EUA : European University Association

Preview: Annual meeting of the EUA Council for Doctoral Education (EUA-CDE) – Lausanne (4-5 June 2009)

More than 200 experts in doctoral education from across Europe will gather next month at the University of Lausanne, Switzerland for the annual meeting of the EUA Council for Doctoral Education (4-5 June 2009).

This second annual meeting of the EUA-CDE promises to be an important forum for the development of European doctoral education. Amongst the highlights of the meeting will be the presentation of the results of a new EUA study which has explored the relations between doctoral programmes and the career development and employability prospects for doctoral candidates – the EUA DOC-CAREERS project.

Participants will also take part in plenary sessions on European doctoral education in the global context, and a series of practical workshops on specific issues which have been identified by universities as key challenges for advancing the quality of doctoral education: improving supervision of PhD candidates; research careers; collecting relevant data; the role of research assessment and its impact on doctoral education; and the internationalisation of PhD programmes.

The outcomes of these practical workshops including ‘best practice’ case studies will feed into the final plenary where the Chair of the EUA-CDE Steering Committee, Professor Jean Chambaz, will present the future priorities of EUA-CDE’s work.

Please click here to find out more about the conference. Presentations will be available after the conference on the EUA Council for Doctoral Education website.
Find out how to join the EUA-CDE (this service is open to non-EUA members).

EUA calls for Europe’s universities to participate in the EUDIS survey on income diversification

EUA is pleased to announce the launch of a major new survey within the framework of its project 'European Universities Diversifying Income Streams' (EUDIS).

The project is the second part of EUA’s work on financial sustainability, and follows on from 'Towards Full Costing in European Universities', looking at how Europe’s universities are diversifying their income streams and how this process impacts upon their governance and management. 

EUDIS aims to map the status of income diversification in European universities and seeks to provide useful examples of best practices. It will promote the institutional perspective on the topic of funding, with a view to informing national and European policy makers on how best to facilitate a judicious diversification of income streams. It will offer a unique opportunity to study this issue in these uncertain times of economic downturn.
EUA would like to encourage European universities to take part in this survey in order to gather as much evidence as possible in this area.
More information and access to the survey here.
The survey will remain open until 10 September 2009.

Reminder: Registrations open for the Institutional Evaluation Programme (IEP)

EUA is pleased to announce that the registration period for the next round of the Institutional Evaluation Programme (IEP) is still open until 30 June 2009.

The Institutional Evaluation Programme is designed for universities interested in developing a strategic response to challenges they are currently facing and increasing their ability to anticipate, shape and respond to future challenges. The evaluation takes place over a whole academic year and includes a self-evaluation phase, two site-visits and a final report that includes specific recommendations.

For further information and registration form, please visit the IEP website. By returning the registration form to Violeta Atanassova by 30 June 2009, you will ensure your invitation to a preparatory seminar for all participating institutions, which will be held in Brussels in October 2009. Any further questions about the IEP may be addressed to Violeta Atanassova.

2nd Asia-Europe (ASEM) Ministerial Meeting on Education in Hanoi, Vietnam

The 2nd meeting of Education Ministers from Asia and Europe (ASEM) took place in Hanoi, Vietnam on 14 and 15 May 2009. The conference was a follow-up to the 2008 gathering of Ministers in Berlin and aimed at establishing a permanent process of dialogue between the two regions. On behalf of Europe’s universities, EUA was invited to take part in discussions, which focussed on higher and vocational education.

During the meeting, Ministers agreed to set up three Asia-Europe pilot groups of experts in the field of credits and learning outcomes, joint degrees, and quality assurance. They also welcomed Germany’s offer to host the first rotating ASEM Education Secretariat for a period of four years, in order to ensure effective coordination and sustainable progress of the ASEM process.

EUA is pleased that Ministers recognised the ASEM Rectors’ Conference Process as a dialogue partner, and welcomed the biennial organisation of such conferences. The first ASEM Rectors’ Conference, which EUA organised together with the Asia Europe Foundation, the ASEAN University Network and the German Rectors’ Conference, was held last October at the Free University of Berlin and the 2nd ASEM Rectors’ Conference is planned for 2010.

In his conclusions, the Chair of the Ministerial Meeting in Vietnam also acknowledged EUA’s activities in promoting interregional dialogue in referring to the upcoming Bologna Round Table which gathers university stakeholders and government representatives from Asia and Europe (Brussels, 1-3 July).

EUA response to European Research Council (ERC) Review Panel

EUA has published its response to the current review of the European Research Council (ERC), following a consultation with its 34 National Rectors’ Conferences.

In the statement, EUA underlines that while the ERC has demonstrated its capacity to act as a ‘catalyst’ in mobilising scientific excellence in Europe, its funding will need to be substantially increased in the future to support high-quality research applications. Otherwise, EUA warns, there will be a clear risk of researchers turning away because of a low success rate of applications due to limited resources. EUA also calls on the ERC to review its decision to limit the reimbursement of indirect costs to a flat rate of 20%, stressing that universities need to receive the full costs of conducting externally-funded research.

In its response, EUA suggests that an evaluation of the current selection process from a gender perspective would be desirable, as the low participation of female researcher requires further ‘analysis and attention’. The ERC should also ensure its application procedures are as clear and simple as possible, and it should consider publishing advice to young researchers, particularly from new member states, on how to improve their chances of success.

The EUA response also covers other major issues in the review such as the transparency and structure of the peer review procedures, the selection of the ERC Scientific Committee members, and the advantages and disadvantages of moving away from the present structure, where the ERC acts as an Executive Agency of the Commission, to a more independent structure.

EUA underlines that a key issue for universities is the need for the continued simplification of FP7 operation, financial and reporting procedures. A potential risk of having a separate and independent ERC may therefore be the introduction of separate rules and procedures which could undermine the progress of the ‘simplification process’ to date, the statement notes.  EUA believes the ERC Executive Agency should work within the FP7 simplification policy while preserving its core principles of autonomy, excellence and transparency in its decision making.

Please click here to read the full EUA response.

G8 University Summit in Italy: Chancellors Debate Universities' Role

The 2nd G8 University Summit took place last week in Turin, Italy, gathering university leaders from countries in the G8 group, the G5 group (Brazil, China, India, Mexico and South Africa) and the Major Economies Meeting - MEM (South Korea, Australia and Indonesia), as well as a number of countries from the Mediterranean, the Middle East and Latin America.

The focus of the 2009 G8 University Summit was on the fundamental role that education and research have in informing, promoting and implementing sustainable and responsible development, both at the local and global level. It centred on four key themes (the four Es): Economics, Ethics, Energy Policy, Ecology.

EUA President, Professor Jean-Marc Rapp was invited to present the EUA perspective in the opening session of the meeting. In his speech, he stressed that, in the European Higher Education and Research Areas, with European universities at the forefront of this movement, it was becoming increasingly important to address the common challenges, such as the ‘four Es’ to be taken up in this conference, in a spirit of openness and global partnership.

The two-day meeting ended with the adoption of a final declaration on education and research for sustainable and responsible development for submission to the Italian Prime Minister's Office, ahead of the G8 Summit of Heads of State and Government leaders in July.

Please click here to find out more about the meeting.