EUA : European University Association

EUA Autumn Conference: ‘Internationalisation beyond Europe’s frontiers - Enhancing attractiveness through global partnership and cooperation’ (Giessen, Germany, 8-10 October 2009)

EUA is pleased to announce that registrations are now open for the Autumn conference that will take place at the Justus Liebig University in Giessen, Germany from 8-10 October 2009. The theme of this year’s conference is ‘Internationalisation beyond Europe’s frontiers - Enhancing attractiveness through global partnership and cooperation’.

The internationalisation of higher education has evolved at a rapid pace in the last decade and has become a major policy issue for universities of all sizes across Europe.

 EUA’s Autumn Conferencewill bring together European university leaders and senior staff, policy makers and other stakeholders to examine different internationalisation strategies, and how to respond to the pressures to look ‘beyond European frontiers’. The meeting will also explore European universities’ relationships with partners around the globe, and examine good practice on how cooperation and dialogue may be fostered.

In addition to four plenary sessions there will be breakout sessions enabling participants to look at a range of important issues in greater detail. These will include:
•    The crucial role of mobility 
•    International research cooperation
•    Joint degrees – a vehicle for internationalisation
•    Building an international profile – promotion and visibility
•    Internationalisation and language policy
•    Universities contribution to development cooperation.

On Thursday 8 October there will also be a special pre-conference workshop that will address transnational higher education (TNE). The event will provide an overview on trends in TNE, and allow participants to discuss how it impacts European higher education.  Please note that participation is only possible for a limited number of conference participants (no extra fee will be charged).

To find out more about the event programme and how to register, please visit the conference website.


Universities welcome FP7 decision on indirect research costs but call for further simplification of procedures

EUA welcomes the European Commission’s announcement that it will maintain the 60% flat rate for the recovery of indirect costs for universities participating in the 7th Framework Programme (FP7).

The flat rate, which higher education institutions can apply for, will now be applicable for the whole duration of 7th Framework programme which runs until 2013.

There had been signs in the run up to the mid-term review of FP7 that the Commission would seek to significantly reduce the flat rate recovery for FP7. EUA has lobbied on behalf of its member universities, together with other public research organizations, to maintain the current flat rate for universities across Europe, arguing that any reduction would be premature and could threaten the financial sustainability of universities.

EUA notes therefore that the Commission’s decision reflects the findings and recommendations of the recent EUA report “Financially sustainable universities: towards full costing in European universities” which called on the European policy-makers to maintain the flat rate recovery of indirect costs under FP7. The report provided evidence-based arguments to underline the importance for Europe’s universities to move towards full costing of all their activities and equally the key role European funding programmes such as FP7 could play as drivers in this process.

In welcoming the flat rate decision, EUA believes that it is vital for the Commission to continue to simplify the procedural rules of the 7th Framework Programme (and all other European funding schemes) to increase flexibility in taking into account the diversity of Europe’s universities and avoid placing excessive administrative burdens on them, in particular in terms of the financial and reporting procedures.

EUA is also calling on the Commission to apply this flat rate to funding through its Joint technology initiatives (JTI). In the first JTI (the Innovative Medicines Initiative) the Commission announced that universities could only claim 20% indirect costs (rather than adopt the FP7 rules of participation), a move opposed by EUA.


Call for participation in the EUDIS project

EUA has launched a call for universities to participate in its EUDIS project which seeks to map the status of income diversification in European universities and to provide valuable examples of best practices in this area. This European Commission-funded project is carried out in collaboration with HUMANE (the Heads of University Administration Network), the University of Bologna and the Bavarian State Institute for Higher Education Research and Planning.

Higher education institutions can take part in EUDIS in any of the following ways:
•         Universities can still take part in the EUDIS questionnaire until 10 September 2009
•         The project will involve a series of site visits to institutions, to enable EUA to collect crucial information about the diversity of university funding across Europe. To find out more about hosting a site visit please contact Enora Pruvot or Thomas Estermann at eudis@eua.be
•         By attending the best practice seminar (16-17 October 2009, Madrid)
•         By participating in the Experts’ conference (April 2010), for which EUA is looking for instructive examples of income diversification (successes and challenges). More information will follow in the Autumn through the EUA newsletter and website.

EUA encourages universities interested in putting forward their experience in diversifying income streams to contact the project team. This project will be particularly interesting for those leaders/administrators facing challenges in the implementation of their funding strategy, or those exploring new avenues to raise funds.

To find out more or participate in this project, please contact eudis@eua.be


Reminder: Call for papers - Fourth European Quality Assurance Forum in Copenhagen, Denmark (19 – 21 November 2009)

The Fourth European Quality Assurance Forum will be organised on 19-21 November 2009 at Copenhagen Business School, Denmark.

The theme of this year’s Forum is ‘Creativity and Diversity: Challenges for quality assurance beyond 2010’. As in previous years, the Forum organisers are seeking contributions from participants in the form of paper presentations and workshop proposals. EUA members are invited to propose papers, for example, sharing and discussing their experiences of QA practices or testing ideas for new quality assurance initiatives.

The deadline for papers is 20 August 2009. In order to find out more about the Fourth European Quality Assurance Forum call for papers, please click here. Further information on how to register for the Forum will be published through the EUA Newsletter and website in July.


Around Europe: Universities Act strengthens autonomy of Finnish universities

On 16 June, the Finnish Parliament approved the ‘new Universities Act’ that will strengthen the autonomy of Finnish universities by giving them an independent legal personality, either as public corporations (14 universities) or as foundations under private law (two universities).

The Finnish Council of University Rectors welcomes this move as it has been actively arguing for this change for years. The ‘new universities’ will officially start on 1 January, 2010.

The Act will give new impetus to the university reform that has been brewing for a couple of years and includes a series of university mergers. As a result of mergers, Finland will have three new universities: Aalto University, University of Eastern Finland and (the new) University of Turku.

The State remains the main funder of universities in Finland but, under the new legislation, universities will gain greater autonomy in terms of finances and overall management. The governance and decision making processes will also be reformed, with more ‘external members’ on the board, including the chair. In addition the rector will no longer be elected by and from inside the university community, but recruited by the board. Universities will take also the place of the State as official ‘employers’.

Click here to find out more about the reforms.


EUA at NAFSA: Bologna attracts an international audience

EUA took part in a number of sessions on European higher education developments at the recent Nafsa (Association of International Educators) annual conference, this year hosted in Los Angeles, California.

Nafsa attracts thousands of US and international participants to its annual conference and expo, and provides EUA with the opportunity to present different areas of its work to a wide international audience.

In particular, EUA was invited to speak in a variety of sessions addressing the development of the Bologna process in Europe, including the EAIE workshop on ‘The Bologna Process in 2009: is Europe reaching its goals?’. EUA also led the sessions ‘One bachelor for Europe’, where developments in the European first cycle were discussed, and ‘The next Decade of Higher Education reform’, where EUA, along with Canadian and American colleagues explored the outcomes of the Leuven Ministerial Summit.

There was a high international participation at these sessions, ranging from Asia and Latin America, to the even more significant European interest in Bologna sessions. One European participant stated that ironically she learned more about Bologna by travelling to the US than she had in her university.

EUA also provided, for the first time, a session on the ‘Future of Doctoral Education in Europe’, which examined the increasing cooperation in doctoral reforms in Europe, the newly established EUA Council for Doctoral Education, joint degrees at doctoral level, and offered a US perspective from the Council of Graduate Schools. There was a particularly high interest in joint degree delivery, which was featured in other sessions at the conference as well, including one delivered by the European Commission.


Reminder: Registrations still 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.

Please click here to find out more about the IEP and how to register.