Book of speakers

The sixth Profformance+ Webinar focuses on internationalisation in higher education. The speakers represented those good practices which scored well at the PROFFORMANCE Higher Education Teacher Award. In the plenary session, they present 7-minute summaries of examples of their innovative teaching and learning practices. This includes:

  • Brief info about the institution and the programme in which the method has been applied
  • Main topics
  • Challenge/problem – objective
  • Methodology of implementation
  • Technology, tools used
  • Outputs/Outcomes/Impacts
  • Lessons learnt (success factors/mistakes to avoid)
  • Adaptability, transferability to other disciplines

The plenary session will be followed by parallel breakout sessions – a targeted learning activity in which the speakers will present their practice in more detail and they will provide a ’recipe’ for implementing it. You will also see demonstrated some practical examples of the practices.

In this way you can gain better insights about the applicability of the presented practices and have the opportunity to engage in a group discussion around it, its applicability and transferability, important factors to consider, mistakes to avoid while implementing the specific examples, etc. Breakout sessions provide space for collaboration, networking and resource sharing on innovative teaching and learning practices.


Biljana Mišić Ilić is a Full professor at the Department of English Language and Literature, Faculty of Philosophy, University of Niš. Over the years, she has taught and developed more than 20 courses there. She is the author and co-author of 8 books and nearly 100 scientific articles, and the co-editor of 20 volumes of international conference papers.

She was the coordinator of the Tempus project Fostering University Support Services and Procedures for Full Participation in the European Higher Education Area (FUSE) 544006-TEMPUS-1-2013-1-RA-TEMPUS-SMGR, whose main objective was to develop the capacity of Serbian HEIs to establish and improve support services and procedures dealing with international cooperation and mobility in line with advanced EU practices.  She also participated in the Tempus project Reforming Foreign Language Studies in Serbia (ReFLeSS) 511366-TEMPUS-1-2010-1-RS-TEMPUS-JPCR, as well as Erasmus+ project Strengthening Teaching Competences in Higher Education in Natural and Mathematical Sciences  (TeComp) 598434-EPP-1-2018-1-RS-EPPKA2-CBHE-JP, where she was involved in activities aimed at improving English language skills of university staff in natural and mathematical sciences. With a small team of university teachers, she designed developed materials for, and taught English as a Medium of Instruction courses at the University of Niš (in 2019-2023). She participated at several teacher-training and scientific projects organized by the Faculty of Philosophy of Niš, including the UNICEF-sponsored project Supporting the Education of Refugee and Migrant Children in Serbia - Online extra-curricular learning and tutoring programs (2020-2022).

She was the President of the Serbian Association for the Study of English (SASE) and a member of the Board of the European Society for the Study of English (ESSE) (2009-2019) and is currently the Secretary of ESSE (2020-2026).


Rita Koris (PhD) is an associate professor at the Department of Leadership and HR Development at Budapest Business University (Hungary) where she teaches courses in business and management. Her research interests lie primarily in innovative teaching practices of business education, internationalization of HE, transversal skills development and teachers’ academic development. She has been involved in several virtual exchange/COIL projects in HE for over 12 years. She has given presentations and held workshops in Hungary and abroad on internationalization practices and virtual online collaboration in HE. She was involved in the Erasmus+ Virtual Exchange Project (2019-2021) as a co-trainer helping university educators in their professional development to learn how to develop and implement transnational virtual exchange projects.

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Global Case Study Challenge. Developing Remote Work Competencies through Global Virtual Teamwork

FH-Prof. Dr. Eithne Knappitsch, Carinthia University of Applied Sciences, Austria,  Professor of Intercultural Management

Eithne Knappitsch is a Professor of Intercultural Management, with an extensive background in higher education, including a Ph.D. in European Cultural Studies from the University of Ulster, Northern Ireland and a university certificate in Diversity Management from the Alps-Adria University Klagenfurt and Austrian Diversity Society. As a former Program Director of an Intercultural Management BA at the Carinthia University of Applied Sciences and a former President of SIETAR Austria, her expertise spans intercultural communication, leadership and teamwork in cross-border and remote work contexts, and Diversity, Equity & Inclusion.

Knappitsch's most notable achievement is the co-founding of the Global Case Study Challenge, an innovative educational program and non-profit organization celebrated for enhancing intercultural, digital collaboration, and sustainability competencies across global student and educator communities. This initiative, alongside her role as curator of TEDxKlagenfurt, underscores her dedication to innovation, collaboration, and community. She has received several awards for her contributions, including two Austrian ARS Docendi Recognition Awards and the Profformance International Teaching Excellence Award, reflecting her impact on teaching and learning innovation. Knappitsch's work, characterized by a commitment to conscious team building and effective collaboration, has made significant strides in promoting intercultural understanding and educational advancements internationally.

Dr. Barbara Covarrubias-Venegas, Ferdinand Porsche FernFH (Austria), External Lecturer

Dr. Barbara Covarrubias Venegas, a leading voice on organizational behaviour, cross-cultural competence, and modern workplace transformation, has made substantial contributions to the academic and professional communities. With a doctoral degree focused on the evolving concepts of age and career in the Austrian banking industry, her research and teaching span critical areas such as diversity, organizational culture, and the dynamics of flexible organizations.

Covarubias's professional journey is marked by significant roles, including Visiting Professor at the University of Valencia and Researcher and Lecturer at the University of Applied Sciences for Management & Communication in Austria.

Her scholarly work has been recognized through prestigious awards like two Austrian ARS Docendi Recognition Awards and the Profformance International Teaching Excellence Award, underscoring her excellence in innovative teaching and learning. Covarubias's involvement with associations such as EURAM and IACCM, along with her leadership roles in organizing major conferences like the SIETAR Europa Congress, highlights her commitment to advancing the field of cross-cultural management and education. Her efforts in developing cutting-edge curricula and her strategic contributions to organizations exemplify a dedication to fostering agile, inclusive, and forward-thinking workplace cultures globally.

Dr. Anna Zinenko, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (Spain), Lecturer & Carinthia University of Applied Sciences (Austria), External Lecturer

Dr. Anna Zinenko stands out for her work in Corporate Sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), significantly influencing education and sustainable business strategies. Serving at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona and the Carinthia University of Applied Sciences, Zinenko has been instrumental in integrating sustainability into the educational framework, particularly through her leadership in the Global Case Study Challenge. This project exemplifies her dedication to experiential learning and her commitment to embedding Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into higher education.

Her role as a coordinator and professor focuses on emerging trends in tourism and sustainability, showcasing her innovative approach to curriculum development. Zinenko's educational contributions are further highlighted by her development of sustainability and strategic marketing courses for international students from prestigious universities.

Zinenko's academic excellence is underpinned by her Ph.D. in Environmental Science and Technology, with her research bridging business practices and environmental science. Her commitment to education and sustainability is recognized by prestigious awards, including two Austrian ARS Docendi Recognition Awards and the Profformance International Teaching Excellence Award, marking her as a key figure in advancing CSR and sustainability in the academic sphere.

PROFFORMANCE (+) Projects and Tools - Internationalisation

Branka Milenkovic is an assistant professor at the Faculty of Philology and Arts, University of Kragujevac. Her experience and expertise are predominantly in the area of internationalization and digitalization, with additional interest in the areas of inclusion and sustainability. Over the years of her professional teaching and research development, she has been involved in the fields of applied linguistics, ELT and Academic writing. Besides teaching and researching in these study fields she has been involved in various international projects pertaining to the development of internationalization and Academic writing and these areas have inspired her teaching practice, institutional involvement and research interests. She is mostly stimulated by engaging in contemporary teaching practice, relevant and innovative methods of teaching and learning, contributing to institutional development and establishing and maintaining international cooperation for mutual support and growth in the field. Therefore, her incentive in being a part of this project is in sharing experience and knowledge and supporting institutional development to align with the European standards of higher education.

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