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EMA GA 2021: New Normal, New Thinking

In the middle of a world’s shift fuelled by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Erasmus Mundus Association held its annual General Assembly 2021, last 15th of May. With the main theme “New Normal, New Thinking”, 150 members, partners and guests attended the three-hour online event. This year, a new Presidential Election took place, resulting in the appointment of Gabriella Mikiewicz as the next President and Engr Ashiqur Rahman as the next Vice President.

Watch the EMA GA 2021 video reel here:

The event kicked off with the welcoming words from President Katharina Heil who made emphasis on EMA’s effort for sharing the New Normal: “Thanks a lot for taking the time for joining us today another couple of hours in front of your screen (...) Nevertheless, we are looking forward to meeting again in person with all of our global representatives in more reasonable settings”, she added.

Cristina Martìnez Tapia from Ecuador and Caroline Manik from Indonesia were the main hostesses at the EMA General Assembly 2021. They guided the attendees through the programme, which included the intervention of three guest speakers, the EMA Financial Report Update, the Presidential Election Voting Results and final networking activities.

Highlights from the guest speakers

Education, pandemic and the EU agenda by Ms Adrienn Király; Head of the Cabinet to Mariya Gabriel, European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Education, Culture and Youth

“The pandemic has hit education hard. The organisation and content of teaching and learning have had to adapt fast to the new reality. Today, in many countries, the health crisis has exposed a digital divide and the recession resulting from the crisis is hindering young people’s employment chances.

We must therefore strengthen quality, inclusive education and training systems because they are key for young people’s personal and professional future, for a just economic recovery that gives equal opportunities for all, to laying down the foundations for research and innovation needed to address present and future challenges and for the green and digital transformations that are on the roads of Europe’s agenda”.

Communication with citizens in a post-covid era by Mr Christian Mangold; Director for Campaigns, European Parliament, Directorate-General for Communication

“Screen time has skyrocketed last year, in particular at the end of the first wave we had an increase of 70% internet consumption and 63% in social media activity. We also see 76% more use of mobile devices in digital consumption.

We have an acceleration, is what we call the future of reading, goes from text to visuals, infographics to videos: all in visual content. We have also much more video consumption on mobile devices and we also see an increase in audio consumption. Podcast now is consumed on a weekly basis by 28% of west citizens.”

Upskilling for the Future of Education by Ms Ekaterina Matveeva; Founder & CEO of Amolingua and alumni of EMJMD Crossways in Cultural Narratives

“We are constantly online, we do everything online… ‘I need to finish my dissertation online, but I would like to take some time off in order to have my therapy online, meet with my friends online, right?’ and this is indeed very tiresome, very exhausting. And it’s not only for kids who would like to move a lot, they are full of energy, but also for us as adults, we cannot stay all the time chained to our laptops or phones.

So there are many practices, including physical exercises, finding a healthy balance so to speak between online and offline where you could indeed disconnect, maybe spend some time in nature, perhaps read something on a screen, hydrate”.

The final round of the MB 2019 -2021

Two years have passed since the appointment of the current EMA Management Board, whose members took on the responsibility of setting up the Association’s new structure, accordingly to the new statutes approved by the EMA Community in 2019.

Although remote work has been at the core of EMA’s functions, the Management Board faced the challenge of keeping the Association strong through the global escalation of the COVID- 19 pandemic. Vice President Marsela Husen presented the “EMA Journey 2019 -2021” and Director of the Financial Management Unit Pepri Saputra introduced the “EMA Financial Report Update”.

With the acknowledgement that the projects and online events held during the past two years consolidated a successful line of communication with the global representatives of EMA, the MB sent a message of gratefulness for the accomplishments and hoped for new opportunities to gather in person in the near future.

Last but not least, the networking activities included the games “Guess Where?” and “What is wrong with the picture?” and the EMA Artwork Virtual Exhibition. In total, eight members were awarded for their high scores and their contributions.

Special thanks to the EMA GA Organising Committee 2021​

We would like to thank our General Assembly Organising Committee for the voluntary work they have put into organising this event.

General Assembly Organising Committee:

Cristina Martinez Tapia, Event Manager of GA Organizing Committee

Caroline Manik, Event Manager of GA Organizing Committee

Isabel Casillas, Communications Coordinator of GA Organizing Committee

Katharina Heil, EMA President

Marsela Husen, EMA Vice-President

Gabriella Mikiewicz, Graphics Support & Online Manager for the GA

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