During a ceremony held in the framework of the University's Dies Academicus on 3 June 2016, UNICA Secretary General Mrs Kris Dejonckheere received the Prize of the University of Lausanne for her ongoing commitment to strengthening the links and cooperation between member universities of the UNICA Network and her contribution to the development of internationalisation at the University of Lausanne.
In his prize presentation speech, Prof. Jacques Lanarès, Vice-Rector for Quality, Human Resources & Development of Teaching of the University of Lausanne, noted: 'Those who have worked with Kris know how warm-hearted, able to adapt to different interlocutors, and open-minded she is. They also know her commitment to multiculturalism, justice and equity. With her human qualities and her extensive knowledge of European higher education landscape, she brought a new dynamism to the UNICA community. As a highly-respected and valued partner of higher education institutions and associations, working tirelessly to forge links between universities in Europe, she has made a unique contribution to the UNICA Network and its visibility on the European and international scene. We do not doubt for a moment that she will continue to do so in the future'.
Kris Dejonckheere assumed the position of UNICA Secretary General in 2001. She represents UNICA at the senior level in contacts with European Union institutions, HE organisations, networks and non-governmental organisations from and outside Europe. For 6 years, Kris was the project coordinator of the Higher Education Reform project, a service contract with the European Commission the main aim of which was the training of Bologna Experts and Higher Education Reform Experts from Tempus Partner Countries. She has also coordinated several projects carried out in the framework of Lifelong Learning Programme and three Tempus programmes: PRIUM: Promoting a model of Integrated University in the fYR of Macedonia (completed in 2010), UZDOC: Enhancing quality of doctoral education at HEIs in Uzbekistan and RUMI: Réseau des universités marocaines pour l'enseignement inclusif - Network of Moroccan Universities for Inclusive Education (both ongoing). Kris holds degrees in Law and Ethics from Ghent University. She spent her early career as Law and Ethics teacher at several HEIs and assumed the role of Political Advisor for university matters to the Flemish Minister for Education. Prior to joining UNICA she held various positions at Vrije Universiteit Brussel and for many years she was responsible for Research and Development, International Relations & Interface with the Industry.