EUA : European University Association

Debate begins on the ERC Mid-Term Review Panel’s Recommendations

The Swedish EU Presidency convened a ‘Mini-Seminar’ in Brussels on 15 September 2009 to foster a debate on the ERC Mid-Term Review Panel Report recommendations which were published on 23 July 2009.

The EUA had submitted its views to the review panel whose remit focused on the ERC’s structures and mechanisms. EUA has generally welcomed the Panel’s report and particularly its “plain-speaking” style and its robust recommendations.
The Mini-Seminar brought together the main stakeholders from the ERC Scientific Council, the new ERC Executive Agency, universities, national research councils, academies and research performing organisations. At the seminar, Professor Jean-Marc Rapp, EUA President (pictured), addressed the issue of “ERC in relation to national funding” together with Professor Dieter Imboden, EUROHORCs President (European Heads of Research Councils).
Professor Rapp emphasised that “Universities require a range of funding instruments at the European and national level to help support the development of their chosen research profiles and missions”. EUA wanted to see ERC funding increased but in parallel with the strengthening of national research funding systems. “One cannot be a substitute for the other!”, he added.

Europe – Africa higher education dialogue: Access to Success project update

In the Erasmus Mundus funded “Access to Success project: fostering trust and exchange between Europe and Africa,” EUA, together with its project partners, is looking to contribute to a wider discussion on higher education developments in Europe and Africa, a way to ensure a more efficient cooperation between the regions, in particular with regards to student and staff mobility schemes and capacity building partnerships.

The project, which started in October 2008, consists of two phases: a fact-finding phase, with institutional surveys and student focus groups in both Africa and Europe, and a dissemination and dialogue phase that will examine and elaborate the study results and facilitate opportunities for cooperation. The first phase is currently being finalised and dissemination workshops targeted at various audiences have been planned:

•    A first workshop on ‘Access and retention’ in Africa and Europe, and a parallel Africa-Europe rectors’ dialogue will take place in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 17-20 November 2009. This event is targeted at the institutional leadership in both regions
•    The second workshop focusing on institutional capacity building in Africa, will take place in Oslo, Norway, 25-26 February 2010 and is intended to bring various national and international donor and development programme agencies together with universities
•    The third workshop will discuss inter and intra regional mobility and is currently scheduled to take place in Accra, Ghana, in May 2010.

All workshops are by invitation only. For more information please email Michael Hörig.

The project will conclude with a dissemination conference in Brussels (September 2010), to promote the publication of a final report and policy recommendations regarding further Europe-Africa collaboration in higher education. This project is being carried out with the European Students’ Union, the Norwegian Rectors’ Conference, the University Development Cooperation of the Flemish Rectors’ Conference (VLIR-UOS), the Association of African Universities and the European Access Network. The European Association of Distance Teaching Universities is also an associated partner.

2nd EUA-CDE workshop: Structuring Doctoral Education (10-11 December 2009, University of Zagreb, Croatia)

The EUA Council for Doctoral Education (EUA-CDE) will organise the workshop ‘Structuring doctoral programmes: a means for continuous improvement’ that will take place at the University of Zagreb in Croatia on 10-11 December 2009.

This workshop – which is only open to EUA-CDE members - will be a forum for discussions based on concrete examples from the membership showing the possibilities and problems of structuring doctoral education.

The introduction of structured programmes in doctoral education has unquestionably been one of the most important developments in European higher education in recent years. Universities all over Europe have established either doctoral schools or programmes and many are in the process of setting up structures and defining institutional strategies for doctoral education.

It is time to reflect on this ongoing process, collect experiences and share ideas on all stages from setting up a structure for doctoral education to the daily challenges of running well-established programmes.

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

EUA-CDE also invites short contributions from CDE member institutions to present and share examples. Please see the call for papers for details.

Click here to find out more about the EUA-CDE and how to become a member.

EUA/HUMANE Open seminar: How to diversify income streams? (16-17 October 2009, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, Spain)

This seminar, organised in the framework of the EUDIS project, is open to the leadership and senior administrators of all HUMANE and EUA member institutions and will be highly interactive.

The event will include:

•    The exclusive presentation of the preliminary findings of the EUDIS survey
•    Thematic working sessions on: how to create successful partnerships with both public and private actors at regional level, and how to seize these opportunities to diversify funding; how best to exploit incentive measures set up by public authorities; how to face the challenges created by the economic crisis and how to take opportunities for restructuring and efficiency gains
•    Case studies complemented by a European overview and latest EUA research on the topic.

Speakers will include Ian Creagh, Head of Administration & College Secretary, King’s College London; Kari Balke Øiseth, Director General, Norwegian Ministry of Education and Research; Gundars Berzins, Director of Finance and Planning Department, University of Latvia; and Adrian Graves, Registrar and Secretary, University of Salford.

The full programme and further practical information are available here. More information about the EUDIS project can be found on the project website.

Reminder: Call of interest to host the Fifth European Quality Assurance Forum (2010)

EUA, together with partners from the E4 group (ENQA, EURASHE and ESU), will organise the Fifth European Quality Assurance Forum (EQAF 2010) in November 2010.

EQAF is a European conference on quality assurance (QA) in higher education that brings together the main stakeholders in the field – higher education institutions, quality assurance agencies and students. It provides a unique platform for the higher education and QA communities to follow, shape and anticipate developments in the area. The main purposes of this annual event are to foster a dialogue on quality assurance that bridges national boundaries and leads to a truly European discussion on QA in higher education, and to create a common European understanding of QA through a dialogue among different stakeholder groups and across geographical backgrounds.

EUA is currently looking for member institutions willing to host the Fifth Forum. Declarations of interest should be submitted by email by 2 October 2009.

The complete text for the call can be found here.

EUA at the 2009 EAIE Conference in Madrid

EUA organised several sessions on international higher education cooperation and Bologna at last week's European Association for International Education (EAIE) annual conference in Madrid.

The event entitled ‘Connecting continents’ brought together around 3 500 international education professionals, who came from around the world to network and to update themselves on innovations and developments in the internationalisation of higher education.

EUA co-organised working sessions on ‘EU Latin American and Caribbean cooperation – bolstering dialogue and building relationships’ and ‘Building a sustainable higher education policy dialogue with Asia’.

Secretary General, Lesley Wilson, chaired a lively session on the next decade of the Bologna process, while EUA also presented the findings of its recent Master study in a workshop on ‘Master programmes in Europe’.

Together with the Spanish Rectors’ Conference (CRUE), EUA also organised a special reception hosted by the University of Complutense in Madrid which enabled EUA to outline the different areas of its internationalisation work.