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EMA Receives Award at 20th Anniversary Conference of Erasmus Mundus

The Erasmus Mundus Students and Alumni Association (EMA AISBL) received a distinguished award from the European Commission in recognition of its outstanding contributions to the Erasmus Mundus programme. 

EMA’s  President, Dr Ashiqur Rahman, received the ‘Organisation Award’ on behalf of the Erasmus Mundus Students and Alumni Association during the Erasmus Mundus 20th Anniversary Conference, “Beyond Borders and Boundaries: 20 years of Erasmus Mundus,” held on 27-28 May 2024 in Brussels, Belgium.

Participants of the Erasmus Mundus 20th Anniversary Conference pose together for a group shot in the conference's venue.
EMA’s  President, Dr Ashiqur Rahman, received the ‘Organisation Award’ on behalf of the Association. Copyright: European Commission

Acknowledging the Role of EMA

EMA was identified as a key stakeholder by the European Commission in the publication prepared for this occasion, ‘20 years of Erasmus Mundus’, providing Erasmus Mundus students and alumni with a powerful voice at the policy level. The European Commission stated that an "organisation that’s been the bedrock of the Erasmus Mundus students and alumni –[is the] Erasmus Mundus Association (EMA)."

The Association, established in 2006, has been an integral part of the Erasmus Mundus Journey, amplifying the voices of students and alumni and ensuring their active participation in shaping the future of the Erasmus Mundus. During his award acceptance speech, Dr Rahman extended his gratitude to the global EMA and Erasmus Mundus community for their relentless dedication and support. He acknowledged the invaluable contributions of all volunteers, active community members, Steering Committee members, and Management Board members who have been instrumental in its success since 2006. Their unwavering commitment has been vital to the Association's achievements. 

"One organisation that’s been the bedrock of the Erasmus Mundus students and alumni –[is the] Erasmus Mundus Association (EMA)" - The European Commission

EMA's President, Dr Ashiqur Rahman addressing the participants of the 20th anniversary Celebration of Erasmus Mundus. Copyright: European Commission

Joining Dr Rahman in the celebration were EMA Vice-President Ruturaj Trivedi, Outreach and Capacity Unit Director Rajon Bhuiyan, and Student & Alumni Relations Unit Director Nikshan Paudel. The event was further enriched by the participation of several EMA members, representing various Erasmus Mundus Joint Masters programmes. Mr Trivedi stated that Erasmus Mundus shaped his educational journey and "opened doors to a world of opportunities and collaborations. It is a privilege to be part of a community that values international cooperation and educational excellence. As Vice President of the Erasmus Mundus Association, I was deeply honoured to celebrate two decades of transformative impact at the 'Beyond Borders and Boundaries' conference, where EMA's contributions were recognized with the Organisational Award by the European Commission—an achievement made possible by the unwavering dedication of our Erasmus Mundus Association members, volunteers, and stakeholders”, he shared.

Mr Bhuiyan said he has had the privilege of meeting Erasmus Mundus students and alumni from around the world in his six years working as a volunteer. He mentioned that “their remarkable professional achievements are truly inspiring to me. Witnessing these incredible success stories from 2004 until now fills me with confidence that Erasmus Mundus alumni will continue to ascend to even greater heights, emerging as leaders of our prosperous future”. Mr Paudel reflected on the opportunities to pursue his educational and professional career in iconic cities of Europe with highly qualified learning environments, thanks to the Erasmus Mundus programme. Through volunteering with the Erasmus Mundus Association he said, “I have connected with programme representatives and coordinators of many Erasmus Mundus programmes. Every communication ascertains my thoughts of the vital importance of Erasmus Mundus in delivering excellence for higher education”.

Photo of panellists sitting on the stage, moderated by Irina Ferencz, Director of the Academic Cooperation Association (ACA), also featured insights from Axel Aerden (Managing Director Flanders, Accreditation Organisation of the Netherlands and Flanders (NVAO), Belgium (Flanders)/the Netherlands), Clare McManus (Head of Central & East European Studies, Dean for Global Engagement –Southeast Asia & Australasia, University of Glasgow, United Kingdom), Loreta Paulauskaite (International Contact Point for Erasmus+ Spanish National Agency (SEPIE), Spain, Philippe Ruffio (Head of Sector, European Education and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA), Belgium) and Mara Thiene, Department Land, Environment, Agriculture and Forestry (TESAF), Rector’s Delegate, Joint Degree and International Ranking, University of Padua, Italy), each contributing to the celebration of two decades of impact and innovation in higher education through Erasmus Mundus.
EMA representatives at the 20th Anniversary Celebration of Erasmus Mundus. Copyright: European Commission

In his acceptance speech, Dr Rahman also expressed profound appreciation for the continuous support from all EMA stakeholders, including the European Commission, Directorate-General for Education, Youth, Sport and Culture (DG-EAC), European Education and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA), Erasmus+ National Agencies, National Erasmus+ Offices (NEOs), Erasmus+ National Focal Points (ENFPs), EU Delegations, and all EMA Partners worldwide. Their steadfast support, along with the dedication and hard work of all EMA volunteers, from its inception to the present day, have played a crucial role in achieving EMA's vision and mission.

Along with awarding EMA, significant milestones were celebrated and recognised in a series of awards to honour exceptional contributions within the Erasmus Mundus community. Notably, the European Commission presented the ‘Institutional Award’ to 10 higher education institutions with the largest participation in Erasmus Mundus: Uppsala University, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Università degli Studi di Padova, Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), KU Leuven, University of Groningen, University of Glasgow, Ghent University, Universitat de Barcelona, Alma Mater Studiorum – Università di Bologna.

Moreover, 5 Erasmus Mundus Master’s running since 2004 were rewarded: European Master in Clinical Linguistics++ (EMCL++), Erasmus Mundus Master's Degree in Hydroinformatics and Water Management (EA+), Erasmus Mundus Joint Master's Degree Programme in International Humanitarian Action (NOHA), MSc European Forestry (MSC EF), International Master of Science in Rural Development (IMRD).

The recognition of EMA with the 'Organisational Award' underscores the significant impact of its volunteers in promoting and supporting the Erasmus Mundus program. Dr Rahman shared his appreciation for this award, on behalf of the EMA community, and reiterated the Association's commitment to fostering the growth and success of the Erasmus Mundus programme in the years to come.

Awardees at the 20th Anniversary Celebration of Erasmus Mundus. Copyright: Eruopean Commission.

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