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Dies Academicus - online broadcast




11:00     Opening of the ceremony

               Speech by prof. dr. Zdravko Kačič, Rector of the University of Maribor

               Keynote speech by dr. Manja Klemenčič, Harvard University

               Awarding prizes and recognitions to students

               Awarding honorary titles of Professor Emeritus and degrees of Doctor Honoris Causa

               Acceptance speech by prof. dr. Ludvik Toplak

               Closing of the ceremony

The keynote speaker will be dr. Manja Klemenčič of Harvard University. 

Manja Klemenčič researches, teaches, advises and consults in the area of sociology and politics of higher education and international and comparative higher education. She is Lecturer on Sociology offering higher education courses at the Department of Sociology, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Harvard University and Lecturer in General Education at Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Manja is also local affiliate at the Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies at Harvard University. In Slovenia, she is associate researcher at the Centre for Educational Policy Studies, Faculty of Education at University of Ljubljana and collaborates also with research group at CMEPIUS, Centre of the Republic of Slovenia for Mobility and European Educational and Training Programmes, in particular as a member of the  global academic network APIKS - Academic Profession in Knowledge Societies.

Manja_K_avtor_Joshua_Chiang – kopija.jpg

Manja has repeatedly won Harvard's awards for excellence in teaching for her three staple courses: general education course GENED1039 Higher Education: Students, Institutions, and Controversies, engaged scholarship course SOCIOL1130 Student Leadership and Service in Higher Education, and Sociology research seminar SOCIOL1104 Sociology of Higher Education. Twice, she was voted by the Harvard Yearbook Publications one of the favourite professors by the graduating class ('19 and '20), and, in 2020, she won John R. Marquand Award for Excellence in Advising and Support to Students. 

Klemenčič' s current research focuses on the effects that students have on higher education, and student agency in higher education context.  Her research corrects the one-sided research in sociology of higher education that is primarily concerned with the effects of higher education on students, but ignores the effects that students have on their colleges and universities - through representation and activism, leadership and service, campus employment and through their consumer preferences. She published on student politics, student governments and student representation, and student voice in university quality; in international comparative perspective, and in European and African contexts. She has also researched academic profession and conditions of academic work, student centred learning and teaching in higher education, higher education internationalization, differentiation processes in higher education systems and reform processes within the European Higher Education Area. Among her latest publications are the The Routledge Handbook of Student Centered Learning and Teaching in Higher Education (Routledge, 2020, co-edited with Sabine Hoidn), in which she also contributed chapters on student agency and actorhood in student centred learning and teaching and on designing and evaluating the student centered ecosystems in higher education. As thematic editos of section on Elite and Mass Higher Education, she  co-edited The International Encyclopedia of Higher Education Systems and Institutions (Springer, 2020), in which she also contributed entries on student politics, student governments, student campus employees, alternative higher education and the effects of the higher education expansion on students.  In Slovenia she co-authored a study that has been published by CMEPIUS agency this year, namely Academic profession in knowledge societies (APIKS) and the conditions of academic work in Slovenia: Findings from the 2018 APIKS survey.


Since 2014, Manja has served as Editor-in-Chief of European Journal of Higher Education, and since 2015 as Co-Editor of the Bloomsbury book series Understanding Student Experiences of Higher Education. She serves on editorial boards of Tertiary Education and Management, Policy Reviews in Higher Education, Higher Education in Russia and Beyond, Journal of Student Affairs in Africa and The Europa World of Learning, and as reviewer for over 20 academic journals and publishers. At Harvard, she co-chairs the Mahindra Center Seminar Series entitled: Universities: Past, Present, and Future. She has served as external consultant or evaluator to national research foundations (National Research Foundation (NRF), Human Sciences Research Council, South Africa; Research and Scoping Awards of the Society of Research into Higher Education, United Kingdom; Irish Research Council Laureate Awards scheme; Research Grants, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council | Conseil de recherches en sciences humaines, Government of Canada; Unitatea Executiva pentru Finantarea Invatamantului Superior, a Cercetarii, Dezvoltarii si Inovarii (UEFISCDI), Ministerului Educatiei si Cercetarii Stiintifice (MECS), Romania; ESCR/NRF Newton, United Kingdom) as well as to international organizations (The Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency of the European Commission, UNESCO, World Bank) and governments (Slovenia, Finland, Saudi Arabia, Kazakhstan, Nigeria, Lithuania, Spain).

Manja obtained D.Phil in International Studies (Politics/Political Sociology) at Department of Politics and International Studies, University of Cambridge, M.Phil in European Studies at Department of History at University of Cambridge, and BA in Economics (International Trade) at University of Maribor, Slovenia. As doctoral researcher, she was a visiting fellow at Harvard Kennedy School of Government (Fulbright Fellowship) and at Centre for European Policy Studies in Brussels. As postdoctoral researcher she had visiting fellowships at Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University; Center for International Higher Education, Boston College; Center for Social Science Research in Berlin (WZB) and Harvard Graduate School of Education.

In 2010, in the position of a post-doctoral researcher, she joined the research group of prof. Pavle Zgaga on a project called Differentiation, equity, productivity: The social and economic consequences of expanded and differentiated higher education systems – internationalization aspect (08-EuroHESC-OP-016), which was funded by Slovenian Research Agency. Since then she has been an external collaborator of the Centre for Educational Policy Studies at the Faculty of Education, University of Ljubljana.  In Slovenia she also collaborates with a research group at The Centre of the Republic of Slovenia for Mobility and European Educational and Training Programmes (CMEPIUS).

As undergraduate student, from 1998 to 2001, Manja served as Secretary General of the European Students' Union (then ESIB -The National Unions of Students in Europe) based in Vienna, Austria and later in Brussels, Belgium. ESU is the European platform of 45 National Unions of Students (NUS) from 39 countries representing over 15 million students and is the representative body of higher education students in policy making within the  European Higher Education Area (EHEA/Bologna Process) and the European Union. prior to her service in ESU, she was a national coordinator, regional trainer and competitive debater in the Karl Popper Debate program of the Open Society Institute (later  Pro et Contra, Institute for Culture of Dialogue, Slovenia) of which she was also a co-founder.  

A musical program will be performed by soprano Martina Burger and pianist Kayoko Ikeda in celebration of Hugo Wolf's Jubilee Year. ​

Musical program:

Hugo Wolf: Die Nacht

Hugo Wolf: Auch kleine Dinge

Hugo Wolf: Er ist's



Soprano Martina Burger graduated with honours at the Zagreb Academy of Music in 2011. She has achieved outstanding success with her performances in national and international singing competitions. In 2010, the University of Zagreb bestowed upon her the Rector's Award. Her successful singing career has been shaped by many national and international opera and concert collaborations. She has performed 22 opera roles (Pamina and the Queen of the Night in The Magic Flute; the title role in Adina; Lauretta in Gianni Schicchi; Eurydice in Offenbach's Orpheus in the Underworld; Minka in The Nightingale of Gorenjska; Frasquita in Carmen;  Belinda in Dido and Aeneas; Madame Herz in The Impresario, etc.). In the last season she performed the roles of Micaela in Carmen and Clorinda in La Cenerentola at the Slovenian National Opera and Ballet Theatre in Ljubljana.


Martina Burger is also known for her teaching expertise: she collaborated with Vocal Academy Ljubljana, conducted a vocal technique workshop at the China Conservatory of Music in Beijing and another one at the international choir festival Europa Cantat in Pécs (Hungary) as well as a vocal technique seminar in Rijeka (Croatia). An important part of her teaching activities is the training of choristers at the Associazione Laes ed Estro Armonico (Salerno) and Glasbena matica music society in Trieste. She regularly collaborates with the Republic of Slovenia Public Fund for Cultural Activities in the vocal music segment: she conducts vocal technique seminars for choir conductors and accompanists and writes related educational materials. In addition to her educational work with various national and international choirs, she has been providing solo singing lessons for several years, thus educating new young talents.


Pianist Kayoko Ikeda graduated from Music Education at the Kyoto University of Education in Japan. Additionally, she graduated with honours from Piano studies at the Conservatorio di Musica Arrigo Boito in Parma. She has worked as assistant conductor for institutions such as Teatro Municipale di Piacenza, Teatro Regio di Parma, Teatro Giuseppe Verdi Busseto, Teatro Municipale Valli, the Bergen National Opera, and collaborated with numerous world-renowned singers and conductors. She is currently employed as rehearsal coach at SNG Opera in balet Ljubljana.

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