EUA : European University Association

Preview of EUA Autumn Conference (8-10 October) : What does it mean to be an international university?

Universities around Europe are increasingly looking to work internationally to attract students and researchers, to establish exchange programmes and research collaborations. But what actually makes a university truly international?

This will be one of the main themes of discussion next week (8-10 October) when 300 university leaders, policy makers and higher education stakeholders gather at the Justus Liebig University in Giessen, Germany to take part in the EUA Autumn Conference. Entitled ‘Internationalisation beyond Europe’s frontiers: enhancing attractiveness through global Partnership and Cooperation’, this will be the first major EUA conference devoted entirely to the internationalisation of European higher education.

The Conference will explore European universities’ relationship with partners around the globe and examine good practice on how cooperation and dialogue may be fostered in spite of, and in conjunction with, competition, at a time of a major global economic downturn.

Break-out sessions will enable university leaders to discuss institutional policies and strategies for internationalisation, addressing specific issues such as international research cooperation, joint degrees and language policy.

The event will also include a pre-conference workshop (8 Oct.) on Europe and transnational higher education (TNE) that will assess, in particular, how the off-shore, branch campuses and programmes impact on higher education systems on a global scale, including on European higher education in particular.

To find out more about the conference, please visit the conference website.

Bologna process : EUA contribution to measuring and promoting student and staff mobility in Europe

Since education ministers adopted the ambitious goal of 20 per cent mobile students by 2020 at the Leuven/Louvain-la-Neuve summit, European higher education actors are now taking forward discussions on definitions of student and staff mobility as one of the actions in addressing the implementation of the Bologna process beyond 2010.

Improving mobility (as outlined in the Leuven Communiqué)  is particularly important to universities and their students and staff, as they are the immediate beneficiaries, as well as the actors who turn mobility into reality.

Therefore EUA, Education International (EI) and the European Students’ Union (ESU) joined forces to draft an input paper for the meeting of the Bologna Follow-Up Group (the body that manages the Bologna process in between Ministerial meetings) that took place in Stockholm on 28-29 September 2009.

This paper was drafted to ensure that the perspectives of universities, staff and students are taken into consideration in discussions on the mobility benchmark and mobility indicators, but also in order to deliver a concrete and tangible contribution to the enhancement of transnational student and staff mobility in Europe.

Please click here to view the paper.

EIT update: New director and input from EUA

The Governing Board of the new European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) has appointed Gérard de Nazelle as the first Director of the newly established Institute.

A French citizen and former Global Manager for Innovation and Research at Shell, he will lead the EIT's headquarters during the next four years. As Director he will play a key role in setting up the Knowledge and Innovation Communities (KICs), and his core task in the coming months will be to establish the new EIT Headquarters in Budapest, Hungary.

Dr John Smith, EUA Deputy Secretary-General (Research and Innovation) commented :“The appointment of the EIT Director is an important step. Several universities have worked intensively in recent months to submit KIC applications in response to the first call. Transparency in the administration and operation of the EIT decision-making process will be crucial for the successful implementation of the first KICs.”

EUA has continued to provide input from universities to the development of the EIT initiative since its launch. In July this year EUA President, Professor Jean-March Rapp, met with Dr Martin Schuurmans, Chairman of the EIT Governing Board, to indicate EUA’s continuing interest in the development of EIT on behalf of its members and the need for the strong engagement of universities in all aspects of EIT’s work.

Dr Schuurmans placed emphasis on the importance of working with all stakeholders to make this new instrument work successfully. He anticipated that once the new Director and staff were in place a regular dialogue with EUA and other stakeholders would be established.

IEP granted full ENQA membership

Launched in 1994 as a strategic tool for change in higher education institutions, EUA’s Institutional Evaluation Programme (IEP) carries out evaluations which support participating institutions in the continuing development of their strategic management and internal quality culture.

EUA is pleased to announce that the IEP programme has been granted full membership of the European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education (ENQA).  The decision by the ENQA Board was made following an external review of the IEP’s compliance with the European Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in Higher Education (ESG) in April 2009.
One of the good practices commended by the review panel was the Annual Seminar which the Programme organises this week at the Copenhagen Business School, Denmark, for the 90 experts who will visit and evaluate the institutions during the 2009/2010 evaluation round.
The review report and further information on IEP is available on the IEP website.

Please note that an information session on the IEP will take place at the EUA Autumn Conference in Giessen.

Around Europe: Ireland seeks to widen participation through expansion of HEAR scheme

The seven universities in Ireland, together with colleges of education and Dublin Institute of Technology, are seeking to broaden access to higher education for schools leavers from disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds across the country by building on the initial success of its Higher Education Access Route scheme.

Under the scheme, colleges and secondary schools are allocated a quota of ‘reduced points’ places across academic areas. Students who secure places are offered a variety of academic and personal supports whilst at college. Nearly 700 students entered higher education through the ‘HEAR’ route in 2009.

This scheme is now being expanded from 305 to all 730 secondary schools in Ireland as part of the National Action Plan for Equity of Access to Higher Education 2008-2013 which sets the ambitious target entry rate of at least 54% for all socio economic groups by 2020.

To find out more about the scheme please visit this website.

EUA welcomes suggestions of interesting national higher education stories from its collective and individual members for its ‘around Europe’ column. If you have any suggestions or further questions, please contact Andrew Miller. EUA reserves the right to refuse or edit the submitted news items.