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From 10 to 12 September 2018, VUB hosted the LEAD Project Final Conference which gathered 65 European and Chinese academic leaders and higher education experts.  The conference marked the end of LEAD, an Erasmus+ Capacity Building project focused on academic leadership and university governance in the context of internationalisation, coordinated by VUB.


On the 10th of September, the conference was opened by Eddy Van Gelder, Chairman of VUB University Council, who highlighted the uniqueness of LEAD in facilitating EU-China dialogue and cooperation in the field of university governance and academic leadership. He underlined that academic leaders are now encouraged to lead universities towards greater responsiveness towards the needs of society. The LEAD project was therefore described as key in responding to the needs of understanding, learning, and exchanging experiences of different university governance structures and systems. [read further below picture]

The conference was also attended by VUB Rector, Prof. dr. Caroline Pauwels. In her closing remarks, she congratulated all LEAD partners for the tangible results (trainings, MOOCs, LEAD Book etc.) that were achieved, as well as for the spin-off effects it created (e.g. LEAD China Office). The conference, she underlined, revealed the quality of in-depth peer-to-peer exchanges and discussions which took place through more than 12 events (conferences and workshops), both in Europe and in China. As Rector of the coordinating institution of the project, she particularly thanked the VUB team who worked on the management and implementation of the LEAD project. [read on below picture]

Throughout the three days, the LEAD project final conference allowed participants to come together and share the personal and institutional impact of the LEAD project’s activities and outcomes. The conference was also the occasion to share comparative analysis on university governance, as well as to discuss challenges and needs related to EU-China scholars’ academic leadership development.


What is LEAD?

Initiated in 2015, the LEAD project is an Erasmus+ KA2 Capacity Building Project in the field of Higher Education supported by the European Commission.  Coordinated by VUB, LEAD brings together 5 European partners and 5 Chinese partners, together with 10 associated partners from Europe and China.

The project aims to strengthen cooperation and enhance the capacity of EU and Chinese higher education institutions in governance and academic leadership in the context of innovation and internationalization of higher education. The goal is to foster a better understanding of academic leadership approaches in the EU and China by developing and implementing trainings for academic leaders in areas such as policy making, strategic planning and change management.

If interested to find more about it, please visit the project website: