieve its full potential without the other. As an internationally acknowledged leader and scholar in distance education and a sociologist by training, Professor Makhanya is qualified to justify and advance this view.



Rector, Alma Mater Studiorum - Università di Bologna
Born in Bologna in 1973. Full professor in Agricultural Machinery and Mechanisation at the University of Bologna since 2016, Associate professor from 2010 to 2016 and researcher from 2000 to 2010. PhD in Materials Engineering at the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia. He is qualified to practice as an engineer and has a degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Bologna.
His research activity mainly focused on issues in designing agricultural machines and testing the reliability of agricultural tractors, in particular accelerated tests for the structural verification of such machines and their transmissions. In addition, he dealt with tillage machines, crop harvesters and machines for animal husbandry, as well as the use of biomass to produce energy.
He has coordinated national projects, acted as a scientific supervisor in numerous research agreements with companies, and authored more than 150 manuscripts, 53 of which published in journals indexed on Scopus. He was editor-in-chief of the Journal of Agricultural Engineering from 2014 to 2018, where he was managing editor for the 2006-2014 period; he oversaw its switch to English, its transition to open access and its indexing first in Scopus and then on the Web of Science.
At the University, he was Deputy Head of the Department of Agricultural and Food Sciences of the University of Bologna from 2015 to 2018. After a single department of agriculture was established, he was the director for three years from 2018 to 2021, and was then reconfirmed in this role for the following three-year period. From 2018 to 2021, he was a member of the Academic Senate of the University of Bologna and a member of the university’s human resources committee.
He is the President of the Magna Charta Observatory.
His mandate as Governing Council member started on November 1st, 2021 and will expire on October 31st, 2027.




President, Siam University
President Emeritus, International Association of University president (IAUP)
Former Vice President, International Association of Universities (IAU)
Executive Director, ACD-University Network 

Pornchai Mongkhonvanit is the current president of Siam University. He is the Executive Director of the Asia Cooperation Dialogue University Network (ACD-UN). He is the former First Vice President and former Chair of the Higher Education for Sustainable Development Cluster of the International Association of Universities (IAU). He is also the President Emeritus of the International Association of University Presidents (IAUP) and the former President of the Association of Private Higher Education Institutions of Thailand (APHEIT) under the patronage of Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn. Pornchai is also a former president of the Thailand Chapter of Phi Delta Kappa.                        
He has been recognized as a Notable Prominent Alumnus in Education of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he earned his postgraduate degree in finance, investment, and banking. He received his undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering from Kasetsart University in Bangkok, Thailand. He studied and received the degree of the National Defense College of Thailand. In addition, he participated in the Institute for Educational Management at the Graduate School of Education at Harvard University.
Serving as President of Siam University, he provides strategic vision and leadership on Internationalization and Innovation which make Siam University become the only Private University in Thailand that has been Categorized as university that focus on Technology and Innovation by Ministry of Higher Education, Science, Research and Innovation. Currently Siam University become International hub of Education in the District with the International student body of over 1000 from more than 42 Counties. 
Recognized as an expert on higher education strategy, emphasizing sustainable relationships between universities and industry, Pornchai received the Medal of Honor from the International Association of University Presidents (IAUP) and Kyung Hee University, South Korea. Pornchai has also received honorary professorships from the Autonomous University of Guadalajara, Mexico, and Guizhou University, China; Pornchai has been honored with the Ph.D. Honoris Causa from the Angeles University Foundation, Philippines; the University of Cordilleras, the Philippines' Women’s University; and Asia e-University in Malaysia. He has also received the distinguished alumni award from Saint Gabriel College and Kasetsart University.



Gian Luca Morini is Full Professor of Applied Thermal Engineering at the University of Bologna since 2012. He is Head of the Applied Thermal Engineering Laboratory of the Department of Industrial Engineering (DIN). From 2021 he is Deputy Rector for buildings of the University of Bologna. From 2008 to 2023 he was Local Scientific leader of 3 European Projects (FP7-GASMEMS, H2020-MIGRATE, H2020-Hybrid BioVGE). He is Member of AICARR (Association of Italian Air Conditioning Systems and Refrigeration), UIT (Italian Union of Thermal Fluid-dynamics), Italian delegate of EUROTHERM Committee and of the Scientific Council of International Center of Heat and Mass Transfer (ICHMT). His main research interests deal with microfluidics, heat exchangers, heat pumps and HVAC systems. He is author of more than 200 technical papers appeared on the most important International Journal and Conferences related to the Thermal Engineering and Heat Transfer.




Tetyana Oriekhova began her teaching career at Donetsk State University in 1998. From 1998 till present, she has been holding following positions: Associate Professor and Professor of the Department of International Economics, Head of the Department of International Business and Applied Economics, Head of the Department of International Economic Relations, Vice-Rector for Scientific and Pedagogical Activities and International Relations, Dean of the Faculty of Economics. In 2008, she successfully defended her doctoral dissertation on the topic "Transnationalization of economic systems in the context of global integration" and was awarded the scientific degree of a Doctor of Economic Sciences in the specialty 08.00.02 - World Economy and International Economic Relations. In 2011, she was awarded the academic title of a Professor.
Tetyana Oriekhova is a well-known professional researcher in the field of researching the issues of international competitiveness of regions, Ukraine’s integration into global economic environment, globalization and sustainable development, transnationalization of economic systems, circular economy, smart economy, green investments, reforming higher education of Ukraine. She is an Honorary Doctor of D.A. Tsenov Academy of Economics (Svishtov, Bulgaria) and a member of the UN PRME Working Group on Poverty, a Challenge for Management Education.
Professor Tetyana Oriekhova is an academician of the Academy of Higher Education of Ukraine and board member of the All-Ukrainian Association of International Economists, a member of the editorial boards of 3 specialized scientific journals in Ukraine and 1 scientific publication in Poland: "International Economic Policy", "Journal of European Economics", "Economics and Management Organization", " STUDY OECONOMICA POSNANIENSIA (SOEP)".Tetyana Oriekhova actively works to increase the scientific potential of Ukraine: she is the Head of the Scientific School of International Economic Relations at Vasyl’ Stus Donetsk National University. 




Anna Osmolovska, PhD in Political Science, Ukraine.Until 2023 Ms. Osmolovska served as Director of the Educational and Scientific Institute for Academic Potential Development in Vasyl` Stus Donetsk National University (Vinnytsia, Ukraine) and Senior Lecturer at the Department of Political Science and Public Administration. 
Since 2023 she has been working as Deputy Director on a new academic project – Educational Academy “UAdvise”.
Participant of international academic mobility programs in leading universities: Cardiff Metropolitan University (UK), Central European University (Austria, Hungary), Masaryk University (Czech Republic), Mykolas Romeris University (Lithuania).Coordinator of international projects supported by the International Renaissance Foundation, British Council, Fulbright Program, USAID, Delegation of the European Union to Ukraine.Participant of the project "Innovative University and Leadership. Phase VI: Models of Academic Autonomy and University in the Lifelong Learning System" at the University of Warsaw (Poland) and Jagiellonian University (Poland). Author of more than 20 scientific publications, educational and methodological recommendations; developer of trainings on project management and internationalization of higher education institutions, as well as trainings for schoolchildren of EuroClubs of Ukraine.
Co-author of the world's first Ukrainian-language version of the Magna Charta Universitatum 2020.Co-author of the All-Ukrainian training program for PhD`s supervisors “Innovative scientific supervisor”.
Field of scientific and professional interests: international relations and public diplomacy, external and internal image of the state, national interests of Ukraine, internationalization of higher education, project activity, development of educational institutions.




Brendan O’Malley is a freelance journalist and editor in chief of University World News, the global higher education news and commentary platform/online publication. 
He is also an international consultant who has worked with UN agencies and INGOs on education and development issues, including the impact of conflict on education and vice versa. 
He was author of the first two global studies on violent political and military attacks on education institutions, students, teachers, academics and personnel for UNESCO (Education under Attack 2007 and 2010) and lead researcher of the third such global study (Education under Attack 2014) for the Global Coalition to Prevent Attacks on Education (GCPEA).
The reports played a role in catalysing UN agencies and INGOs to put attacks on education on their agenda and persuade the UN Security Council to give monitoring and reporting of attacks on schools a higher priority in its Monitoring and Reporting Mechanism for listing and potentially sanctioning parties to conflict who carry out violations against children in armed conflict.
He has researched in and reported from numerous conflict-affected countries and is co-author of an investigative documentary book on the impact of US and UK military interests on the Cyprus problem, The Cyprus Conspiracy: America, Espionage and the Turkish Invasion (IB Taurus 1999) which was shortlisted for the Orwell Prize and was a Guardian Book of the Year. 
He is a member of the non-partisan UK parliamentary group, Friends of Cyprus, which seeks a peaceful bicommunal settlement of the Cyprus problem and has been involved in track 2 efforts to build confidence in mutual cooperation and peace in Cyprus through education initiatives.




Ivan F. Pacheco is a Research Fellow at the Center for International Higher Education at Boston College (USA). With a background in international research and consultancy, Dr. Pacheco is a renowned expert in the field of higher education policy and management, particularly in the areas of quality assurance, assessment, and higher education compliance. 
Dr. Pacheco has over 20 years of experience in higher education, policymaking/implementation, and program development/evaluation. He possesses extensive international experience and has successfully led international teams and fostered collaboration in various projects worldwide, with a particular focus on Latin America. Ivan played a pivotal role in defining a quality assurance system for higher education in Colombia, which remains in operation to this day. He has worked as a consultant to the World Bank on numerous projects in countries such as Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, and Peru. Moreover, he has held positions as the Director of Quality Assurance for Higher Education at the Colombian Ministry of National Education. He is the founder and president of Qualipliance, a company dedicated to assisting higher education institutions in improving their quality assurance and compliance processes. He also serves as the editor of ESAL (Revista de Educación Superior en América Latina) a semiannual publication on Latin American higher education issues.
Dr. Pacheco holds a PhD in higher education from Boston College, master’s degrees in Higher Education administration from Boston College and Sociology of Law from the International Institute for the Sociology of Law (Spain), an undergraduate degree in Law from the Universidad Externado de Colombia.



Jayson Pasaol is a research-oriented Doctoral student at Wroclaw University of Environmental and Life Sciences, Poland, specializing in Comparative and Veterinary Oncology. His groundbreaking research focuses on developing a novel therapeutic approach using PARPi drugs to combat veterinary cancer, with a long-term vision of translating and applying this knowledge to benefit humans.
Beyond his dedication to scientific inquiry, Jayson is an ardent advocate for international students, fostering a sense of unity and cooperation among diverse cultures. His commitment to creating a supportive and inclusive research environment extends beyond borders, making him a valued international student advocate.Jayson's pursuit of innovative solutions for veterinary and human cancer underscores his dedication to making a meaningful impact in the world of oncology. His unique blend of scientific excellence and a passion for global collaboration makes him a driving force in both academia and fostering a compassionate community. As he aspires to bridge the gap between research and application, Jayson exemplifies the spirit of a forward-thinking scholar, working towards a better future for all.



President of the European Council emeritus
Elected as the first full-time President of the European Council in November 2009, Herman Van Rompuy took office when the Lisbon Treaty came into force on 1 December 2009. In 2012, he was re-elected for a second (and last) term starting on 1 June 2012 and running until 30 November 2014.
At the time of his first election, Herman Van Rompuy was Prime Minister of Belgium. Prior to that he had served in Belgium as Speaker of the House of Representatives (2007-2008) and in several government positions, including as Secretary of State for Finance and Small Businesses (1988) and Vice-Prime Minister and Minister of Budget (1993-1999). His is Minister of State (since 2004). 
A former economist at the National Bank of Belgium, Herman Van Rompuy began his political career in 1973 as national vice-president of his party’s youth movement. He was president of the Flemish Christian Democrats (1988-1993). He served in the Belgian Parliament, in turn as Senator (1988-1995) and Member of the House of Representatives (1995-2009).
Herman Van Rompuy holds a Bachelor in Philosophy, and a Master in Economics from the university K.U. Leuven.
He was born in Etterbeek (Brussels), on 31 October 1947, and is married with Geertrui Windels; they have four children and nine grandchildren.
He is now professor at the KU Leuven. He teached at the UC Louvain, SciencePo in Paris and the College of Europe (Bruges and Natolin).
He was the President of the European Policy Centre (2015-2022). 
He is president of the Administrative Council of the College of Europe. 
King Philip granted him the noble title of count in 2015.



Peter Scholten is full professor in the Governance of Migration and Diversity at Erasmus University Rotterdam, with an LDE double appointment at Leiden University. Also he is director of the Leiden-Delft-Erasmus Research Center on the Governance of Migration and Diversity. His main research interest is how societies respond to growing social complexity, with a specific interest for migration and migration-related diversity. Also, Peter is alliance coordinator of the European University of Post-Industrial Cities (UNIC), which is an alliance of ten universities from all over Europe working together to boost mobility, joint research, educational innovation and impact. 




Stefanova Slobodian Diana Denisivna was born on October 5, 2002 in the city of Moscow, Russian Federation. She is a citizen of Ukraine.
In 2006, she has moved with her family to the village of Bonduri, Gaysyn district, Vinnytsia region. From 2008 to 2019, she studied at a local school there.
In 2019, Diana Stefanova entered the Uman State Pedagogical University named after Pavlo Tychyna at the faculty of preschool and special education.
In 2023, she started a master's degree at the Uman State Pedagogical University.



Maksym Svysenko, age 22. Co-founder and chairman of the Congress of the Ukrainian Students League, the largest student organization in Ukraine. Lawyer at the international law firm Kinstellar. Coordinator of the national program Statebuilder by the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine. Graduate of the National University of Kyiv Mohyla Academy with a degree in law, Dnipro University of Technology with a degree in accounting and taxation, and the Military Institute of Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv with a degree in social psychology.




Secretary General, International Association of Universities (IAU)
Dr. Hilligje van’t Land serves the global higher education community as Secretary General of the International Association of Universities (IAU) - global NGO with UNESCO Associate Status. For the past two decades, she has fostered the key role of higher education in societal transformation. She supervises the overall programme activities of the IAU, develops the Association’s strategic plans and oversees the everyday work of the secretariat. She positioned the IAU as partner in UNESCO work on Education for sustainable development and in the UNESCO Futures of Education initiative, and higher education as a key stakeholder for the UN Agenda 2030 – Transforming our world. Hilligje van’t Land strongly believes in the importance of international cooperation and intercultural understanding and has developed multilateral projects related higher education and beyond. Hilligje van’t Land holds a PhD in comparative francophone literature, speaks six languages and published on higher education issues of relevance locally and globally. Learn more on recent publications and conferences.



Christina Williams, a proud Jamaican, has numerous academic qualifications in International Relations, Policy, and Law. She currently attends the Norman Manley Law School where she is the President of their Human Rights Council. However, aside from being a student, Christina has been an active champion of education development, having served on numerous student-led bodies as well as government and international boards/task forces. She served the largest student population in the English-speaking Caribbean during the onset of the COVID 19 pandemic and her successful interventions earned her a global award alongside leaders like Greta Thunberg in 2021. She later transitioned to becoming the first female President of her country’s tertiary student union helping to produce landmark policies which helped her to attain the Princess Diana Award for 2023. Christina is also a contributing author to the Harvard University literary project : Bloomsbury Handbook of Student Politics and Representation in Higher Education which is set to be published later this year




Mychailo Wynnyckyj is the Deputy Minister of Education and Science of Ukraine, responsible for higher education since 2023. 
He was awarded Master and PhD degrees from University of Cambridge – Sidney Sussex College (United Kingdom), Faculty of Social and Political Sciences. Until early 2022 Mr. Wynnyckyj served as Head of Secretariat of National Agency for Higher Education Quality Assurance (NAQA) and has been responsible for all operations of NAQA related to accreditation procedures. From 2014 till 2020 he has been an advisor to three Ministers of Education and Science of Ukraine. He worked on drafting regulatory documents related to PhD reform in Ukraine and student mobility, consulted student government leaders of Ukraine’s classical universities. Since 2015 Mr. Wynnyckyj is a Member of Erasmus+ Higher Education Reform Experts Team.
For more than 20 years, he has been working as Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology of the National University "Kyiv-Mohyla Academy", as well as at Kyiv-Mohyla Business School and Lviv Business School of Ukrainian Catholic University. Also, he has served as Vice President for Research and Graduate Studies and Director of Doctoral School in "Kyiv-Mohyla Academy".
Public figure, author of scientific and journalistic publications, consultant on management, organizational development, entrepreneurship, and social networks. His book “Ukraine’s Maidan, Russia’s War: A Chronicle and Analysis of the Revolution of Dignity” was published in English in 2019. 



Oksana Zamora, PhD, is an Associate Professor at the Department of International Economic Relations of Sumy State University (Ukraine). She combines experience in grants-funded projects design and management, as well as in digitally enhanced education in both academic and non-governmental sectors. Ms. Zamora has contributed to the development of the Concept of the Future University of Ukraine by the Ukrainian Institute of Future, working on internationalization issues. She has participated in more than 30 training programs from Erasmus+, Youth in Action, FAP (USA), British Council, and EBRD and since 2015 has participated in a number of projects related to digital skills of youth, adults and refugees. She acts as a chair of the Advisory Board of the “Architecture for Unified Regional and Open digital ecosystems for Rural Areas Large scale application” (AURORAL) project, HORIZON 2020 Programme (2021-2025) and as a reviewer for the “Comunicar” journal (Q1 in Education and Communication in Scopus and WoS, Spain). She serves as a non-formal education trainer for NGOs and international development coach for HEIs.




Former Rector, Ilia State University, Georgia

Giga Zedania was a Rector of Ilia State University (Tbilisi, Georgia) from 2014 to 2022. Before, he served as the Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences and the Head of the Quality Assurance Service at Ilia State University, where he has been teaching first as associate and then as full professor since 2006. He studied philosophy, sociology and cultural studies in Georgia, USA, Hungary and Germany, obtaining his PhD from Ruhr University Bochum. His publications range from European intellectual history to the socio-political transformation of the South Caucasus. He served as the President of Black Sea University Network (2016-2018).
His mandate as Governing Council member started on November 19th, 2020 and his mandate will expire on November 18th, 2024.




Prof. Elżbieta Żądzińska has been associated with the University of Lodz for 25 years. During this period, she went through all the stages of academic career – from research-technical staff member to the Full Professor. She is a graduate of the Faculty of Biology and Earth Science of the University of Lodz. In 1990 she obtained a master's degree in Biology. In 1999 she obtained a doctoral degree in Biological Sciences and in 2005 became a Doctor of Biological Sciences with habilitation. In 2014 President of the Republic of Poland awarded Elżbieta Żądzińska the title of Professor of Biological Sciences. 
Over the years 2005-2008 prof. Elżbieta Żądzińska held the position of the Vice-Dean of the Faculty of Biology and Environmental Protection. From 2008 to 2016 she was the Dean of the Faculty and during the term of 2016-2020 she was the UL Vice-Rector for Research. Since 2020 she has been the Rector of the University of Lodz.
Prof. dr hab. Elżbieta Żądzińska is the Deputy Chairman of the Committee on Organismal Biology of the Polish Academy of Sciences (PAN) for the term 2020-2023, a member of the Commission on Anthropology of the Polish Academy of Arts and Sciences and the President of the Science Committee President of The Conference of Rectors of Academic Schools in Poland (CRASP). Since 2014 prof. Żądzińska has been the Honorary Visiting Research Fellow at School of Medical Sciences University of Adelaide in Australia. In 2008 she was a laureate of NOVUM programme implemented by the Foundation for Polish Science.  
Her main research areas include human biology of contemporary and historical populations, determinants of population stress (secondary sex ratio index, fluctuating asymmetry, abnormal weight-growth ratios) and odontology.