Shared Interest (SI)


What Is a Bachelor’s Degree? European and U.S. Perspectives

Friday, June 2
8:30 AM - 9:30 AM
LACC, Room 409

Representatives from Germany, Sweden, Italy, and the United States discuss Bologna bachelor’s degrees, exploring differences and commonalities. Educational philosophies, degree structures, liberal arts approaches, and learning outcomes are contrasted. Participants and presenters investigate the impacts on exchanges and linkages.

Learning Objectives:

Linda Tobash

International Education Specialist

Linda Tobash, with over 30 years’ experience in international education, is a frequent presenter on the U.S. higher education system, attracting students (both international to the U.S. and U.S. to international destinations), developing institutional partnerships, and building higher education capacity. Linda served as the 2018 NAFSA Leadership Development Committee Chair and is currently serving as Secretary for Region X. Most recently she was Senior Director of Policy, Knowledge and Data at World Education Services (WES) and previously served as Director of University Placement Services at the Institute of International Education, responsible for overseeing the placement of sponsored international graduate and undergraduate students from nearly 130 countries in U.S. and select world-wide colleges and universities. She also worked in the City University of New York, 10 years as director of admissions at LaGuardia Community College. She has been an intercultural communication and English as a Second Language adjunct lecturer at the New School University, New York University, Columbia University, and Teachers College and served as an Assistant Director of LaGuardia Community College’s English Language Center.

Linda is active in a number of professional organizations. She currently serves on the Conference Planning Committee for TAICEP (The Association of International Credential Evaluation Professionals) and is a board member of Friends of Korea (a non-profit organization begun by returned Peace Corps volunteers to promote mutual understanding). Previously active in TESOL (Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages), she was a board member and also chaired its professional development and sociopolitical concerns committees. For NAFSA, in addition to the NAFSA Leadership Development Committee, Linda served on its Bologna Process Task Force I and II, Education and Training Committee, and the Trainer Corps. Ms. Tobash holds a master’s degree from Teachers College, Columbia University.


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Peter R. Kerrigan

Deputy Director
German Academic Exchange Service - DAAD

Peter R. Kerrigan is the Deputy Director of the German Academic Exchange Service’s (DAAD) Regional Office in New York office and is the Director of Marketing and Outreach for DAAD in North America. He is responsible for all areas of the marketing of German higher education and research and DAAD’s scholarship programs in the U.S. and Canada.

Peter served as Vice President of Membership Development and Services at The Forum on Education Abroad; Assistant Director of the Higher Education Resource Group at the Institute of International Education (IIE); and Senior Program Coordinator in the Work Abroad Division of the Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE).

He currently serves on the General Council of the European Association for International Education (EAIE) and the Advisory Board of NAFSA’s Rainbow Special Interest Group. In September 2016, Peter received EAIE’s Transatlantic Leadership Award.

Peter was awarded an M.A. in Political Science by the Freie Universität, Berlin, Germany and a B.A. in Political Science and German by Bates College, Maine, USA.


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Giancarlo Spinelli

Politecnico Di Milano Center for International Relations

Giancarlo Spinelli is Professor Emeritus at Politecnico di Milano University in Italy, where he has been a full professor of rational mechanics since 1981. He has published widely on relativity and in continuum mechanics. Spinelli has also served as vice dean of the College of Engineering (1987-1994), prorector for international relations (1990-1994), president of the Centre for International Relations (1995-2003), Rector's delegate for International relations (2004-12) and Rector's delegate for International networks (2013-2015) He was president of the European Association for International Education (EAIE) in 1997, and from 2000 to 2004 he served on the board of ETS/TOEFL. In 2011-14 he was member of the International advisory board of FINHEEC, the Finnish Ministry of Education quality board.


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Niklas Tranaeus

Marketing Manager
Swedish Institute

Niklas Tranæus is Marketing Manager for Study in Sweden at the Swedish Institute in Stockholm. His responsibilities include branding of Sweden as a study destination, education intelligence, strategic cooperation with Swedish universities and managing two projects in Korea and Indonesia. His experience includes initiating a joint project with all major Swedish universities, to prepare for the introduction of tuition fees for international students in Sweden, participation in ACA-projects related to the marketing of Europe as a study destination, conducting surveys among international students and drafting the Swedish Institute’s official statement of opinion to various public inquiries relating to issues concerning the internationalisation of higher education, including proposed changes in degree structures. He has made numerous presentations about Swedish higher education at events in Europe, Asia, Australia and Latin America as well as for foreign government delegations visiting Sweden. Niklas holds a filosofie magisterexamen (equivalent to a master’s degree) in International Relations from Stockholm University.


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What Is a Bachelor’s Degree? European and U.S. Perspectives


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