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R. (Robert) Wagenaar

Director International Tuning Academy / Professor of History and Politics of Higher Education
Profile picture of R. (Robert) Wagenaar
+31 50 36 35176 (Office R.Wagenaar)
+31 50 36 36059 (Administration International Tuning Academy)

Robert Wagenaar (1956) is a Professor of History and Politics of Higher Education and at present Director of the International Tuning Academy.

The Academy ( is an education and research centre with a focus on the reform of higher education programmes, which publishes a bi-annual peer reviewed Tuning Journal for Higher Education ( The journal is SCOPUS, ERIC and Web of Science indexed. The Academy originates from the global Tuning Educational Structures initiatives launched in 2000 of which Wagenaar is the co-founder.

From 2003 until September 2014 he was director of Undergraduate and Graduate Studies (Dean of Studies) at the Faculty of Arts of the same University involving more than 5000 students each academic year, covering undergraduate and graduate programmes ranging from Communication Studies, Journalism, European Languages, Classical Studies to History and International Relations. 

He is also the president (since 2006) of the successful Erasmus Mundus Joint Master Degree, Euroculture: Society, Politics and Culture in a Global Context, involving 8 EU and 4 non-EU universities enrolling some 100 new students every year. The programme received / will receive substantial financial support since 2006 until, at present, 2026.  

Furthermore, Wagenaar is an external expert for the European Commission and has been involved in main initiatives to harmonize European higher education (HE), such as the development of a European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS) since 1989, the Qualifications Framework for the European Higher Education Area and the European Qualifications Framework for Lifelong Learning. He chaired from 2004 to 2014 the team of experts for the implementation of the ‘Bologna Process’ in Dutch HE institutions by appointment of the Ministry of Education and Culture. Since January 2015, he is a member of a follow-up in the framework of the Erasmus+ programme of the EU.

Together with Julia Gonzalez and Pablo Beneitone (University of Deusto, Bilbao, Spain), Wagenaar elaborated, designed and coordinates the large scale innovative Tuning Educational Structures in the World. The Tuning initiative, which is supported by the European Union, is of global significance. It encompasses projects and studies covering all regions of the world, e.g. Africa, Australia, Europe, Canada, Central-Asia, India, Japan, Latin-America, Peoples Republic of China, Russia, South-East Asia, and the USA, involving some 130 countries and thousands of Higher Education institutions and their academics. Tuning offers a bottom-up methodology to reform HE programmes based on the student-centred / competence and learning outcomes approach. It has also developed (inter)national benchmarks for a large range of subject areas. Tuning materials have been translated into over 13 languages, including Japanese and Russian.

Wagenaar’s recent projects are Measuring and Comparing Achievements of Learning Outcomes in Higher Education in Europe (CALOHEE) (2016-18) (, and Integrating Entrepreneurship and Work Experience into Higher Education (WEXHE) (2017-2019) (, both co-financed by the EU respectively in the framework of the Action programmes, KA3 Forward-Looking Cooperation Projects and KA2 Knowledge Alliances. The CALOHEE project will be continued in 2020 with two follow-up projects CALOHEE II and CALOHEE Extension, for which new EU grants have been awarded in the framework of KA3 Forward-Looking Cooperation Projects.

Other new projects directed by Wagenaar are the EU KA2 Capacity Building projects FORTH - Formation of Teachers in Challenged Areas in the Philippines (2019-2021) and ACE - Aprendizaje Centrado en el Estudiante en América del Sur (2020-2022).

His research interest is in history and politics of higher education, with special emphasis on innovation and reform and related policy making. His most recent publication is Reform! TUNING the Modernisation Process of Higher Education in Europe. A blueprint for student-centred learning. App. 506 pp.


Official EU Missions

EU-People's Republic of China.Policy dialogue. Member of EU delegation to Beijing, led by the European Commissioner for Education and Culture, December 2012.

EU-USA Policy dialogue. Member of EU delegation to Washington, led by Dep. Director–General for Education and Culture, November 2011.

EU-Australia Policy dialogue. Member of EU delegation, led by Director-General for Education and Culture, to Melbourne, Sidney, Canberra, March 2009.

Tuning Mission to Latin America (August 2004) 

Brazil (Brasilia) – Director-General Ministry of Education and Presidents of the three Rector’s Conferences of Brazil

Argentina (Buenos Aires): - Director-General Ministry of Education and Managing Board of the Quality Assurance Agency of Argentina

Peru (Lima): Director-General Ministry of Education and President of the Rector’s Conference

Paraguay Asuncion): Deputy Minister of Education and Director-General of the Ministry of Education

Tuning Missions to India

Mumbai, Pune, (5-9 May 2014)

New Delphi (25-26 September 2014)


  • Member of the Expert Panel of the tendered study 'Evaluation of entrepreneurship education programmes in higher education', coordinated by Ecorys. Aim of the study is to carry out an evaluation of entrepreneurship education programmes (EEPs) in higher education institutions in Europe (2018-2019).
  • Member Advisory Committee Dutch Ministry of Education and Culture (Adviesorgaan Ministerie Onderwijs en Cultuur voor beoordelen subsidieaanvragen flexibele leertrajecten) (2015-2017) (appointment by Minister of OCW).
  • Member high level Consultative Group on Pan African Quality Assurance & Accreditation Framework (Accra, Ghana) (2015) (on request European Commission)
  • Member EC Ad-Hoc Workgroup on the revision of ECTS Users' Guide (on invitation EC and on behalf Dutch Ministry of Education and Culture) (2013-2015)
  • Internal Quality Evaluator of the Project Emerging Modes of Cooperation between Private Sector Organisations and  Universities (EMCOSU) (2012-2015)
  • Member of the Advisory Board of the project EAR HEI, coordinated by NUFFIC, The Hague (2012-2014)
  • Member of the Advisory Board of the Tuning Canada Project for Ontario (organised by HEQCO) (2011-2013)
  • Member of the Technical Advisory Committee for the OECD Feasibility Study Assessment of Higher Learning Committee (2010-2013)(in practice the TAG supervised the Study on request of the OECD Secretariat)
  • Invited expert Round Table Re-Launching the Bologna Process, S&D Group European Parliament (invitation by Luigi Berlinguer), European Parliament, Brussels, 5 May 2010.
  • Member advisory board Pilot Project Tuning USA organized by the Lumina Foundation in cooperation with the Tuning Association (2009 -)
  • Member of EC Ad-Hoc WG on the revision of the ECTS Users’ Guide (on invitation of EC DG EAC, 2007-2009).
  • Member of the Advisory Board of a Bologna project concerning the recognition of degrees on the basis of learning outcomes and competences. The project was co-ordinated by the Dutch ENIC-NARIC (2006-2007)
  • Member of the Advisory Board of the information project for all Bologna promoters in Europe. This project was organized on behalf of the European Commission by the EUA in close co-operation with its partners, EAIE, ESIB, EURASHE and the Tuning project. (2005-2007)
  • Foreign expert of the team responsible for the certifying process of the Qualifications Framework  of the Republic of Ireland (2005-2006)
  • Member of the EC Expert’s Group assisting the European Commission in preparing the EQF for LLL (2004-2006)
  • Member of the Bologna Process Expert’s Group responsible for the preparation of A Framework for Qualifications of the European Higher Education Area (on behalf of the EUA) (2004-2005)
  • Member of the Advisory Committee of the Dutch Ministry of Education and Culture concerning  Bologna Process matters (since 2004)
  • Invited expert (by the Ministry of Education of Finland on request of the European Commission)at the official Bologna Seminar on Master Degrees (Helsinki, 14-15 May 2003)
  • Invited expert (by EUA) at the official Seminar “ECTS – The Challenge for Institutions” (Zurich, 11-12 October 2002)
  • Invited expert and speaker (by the Dutch Ministry of Education and Culture) at the official Bologna Seminar “Working on the European Dimension of Quality” (12-13 March 2002)
  • Invited expert (by the Ministry of Education of Finland on request of the European Commission) at the official Bologna Seminar on Bachelor Degrees (Helsinki, 2002)
  • Member ‘Evaluatiecommissie Afstudeerrichting Journalistiek’ (Groningen 1997)
  • Member Advisory Board Groninger Stichting voor de Journalistiek (1992-2005)
  • Member “Begeleidingscommissie Onderzoek naar de Actuele en toekomstige journalistiek arbeidsmarkt” Vereniging van Hogescholen (1992-1993). Onderzoek uitgevoerd in opdracht Nederlandse Vereniging van Journalisten, Vereniging de Nederlandse Dagbladpers, Nederlandse Organisatie ven Tijdschriftuitgevers, Nederlandse Omroepstichting, HBO-opleidingen Journalistiek, Rijksuniversiteit Groningen)(Representative University of Groningen)
  • Member ‘Verkenningscommissie Opleiding Journalistiek, ‘”Een universitaire opleiding Journalistiek’’ (Groningen 1990)


General rapporteur of the official Bologna Seminar 3rd Cycle Degree: Competence and Researcher Career. Organized by the Finnish Ministry of Education. Helsinki, 30 September – 1 October 2008.

Last modified:25 June 2022 1.13 p.m.