EUA Prague Declaration: Universities outline proposals to combat economic crisis and long-term road map for higher education in Europe
EUA has published this week its Prague Declaration that contains a series of targeted messages to Europe’s politicians with proposals from universities to help combat the current economic and financial crisis. Based on the outcomes of the recent EUA Prague Convention – the Declaration also sets out a long-term agenda for European universities in the next decade identifying ‘10 paths to success’.
The Declaration - that will be presented to the 46 education ministers attending the Bologna process Ministerial Summit at the end of April – underlines universities’ role as a driving force for economic recovery in Europe. However, it stresses that, for universities to play their full role in helping European economies out of recession, politicians must commit to major investment in higher education and research. “Europe cannot afford to run the risk of losing a generation of talented people or a serious decrease in research or innovation activity,” the Declaration underlines.
EUA urges “decision makers at the national and European level to emulate the major investment in higher education and research that characterises the US economic stimulus package” and which supports both high end research and students and families struggling to pay for higher education. EUA is calling for renewed efforts from governments to reach the Barcelona target of 3% (of GDP) investment in research and the 2% (of GDP) target for investment in higher education proposed by the European Commission. The Declaration recommends that European stimulus packages are needed to create real opportunities and incentives for young researchers; to tap unused potential through the implementation and financing of lifelong learning across Europe; and to upgrade universities’ facilities and campus infrastructure.
Looking ahead to the next decade – the EUA Prague Declaration outlines 10 key success factors for European universities:
• widening opportunities for participation in, and successful completion of, higher education
• improving researcher careers
• providing relevant and innovative study programmes
• developing distinctive institutional research profiles
• shaping, reinforcing and implementing autonomy
• increasing and diversifying income
• enhancing quality and transparency
• promoting internationalisation
• increasing and improving the quality of mobility
• developing partnerships.
In the coming months, the EUA Board and Council will develop a specific action plan for each of these 10 issues with recommendations at the institutional, national and European level.
Please click to download a full version of the Declaration.
EUA Board elects Vice Presidents
EUA is pleased to announce that the new Board has elected Professor David Drewry (Vice Chancellor of the University of Hull, UK) and Professor Maria Helena Nazaré (Rector of the University of Aveiro, Portugal) as Vice-Presidents of the Association.
They have been elected as Vice-Presidents to Professor Jean-Marc Rapp who took over as EUA President at last month’s meeting in Prague.
Please click here to see a full list of the current EUA Board and Presidency.
Reminder – Register now for 2nd Annual Meeting of the EUA Council for Doctoral Education (4-5 June 2009)
Registration is still open for the 2nd Annual Meeting of the EUA Council for Doctoral Education (EUA-CDE) that will take place in Lausanne, Switzerland on 4-5 June 2009.
The Annual Meeting will provide the possibility to discuss further the key doctoral issues that the EUA-CDE has touched upon during the last year: including supervision of PhD candidates, research careers, internationalisation and data collection as well as providing a forum for thoughts about the future challenges for doctoral education. It will also be an occasion to analyse the rapid reforms of European doctoral programmes, to raise ideas and opinions about the future.
For further information about the event and registrations please visit the event website. Please note the registration deadline is 4 May 2009.
EUA welcomes Commission Communication on University-Business Dialogue
The European Commission has published a new Communication entitled 'A new partnership for the modernisation of universities: the EU Forum for University-Business Dialogue'.
The Communication is designed to highlight the outcomes of the Commission’s two University-Business Forums that were held in February this year and in 2008, and particularly to outline the challenges and barriers to improving university-business cooperation at the European level.
Underlining the need for universities to develop structured partnerships with business, the communication highlights six specific challenges: re-defining curricula for better employability, fostering entrepreneurship, knowledge transfer, mobility across borders and between business and academia, lifelong learning, and better university governance.
EUA was invited to the launch of the communication by Commissioner Jan Figel – who underlined the EC was looking to create a long-term platform for university-business dialogue. EUA’s Lidia Borrell-Damian welcomed the Communication and highlighted EUA’s active role in both Forums.
She also underlined EUA’s commitment to reinforcing university-business collaboration with its members – particularly as stressed in the communication itself through the taking forward of the EUA Lifelong Learning Charter and the Responsible Partnering Initiative.
Please click here to read the Communication.
EUA invited to contribute to ERC Review Panel
The Chair of the newly-established European Research Council (ERC) Review Panel, Vaira Vike-Freiberga, has invited EUA to submit its written views to the Review Panel.
Contributions to the review have been requested from key stakeholders, including the main representative organisations for research in Europe. The European Research Council was set up under the 7th Framework Programme, as an independent scientific council supported by a dedicated implementation structure, to be established in the form of an Executive Agency. It was stipulated in the framework of the mid-term evaluation of the 7th Framework Programme that an independent review of the ERC’s structures and mechanisms will be carried out.
The key elements of the review will be to:
• analyse the ERC’s structures and mechanisms against criteria of specific excellence, autonomy, efficiency and transparency, and with the full involvement of the Scientific Council
• consider the process and criteria for the selection of the members of the Scientific Council
• consider the advantages and disadvantages of a structure based on an Executive Agency and a structure based on Article 171 of the Treaty.
The terms of reference document lists the main criteria and issues to be addressed in seeking views and inputs from stakeholders (in particular, see section 4).
EUA is in consultation with its Council and National Rectors’ Conferences in preparing its written input to the Review Panel.
Internationalisation Handbook: New supplement, online database and events calendar
EUA is pleased to announce that the 2nd Supplement of the Internationalisation Handbook is now available to subscribers.
The Internationalisation Handbook – which is jointly edited by EUA and the Academic Cooperation Association (ACA) – is specifically designed as a source of information and reference for those involved in developing and implementing internationalisation strategies and measures, including university leaders and international office managers. The Handbook is published by Raabe Academic Publishers as a loose-leaf edition consisting of a basic edition and regular supplements (hard copy plus CD-ROM), all collected in a ring folder. It also has a dedicated website that is designed to provide subscribers with free access to an electronic version of the articles.
The 2nd supplement of the Handbook includes a series of in-depth articles on the following issues:
• internationalisation in Latin American Higher Education: main challenges, debates, and trends
• designing institutional internationalisation policies and strategies
• key components of a successful international strategy
• legal frameworks: challenges and opportunities for international education
• International Max Planck Research Schools (IMPRS) Graduate Programs within a First Rate Research Environment
• internationalisation, mobility and pensions: the experiences of early career researchers.
Raabe is also pleased to announce that the Handbook website now includes a new online events-calendar which provides information on forthcoming conferences, seminars and meetings related to the internationalisation of higher education. Subscribers will also have access to a special database containing useful contact addresses of many heads of international offices and heads of HE institutions.
Click to find out more about the Internationalisation Handbook or the sister publication the EUA Bologna Handbook.
Members & Partners News
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