Keynote Speakers

Dr. Elisa Bruhn

Virtual Internationalization in higher education. A conceptual model and the pandemic disruption to internationalization in Germany

Dr. Elisa Bruhn is policy advisor for higher education at the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), with a professional background in international cooperation in higher education and science. Her main research interest lies in the intersection of internationalization and digitalization in higher education.

Dr. Robert O’Dowd

Virtual Exchange and its role in international academic mobility: Experiences in Spanish university education

Dr. Robert O’Dowd is Associate Professor (professor titular) for English as a Foreign Language and Applied Linguistics at the University of León, Spain. He has taught at universities in Ireland, Germany and Spain and has over 40 publications on the application of Virtual Exchange in university and pre-university education settings. He was the founding president of the UNICollaboration academic organization for telecollaboration and virtual exchange and has been invited to be plenary speaker at international conferences in the US, Asia and across Europe. He also coordinated the Erasmus projects Integrating International Networks in Higher Education (INTENT) (2011-2014) and the European Policy Experiment Evaluating and Upscaling Telecollaborative Teacher Education (EVALUATE) (2017-2019).

He is currently coordinating the Erasmus+ European Policy Experiment Virtual Innovation and Support Networks for Teachers (VALIANT) (2021-2024). Robert’s publications are available on and you can follow him on twitter @robodowd.