Mini Track on Innovative Strategies and Models in Higher Education


Fostering recovery through metaverse business modelling

16-17 June 2022, Bucharest, Romania

Mini Track Chairs

  • Magdalena IORDACHE-PLATIS, University of Bucharest, Romania

  • Vasileios NTOUROS, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece

Higher education institutions have faced a digital transformation in the recent years. Technology has been embedded in teaching and learning, in research and in all activities related to institutional contribution to communities and territories. Education cloud, artificial intelligence, flexible learning, innovative student support services, micro-programmess of internships and micro-credentials in online specific teaching are only few examples of changes already adopted in many higher education institutions. All these transformations, apart from being considered by the academic leadership in short-term adaptive decisions, are challenges for long term developments in higher education. In the current pandemic context, students and staff valued more the open educational resources and therefore, due to all new innovative educational tools and techniques, their experiences were successfully enhanced.

The profound health, economic and social impact of the COVID-19 pandemic provides the opportunity for a critical redefinition of the way in which universities and other higher education institutions, and as well their organisations and associations operate. (Hilligje van’t Land, IAU Secretary General,

New practices and strategies and adaptive educational models prove the tremendous higher education capacity of response not only to the pandemic impact, but also to the stakeholders needs. In other words, addressing the current complexity and dynamism with agility and diverse models based on innovation, entrepreneurial and civic approach, higher education institutions substantially contribute to a sustainable development of the sector.

The main topics covered by the hereby call for papers are related (but not limited) to:

  • Institutional models in higher education

  • Sustainable university initiatives

  • Strategic partnerships for civic universities

  • Innovative projects for societal transformation
  • Universities’ responses to crises
  • Role of university spin-off companies in the societal development
  • Impact of digitalization in higher education

  • Academic leadership and flexible learning


is full professor at the University of Bucharest with 30 years of experience, teaching Marketing, Micro and Macroeconomics, Leadership in the knowledge society context, vice-rector for Quality Management, Social Responsibility and Relationship with Social Partners. She is an external reviewer on quality assurance for higher education at foreign quality assurance agencies and reviewer at different international journals, as well as a member of the Society for Business Excellence. She was a member of the Thematic Peer Group of EUA Teaching & Learning Initiative (2017): Empowering students for their future professional life and civic engagement and mini-track chair at several editions of the European Conference on Management, Leadership and Governance – ACPI (2016, 2017, 2019, 2021). She was the country manager in the Horizon 2020 project called Students Achieving Valuable Energy Savings (SAVES 2) during 2018-2021. Under the CIVIS project (ERASMUS+) she is the institutional coordinator of the Open Lab group aiming to cooperate with different stakeholders in the process of identifying and addressing to local challenges. She is also the institutional representative in the University Industry Innovation Network (UIIN). Main areas of interest include: academic leadership and university rankings, civic engagement of academic community, university-industry cooperation, stakeholder commitment and student participation.

Vasileios NTOUROS

is a Researcher at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens. He holds a MSc in Environmental Physics and his expertise is on Physics of the Built Environment. He has participated in several innovative EU funded projects (i.e. SmartGems, Quantum, SAVES2) focusing on the public’s engagement with the projects’ outputs. In his most recent position, Vasileios was the monitoring and evaluation lead of the EU-nominated SAVES2 H2020 project (2017-2021) quantifying the impact the participating universities had on the behavioral change of their students as well as the energy savings achieved in university dormitories through tailor made informative campaigns.
Vasileios has also worked for university spin off companies as a visiting researcher (i.e Consorzio Arca, Palermo, IT) seconded from his institution, to disseminate knowledge generated in universities to the wider public and thus increase the impact university research has to society. Lately, he acts as an advisor, supporting the actions and initiatives of other EU funded projects particularly in driving behavioral changes and civic involvement based on campaigns, training and serious games. The main research topics he attends are energy poverty, energy efficiency, students’ energy habits and behaviour change while his research interest expands to sustainable development, decarbonization as well as climate change mitigation strategies.