We rely on a wide international network of experienced senior experts and decision-makers in higher education, all of whom are able to significantly contribute to a range of Higher Education issues.  

  • Strategy formulation and implementation (strategic positioning and profiling)  
  • Leadership, governance, change and strategic management  
  • Quality enhancement and benchmarking 
  • Internationalisation (strategy, joint degree development, credit recognition)
  • Regional engagement and innovation 
  • European policies and programmes and their implications for universities  
  • Teaching & Learning strategies


Nadine Burquel - BCS Director

Nadine is a recognized expert in higher education with more than 20 years experience with EU policies and programmes in higher education as well as with strategy developments in higher education institutions.

From 1995 to early 2013, she was Secretary-General of ESMU, the European Centre for the Strategic Management of Universities, working directly with numerous executive boards and steering committees in strategy formulation and implementation and with third parties at senior level in universities worldwide, the European Commission and other international organisations.   She was involved in the design and acquisition of large projects to enhance ESMU’s position in the market (maximizing the potential for development), extensive networking (universities worldwide, consultancy firms and international organisations) and extensive (budget and other) negotiations with third parties. 

In 2010, she successfully negotiated with a major Foundation and consultancy firms to secure their participation in several consortia which won three large multiannual framework contracts for (consultancy) services for the European Commission in all areas of education and training.    Previously she was involved in the management of large multiannual technical assistance contracts with the European Commission such as for the Socrates, Leonardo and Youth programmes from 1995 to 2006. 

She initiated the development of many large European-wide networks of higher education institutions (MODERN, EU-DRIVERS) and coordinated numerous international leadership programmes, conferences and workshops.  

As project Director, member of senior management teams and individual expert she initiated and completed a wide range of European/international complex capacity building projects, consultancy work and benchmarking exercises. 

Nadine has extensive experience and networks across the higher education sector in all countries in Europe and beyond in Russia, North and South America, Australia and Asia.  She regularly presents in international conferences.  She has a Master from the Université of Louvain-la-Neuve in Belgium and recently completed an international high performance leadership programme with Oxford Saïd Business School.  

Tim Evans - BCS Director

Tim was the Head of Office at the European Centre for Strategic Management of Universities (ESMU) for 16 years prior to setting up BCS. He brings his extensive experience in administration, financial management, IT and EU project management to BCS. 

At ESMU Tim was involved in the financial management of EU funded projects (Socrates, Tempus, LLP Erasmus mundus, etc), networks (HUMANE, DEAN), conferences/seminars and the development of training programmes like the ESMU-HUMANE Winter School for senior administrators.

Tim has also been involved in European Commission Audits, representing ESMU and project partners, from initial contacts to the full completion of EU audits.

As Network Administrator of the HUMANE network, Tim has organized all HUMANE seminars since the creation of the network in 1997, working in close cooperation with the HUMANE Chairman, Network Manager and Executive Committee.   

Laura Ballesteros - Researcher

Laura graduated from the Erasmus Mundus Master in Higher Education at the Universities of Oslo (Norway), Tampere (Finland) and Aveiro (Portugal), having conducted her thesis research period at the Center for Higher Education Policy Studies (CHEPS) of the University of Twente (Netherlands). Upon graduation she became a teacher and deputy principal at the Universidad del Noroccidente de Latinoamerica (México).  Previously she completed a first degree in International Relations from the Universidad Autónoma de Baja California (México) where she then worked for the International Cooperation and Mobility Office of the university.

Laura worked in ESMU as researcher on various projects linked to the internationalisation of higher education.  She carried out a traineeship at the European Commission in the International Cooperation and Programmes Unit of the Directorate-General for Education and Culture where she was involved, among other things, in project monitoring and evaluation, policy dialogue activities, and the preparation of the Quality Assurance International Conference.

Cecilia Heidelberger - International Event Assistant

Cecilia graduated from the Master of Intercultural European Studies from the Universities of Regensburg (Germany), Complutense of Madrid (Spain) and Blaise Pascal (France, Clermont Ferrand) and holds a Bachelor degree in German-French Studies from the Universities of Regensburg and Blaise Pascal. During and after her studies, Cecilia gained practical experience in event management on many occasions: cultural festivals at the Cultural Centre Vincent Placoly in Martinique and an internship at the Debelux (German-Belgian-Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce) in the department of fairs and events in Brussels. 

After a postgraduate course in International Cooperation and Cultural Management at the University of Barcelona (Spain), Cecilia did an internship at the French-German Institute in Ludwigsburg (Germany) and a traineeship in the Berlin office of the Catalan Institute for the Cultural Industries and the Ministry of Culture of Spain in Madrid. 

From March 2008 to March 2009, she worked as an assistant of the coordinator of the itinerary exhibition “Egypt’s sunken treasures” at the cultural centre Matadero in Madrid for the Hilti Arts & Culture Foundation. Following this exhibition, Cecilia was employed for more than three years to organize and coordinate concerts and company events at a popular concert hall in Madrid. In 2013 Cecilia worked as a project officer for the European Centre for the Strategic Management of Universities of the 11th ESMU-HUMANE Winter School for Senior University Administrators in Valencia. For the Winter School, Cecilia liaised with host universities, senior level speakers and senior level participants from all over Europe and interacted with the several local suppliers in Valencia. She also was in charge of the school material and managed the online virtual library.

Cecilia is trilingual in German, French and Spanish, and fluent in English.