Steering Committee

Members of the UNICA Steering Committee

period of mandate: 1/01/2018-31/12/2019*

*Members are listed in alphabetical order 



Professor Jolanta CHOIŃSKA-MIKA

Vice-Rector for Student Affairs and Quality of Teaching

University of Warsaw



Prof. Jolanta Choińska-Mika is Professor at the Institute of History, University of Warsaw (PhD 1991, habilitation 2004). Prior to assuming the position of Vice-Rector for Student Affairs and Quality of Teaching, she was Vice-Head of the Institute of History (2005-2012), Member of the University Senate's Commission for Students, Doctoral Students and Quality of Teaching (2008-2016) and a member of Rector's special group for monitoritng the teaching & training programme for prospective teachers (2014-2016). Between 2015 and 2016, she was the first Director of the School of Education, a joint undertaking of the Polish-American Freedom Foundation of the University of Warsaw.

In addition to these activities, Prof. Choińska-Mika is a researcher in Early Modern European history, parliamentary history and political culture. She also teaches a wide range of courses. Her recent academic publications focus on early modern republicanism, parliament and parliamentary institutions, early modern social communication, as well as the relationship between localities and the centres of power. 

Apart from being a member of scientific committees of several journals, Prof. Choińska-Mika is also a Senior Advisor to the Ministry of Education and the Central Examination Board (CKE) and a Member of the International Commission for the History of Parliaments and Representative Institutions of the Polish Historical Society. For her public engagement and achievements in the field of education, she was awarded the Order of Polonia Restituta (2016) and the Medal of Commission of National Education (2011)


Professor Jacques LANARÈS

former Vice-Rector for Quality, Human Resources & Development of Teaching

Université de Lausanne



Prof. Jacques Lanarès is former Vice-Rector Quality, Human Resources, and Development of Teaching and e-Learning of the University of Lausanne. He studied Neuropsychology and obtained his PhD in Psychology from the University of Geneva. Since 2010, he is a Professor at the University of Lausanne (Teaching and Learning in Higher Education and Lifelong Learning).

He is involved in Quality matters on the national and international levels. He chairs the Quality Delegation of the Swiss Rectors' Conference and is Member of the Swiss Accreditation Council. Prof. Lanarès also serves as Quality Expert for several organisations such as the European Association of Universities (EUA/IEP), European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education (ENQA), World Bank and various national accreditation agencies (Belgium, Finland, France, Ireland, and Lithuania). 


Professor António RENDAS


Universidade NOVA de Lisboa



Prof. António Rendas graduated in Medicine from the University of Lisbon in 1972 and obtained his PhD at the Cardiothoracic Institute of the University of London in 1977. In his early career, he was been Research Associate in Pathology at the Harvard Medical School and at the Children's Hospital Medical Center, in Boston, USA, 1978. Since 1982 he is a Full Professor of Pathophysiology at the Faculty of Medical Sciences (FMS) of Universidade NOVA de Lisboa. He served as Director of the Institute of Tropical Medicine (1983-1986), Vice-Dean at the Faculty of Medical Sciences and appointed Dean from 1996 to 2006. He was the Rector of Universidade NOVA de Lisboa from 2007 to 2017. He also assumed the position of the President of the Portuguese Council of Rectors from March 2010 until September 2014.

Currently, he is Member of the Consultative Council for Scholarships of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, Member of the Executive Committee of the Association of Medical Schools in Europe, and Member of the Steering Committee for the Autonomy Scorecard of the European University Association. Since 2013 he serves as Member of the UNICA Steering Committee.



Professor Sonja SNACKEN

Vice-Rector International Policy

Vrije Universiteit Brussel



Prof. Sonja Snacken is Vice-Rector International Policy of Vrije Universiteit Brussel since September 2016. In this capacity, she is co-responsible for the internationalisation policy of the University with regard to its three main domains: research, education, and societal impact.

Sonja Snacken is Professor of Criminology, Penology and Sociology of Law at Vrije Universiteit Brussel. She has obtained her Master degree in law and criminology and a PhD in criminology. Her research focuses on the comparative study of penality in Europe and beyond, and on different forms of (extreme) institutional dependency. 

Prof. Snacken is active in several international scientific networks, associations and committees. She is a founding member and former president (2004-2005) of the European Society of Criminology. Since 1994, she has acted as expert to the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT) and was a member (2001-2012) and President (2006-2012) of the Council for Penological Cooperation of the Council of Europe. She was awarded the Belgian Francqui Chair at the Université catholique de Louvain (2008-2009) and the Ernest-John Solvay Prize for Scientific Excellence in Human and Social Sciences by the National Science Foundation (2010). In 2015, she was presented with the European Criminology Award for lifetime contribution to European criminology by the European Society of Criminology.


Professor Tomáš ZIMA


Charles University in Prague



Tomáš Zima is Rector of the Charles University in Prague since February 2014. He graduated from the First Faculty of Medicine, Charles University in Prague in 1990. During his early career he worked at the Institute of Medical Chemistry and Biochemistry at the First Faculty of Medicine. At 1999, he moved to the Institute of Medical Biochemistry and Laboratory Diagnostics, which he leads until now. In 2001, Prof. Zima became Professor of Medical Biochemistry.

Prof. Zima has specialisations in Clinical Biochemistry, Internal Medicine, Nephrology. Prior to becoming a Rector, Prof. Zima served as Dean of the First Faculty of Medicine of CU for seven years. He is member of the Education Society of the Czech Republic, the Czech Medical Academy, and President of the Czech Rectors Conference. He is author of more than 400 articles and 7 books.  


IRO Observer to the Steering Committee


University of Latvia


Alina Grzhibovska obtained Master degrees in Social Sciences (Public Administration) and Humanities from the University of Latvia. Prior to becoming Head of International Relations at the University of Latvia, she held different positions at the University, including Director of the International Relations Department (1991-2016). She has received multiple awards for her contribution to international cooperation in Higher Education, including Orde van Oranje-Nassau, Officier de l'ordre de Leopold II, medal for "important contribution in widening the ideas of the united Europe" (Ukraine), and merit from the President of the Republic of Latvia. For many years, Alina has been an active member of the UNICA International Relations Officers Group.