The entire INGENIUM delegation in Sofia with ACAD. PROF. LAТCHEZAR TRAYKOV, MD, D.SC., rector of the Medical University of Sofia
INGENIUM: A Key Player at the European Universities Meeting in Sofia
The INGENIUM European University Alliance shone at the ‘European Universities Meeting’ that took place at the House of Europe, the EU’s representation headquarters in Sofia, on 4 and 5 December 2023.
The event, jointly organised by the French and Spanish embassies, brought together 24 Bulgarian, Spanish and French universities that belong to European alliances, signaling a major advance in the internationalisation of higher education in Europe. The meeting was opened by the Bulgarian Minister of Education and Science, Professor Galin Tsokov.
Bulgaria’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mariya Gabriel, also addressed the audience at the start of the event, highlighting the importance of university alliances for the future of Europe’s economy and development.
Roundtable session with Jesús Daniel Santos Rodríguez, Vice-Rector for Internationalisation of the University of Oviedo
INGENIUM was represented at this meeting by delegations from the University of Oviedo, the University of Rouen-Normandy and the Medical University of Sofia, who reaffirmed their commitment to fostering student mobility and positioning themselves as key actors in the development of the European university area.
The INGENIUM delegation was led by Jesús Daniel Santos Rodríguez, Vice-Rector for Internationalisation at the University of Oviedo, along with the Coordinator and the Director of the Alliance, Agustín Nieto and Ana Isabel Álvarez. The University of Rouen-Normandy was represented by Eric Dargent, Vice-President for International Relations, and Antoine Ouvrard-Pascaud. The Medical University of Sofia, based in the host city of the event, was represented by its Rector, ACAD. PROF. LAТCHEZAR TRAYKOV, MD, D.SC., as well as Magdalena Kasnakova, Senior Expert in International Programmes, and Magdalena Iskreva, PR Manager.
During the event, INGENIUM representatives took part actively in debates and roundtable sessions on key topics, such as enhancing research excellence, the impact of alliances on local economies and the importance of mutual recognition of degrees in the European context.
Jesús Daniel Santos Rodríguez, Vice-Rector for Internationalisation at the University of Oviedo, was one of the distinguished panelists in the roundtable entitled ‘Why are Bulgarian universities important for European alliances? Why are European alliances important for Bulgarian universities?’ In his speech, Santos Rodríguez stressed that the integration of Bulgarian universities into university alliances offers ‘an opportunity for mutual benefit’ that can ‘significantly enhance the development and transformation of higher education in Europe.’
The heads of each partner university’s delegation: (From left to right): Eric Dargent, Vice-President for International Relations of the University of Rouen -Normandy; ACAD. PROF. LAТCHEZAR TRAYKOV, MD, D.SC., rector of the Medical University of Sofia; Jesús Daniel Santos Rodríguez, Vice-Rector for Internationalisation of the University of Oviedo
Santos Rodríguez expressed his conviction that ‘together we can build a more efficient, innovative and entrepreneurial higher education’, underlining the strategic importance of including Bulgarian universities in these alliances.
Besides the working sessions and roundtable discussions, the Spanish and French embassies in Sofia hosted receptions for the participating delegations. On 4 December, the French Ambassador to Bulgaria, Joël Meyer, welcomed the participants to his Residence, while the Spanish Ambassador, Alejandro Polanco, did the same the next day.
At both receptions, the ambassadors emphasised the importance of higher education as a key driver for sustainable development and European integration. They also voiced their support for university alliances as essential tools for creating a more cohesive and competitive European academic space.
INGENIUM, with a large delegation from its Spanish, French and Bulgarian partner universities, played a leading role in the ‘European Universities Meeting’, reaffirming its commitment to the internationalisation of higher education and contributing actively to key discussions on research, economic impact, and the recognition of joint degrees in Europe.