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History of NETT

The History of NETT – by Peter Dines

The History:

I came to the first meeting in 2001 so I do not know much about the two original configurations. My Understanding is that the original core of the group was the ERASMUS IP of PH Freiburg and Complutense Madrid. Soledad Guardia González was particularly prominent in staring up the group and played an important role during all the time that she was a member. It was a way of keeping the network after the ERASMUS system was reformed in 1997 by being centralised at the international or ERASMUS offices, rather than with the academic staff, who had initiated the IPs.

We began as an informal group wishing to facilitate student and teacher exchange, so much of the meetings consisted of exchanging bi-lateral agreements and presenting our universities. I think many of us at that time were mainly interested in establishing contacts with other teacher training institutions and faculties and broadening the range of our international exchange programmes. I know my own idea was to try to get at least one partner in each ERASMUS country. I was extremely grateful to have this opportunity. So in Ludwigsburg we gained contact with Austria, Switzerland, Poland, Lithuania, Ireland, Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, Switzerland, Portugal, Latvia, Estonia, which we didn’t have before. I’m sure that this has been the experience of many of the NETT participants.

The last of this type of meeting was the Ludwigsburg one in 2003, where we realised that the meetings were becoming rather repetitive, and as I made some modest suggestions for reform I somehow became the chairman. What crystallised out of this was the idea that we should not only inform each other in terms of our institutional offers but also use the network for professional development with workshops and information about EU programmes, teaching and research projects as well as the school system of the host country. Some tensions actually arose out of this because of the dual nature of the university representatives; some saw themselves primarily as international administrators, others as university teachers with an international teaching and research interest. I was a bit of both.

The format has proved to be quite successful, I think.

In 2004 we gave ourselves the name of NETT as well as deciding to set out our goals, procedures and processes for membership and management. Friederike Hoch (PH Zürich) and Vita Kusleikiene (Siauliai University) were especially prominent in formulating the ideas.

These have been formulated as follows: 

The Network for the Education and Training of Teachers, herein to be referred to as NETT, aims to promote cooperation and exchange possibilities for students and staff between partner institutions. NETT operates within the European programmes for education and bilateral agreements.



- to encourage exchanges and cooperation among members of NETT

- to promote opportunities for exchange for students and staff including course work, teaching experience, practical training, curriculum work and research

- to ensure the quality of exchanges

- to consolidate and develop exchange opportunities

- to exchange and share information and insights about the educational systems, culture and traditions in the member countries

- to develop partnerships with universities in all European Union and affiliated countries

- to promote opportunities for international collaboration in teaching, curriculum development and research

- to promote a European focus in education

- to give active support and guidance to the members of the NETT in making use of opportunities provided by the EU educational programmes



Each member institution is represented at NETT meetings by one or more persons involved in international relations or exchanges.

The Chairperson:
The Chairperson presides over the annual NETT meeting, co-ordinates the agenda of the next meeting together with the host institution and internal affairs between the annual meetings.

Election takes place on a three-yearly basis.

Organisational committee:
The organisational committee consists of the chairperson, one representative of the host institution where the next annual NETT meeting will take place and preferably one representative of the institution where the last NETT meeting was held.

In addition there are two persons nominated by NETT members to help the chairperson in organisational matters and the preparation of topics to be dealt with at the annual NETT meetings.



The annual NETT meeting is held once a year. The date and place is decided upon at the preceding annual meeting according to the preferences and requirements of the host institution. The agenda is prepared by the host institution in cooperation with the organisational committee.

Matters to be considered at the annual NETT meetings include:

-        Presentations of new members / guests

-        Presentation and discussion of the system education and / or current educational issues of different countries

 -        Workshops on issues in education, mobility etc.

 -        Accounts or reports from partner institutions or guests

 -        Discussions on good practice with regard to academic exchanges and staff and student mobility

 -        Meetings between partners to discuss bilateral agreements

 -        Distribution of information on courses and other offers of the different institutions

 -        General policy, administrative and organisational matters of the network

 -        Preparation of the draft programme for the next annual NETT meeting

 -        Cultural activities

Each member institution sends at least one representative to the annual NETT meeting in order to guarantee continuity of the membership. Decisions shall be made by simple majority of those members present at the annual meeting, and we always aim at consensus and decisions are never really controversial.



There is no membership fee. The host institution asks for a conference fee to pay for the cultural programme. The participants are responsible for the funding of their travel expenses to the annual NETT meetings.

The secretariat is provided by the university of the chairperson, who is responsible for keeping records (minutes, membership list etc.)

The Chairperson (or his/her nominee) is responsible for keeping the website updated.



The membership in NETT is open to European universities and higher education institutions educating and training teachers. Admission can take place through invitation and application.

Any member institution can make suggestions for new members.

The members agree on the new partners to be invited at the following annual meeting.

The organisational committee decides in accordance with the host institution of the annual NETT meeting whether or not to invite potential new members to an annual meeting as guests to present their organisation.

New members sign the membership application form and send it to the Chairperson.

Members missing 3 successive annual meetings can be excluded on a majority vote at the general annual meeting.

Invitations to the annual meeting are distributed to members after consultation with the Chairperson.


Here is a list of meetings held over the years: 

1998 Madrid (Complutense)

1999 Freiburg UE

2000 Cracow Poland

2001 Braganca Portugal

Obviously exhausted after two days of listening and no longer listening to detailed presentations

This is what it was really like!


2002 Gävle (Sweden)

Everyone enjoying the boat trip

2003 Ludwigsburg

2004 Nyíregyháza

2005 Siauliai Lithuania

 2006 Versailles

This is what I liked best! 

2007 Oslo

2008 Linz

Jan Karel has worn very well!

2009 Utrecht 

The frankophile contigent. Somehow I was an honorary member!

2010 Brussels

Outside the Commission building 

2011 Dublin

2012 Copenhagen/Malmö

Where is everbody? 

Here at the buffet, of course!

2013 Cracow

Very formal and our beloved Gerald.

2014 Zürich

2015 Kecskemét

 2016 Mondragon 

2017 Limoges 

Kees- Jan,
30 Jun 2016, 02:09
Kees- Jan,
4 Dec 2017, 02:02