LEO-NET Annual Seminar 2024

This year the seminar is settling down in Portugal. An ideal opportunity to zoom in on internships in Portugal, as well as to become more acquainted with our host, the University of Porto.

Traditionally, the seminar is the opportunity to reflect on the state of affairs of the present E+ programme and to discuss critically the challenges and opportunities for internship mobility.                     In addition, we will discover new perspectives on the quality of internships. We also learn about Living Labs for Circular Transition to train students to become changemakers. Co-members share with us their experience with a European university alliance career network to incite us to consider one too; others will present new opportunities for cooperation. We ‘ll learn how students’ entrepreneurship can be fostered. In addition, we will gain insight in what could be the potential impact of Artificial Intelligence on our daily work. Last but not least we are eager to get a clear view on what drives and challenges the younger generation, that’s the main target group we do it for, after all!

Managing Internship Mobility:
how to keep up with new trends

Porto, 22-24 April, 2024

Contact: LEO-NET secretariat   –    info@leo-net.org   –  +31402474336 / +31651541168
Host: University of Porto
Venue: Palacete Primo Madeira
Rua do Campo Alegre 877
PT-4150-177 Porto
Tel +351 918 339 788

Pre-seminar activities

April 22


14:00 – 17:00:

Guided tours of the Rectory of the University of Porto,  Porto City Hall (Paços do Concelho) and the Science and Technology Park (UPTEC)
Reitoria da Universidade do Porto
Praça de Gomes Teixeira, 4099-002 Porto

19:00: Meet & Greet your trainees

In the evening before the seminar participants can invite trainees of their institution, who are at that moment in Porto or nearby, for a drink offered by LEO-NET to listen to their first-hand traineeship experiences.
Easy at Selina
R. Das Oliveiras 61, 4050-449 Porto

Seminar programme

April 23

08:30 – 09:00 Registration
09:00 – 09:30: Opening seminar
  • Welcome by University of Porto, Professor Olívia Pestana – Pro Rector for Cultural Infrastructures and Alumni and Mrs. Luísa Capitão, Director of the International Relations Office
  • Introduction to the seminar by the LEO-NET Board
09:30 – 10:00:  Traineeships in Portugal. ‘Everything you always wanted to know about traineeships in Portugal’
10.05 – 11.05: Quality Internships: just a matter of the companies?
  • Mr. Maarten Brand, Bureau Brand (The Netherlands) 
Finding quality internships abroad seems to be a relentless and sometimes frustrating quest. Are quality internships mere flukes, or can you as a college or university supervisor and/or as an intern influence the quality of the internship? What to invest in or not invest in? Which approach provides the most benefit? What role does the internship-seeking student play in this?
Internship expert Maarten Brand shares valuable insights, tips, tricks and tools.
11:05 – 11:55 LEO-NET 25th anniversary coffee break 
12:00 – 12:55: Redesigning Education & Research by setting up transdisciplinary collaborations through living labs for sustainable impact
  • Mrs. Elke van der Valk, Fontys University of Applied Sciences (The Netherlands)
Society is changing fast and in order to keep up and make sure there is an ecological, social and economic balance we need to rethink our current educational system. Students need to obtain different kind of competences to become changemakers, universities need to close the gap between Education & Research, organisations need to rethink their business models and more importantly all those different stakeholders need to collaborate, co-create and learn together. In this session you will learn about the Living Labs for Circular Transition at Fontys University of Applied Sciences. Internships are part of the programme as a mean to reach a bigger goal, which is speeding up the Circular Transition.
13:00 – 13:55: EU2024 and collaboration with Europe Direct – our opportunity to make a difference?
  • Mr. Thomas Berger, Institut inter.research e.V. (Germany)
The EU 2024 election is crucial for the future of our Erasmus programme. The Brexit should be a wake-up call to use all opportunities to promote participation in EU election especially among our target groups. This can raise our profile and our visibility through regional cooperation e.g. with Europe Direct centers. Learn about 2 examples how E+ consortia have collaborated with Europe Direct and brainstorm how such synergies can be achieved for your mobility project.
14:00 – 14:45: lunch
14:50 – 15:50: Linking international mobility experiences with an entrepreneurial mindset.
The role of guidance in widening students’ career perspectives
  • Mrs. Anna Storgards, University of Helsinki (Finland)
Research shows that certain skills develop more intensively during a mobility period. These so called soft skills or future proof skills are valued by employers widely. But are these skills useful for an entrepreneurial career also? This session will explore simple tools how to widen students’ career thinking side by side with traineeship advising.
15:55– 16:50: Generation Z
  • Mr. Maarten Brand, Bureau Brand (The Netherlands)
What is important to today’s young generation? What do they expect from their internship, work, life? How best to communicate with them?  How do employers get them on board?
Maarten shares insights about young people, about cooperation between generations and how to respond to Gen Z’s drives and challenges.

16:55 – 22.30:


April 24

09:30 – 10:25: Erasmus+ Programme 2021-2027: state of art
  • Mr. Johannes Gehringer, European Commission, DG Education, Youth, Sport & Culture / Higher Education (Belgium)
Mr. Gehringer will present the state of art of the present Erasmus+ Programme, especially for traineeship mobility. After a few years we have experienced the improvements and challenges.
10:30 – 10:55: Coffee break
11:00 – 12:00: Generative AI: Advantages, Limitations and Challenges
  • Mrs. Els Lefever, Ghent University (Belgium)
This session introduces the exciting world of generative Artificial Intelligence (AI). Els will briefly explain how the underlying language models work, but also address the main limitations and challenges, including considerations about the quality of the models, as well as the ethical questions they entail and the societal impact of using AI on a large scale. Moreover, she will also discuss how AI has entered the business sphere, particularly today’s recruitment process and expected impact on the labor market.
12:05 – 13:00: Career Communities for mobility: Are we on the right track? The case of EUGLOH Career Network
  • Mrs. Fernanda Correia, University of Porto (Portugal)
  • Mrs. Maria Júlia Mello, University of Porto (Portugal)
The U.Porto Talent and Career Office showcases the EUGLOH Career Network, which comprises career services, researchers, and academics from 9 European HEIs, focusing on skills development, careers, and traineeships. The presentation will provide a theoretical contextualization of career communities, explaining the case of EUGLOH Alliance, and detail the construction of its Career Community. The session will conclude with a group discussion on career communities, incorporating a practical exercise to explore potential challenges, resources, actions, strategies, advantages, and the impact of community-building on mobility, career, and traineeship opportunities.
13:05 – 14:15: Lunch
14:30 –15:50: Erasmus+ Consortia meeting 
  • Mr. Karol Ovеsný, Workspace Europe (Slovakia)
LEO-NET is also an association of Erasmus+ mobility Consortia of higher education institutions with focus on international traineeships. We count several Consortia among our members, from across Europe. Every year we organize a Consortia meeting, a unique opportunity for coordinators to meet and discuss the state of the art and share the good practice as well as the challenges they currently face. This time we will present the outcome of the survey we have conducted to map the current Consortia in Europe and discuss the next steps. We will talk about the specific benefits the new internship portal of LEO-NET (leo-net.solidintern.com) brings for Consortia. We look forward to meeting again the current members as well as new coordinators to boost the voice of Consortia in the area of Erasmus+ traineeships.
15:55 – 16:30: Wrap up & Closing
Cruise on the Douro river and visit to a wine cellar


Biography Speakers Seminar 2024



Practical details

Please note:
Fees do not include accommodation and travel.

  • For participants who decide to become an LEO-NET member at the time of their registration the seminar fee for LEO-NET members will be applicable
  • Participants will receive a 20% reduction on their seminar fee if they bring along another colleague from their institution
  • Registration deadline: April 12, 2024
    The seminar has a limited capacity of 50 people. Registrations will be handled upon order of receipt.
  • Cancellation policy:
    Till April 12, 2023: € 50 for administrative costs

After April 12, 2023: no refund is applicable
No VAT is applicable.

Information about arriving to Porto and hotels