EUA : European University Association

EUA Experts Conference on Diversifying Income Streams rescheduled for 13-14th September 2010

EUA is pleased to announce that the Experts conference ‘Towards Financially Sustainable Universities II: Diversifying Income Streams’ has now been rescheduled for the 13-14 September at the University of Bologna, following last month’s disruptions to air traffic across Europe.

Registrations will reopen next week through the event website. Please note that everyone who planned to attend the original event will also receive an invitation in the coming days to register for the new dates.

If you have any questions regarding the conference, please contact:

Phone: +32 2 230 55 44

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

EUA President meets with new European Commissioner for Research

On 28th April, Professor Jean-Marc Rapp EUA President, together with Dr John Smith, EUA Deputy Secretary General, met with the new EU Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science, Maire Geoghegan-Quinn. The meeting took place in the context of a series of meetings convened by the new Commissioner with the main European stakeholders concerned with the development of future research and innovation policy.

Commissioner Geoghegan-Quinn stated that she wanted an active dialogue with EUA on the forthcoming Communication on “A European Plan for Research and Innovation” and its future development and implementation in building a globally competitive European Research Area (ERA). She attached importance to the university sector and its contribution in building the ERA, placing emphasis on innovative capacity and the role of universities in producing new knowledge and skills of key importance to future economic growth, the creation of new jobs, products and services. Universities also had an important task in winning over public opinion in favour of greater investment in science and technology.

Professor Rapp indicated that the specific list of priority topics and activities provided before the meeting by EUA demonstrated that these challenges were being taken up by universities and there were substantial and excellent track records in these respects across Europe. Citing as examples its work with the Responsible Partnering initiative, the Council for Doctoral Education and the building of a European Platform of Universities engaged in Energy Research, Professor Rapp emphasised how EUA’s work promoted best practices and their take-up across its membership, both at the level of its individual members and its collective members, the national rectors’ conferences.

Through bringing forward empirical evidence from its activities and the views of its university membership, EUA looked forward to providing input to the “European Plan for Research and Innovation” and maintaining a regular dialogue with the new Commissioner in the forthcoming crucial period for ERA policy development.

EUA underlines need for simplification of European research funding

On 27th April, EUA was invited to present the university viewpoint in a public hearing on the ‘Efficiency and effectiveness of the 7th Framework Programme’ (FP7) organised by the European Parliament’s Budgetary Control committee. This meeting is part of the current process to simplify and reform the Commission’s research programmes, in particular through the mid-term review of the ongoing FP7 programme and development of the next programme due to begin in 2013.

EUA has stressed that universities require sustainable funding conditions for university-based research, particularly from external funding sources in covering the full costs of research including indirect costs, and has been a prominent stakeholder on behalf Europe’s universities in the policy debate on the development of the FP7 Rules of Participation. EUA has collected empirical evidence from its member universities highlighting the need for simplification of the rules and procedures in European funding programmes.

Thomas Estermann, EUA Head of Unit (Governance, Autonomy and Funding), presented the university viewpoint to this important audience. In particular, he underlined that simplification needs to cover the full funding cycle and that rules need to be consistent and stable and respect the diversity of Europe’s universities. He also called for an urgent change in the implementation and interpretation of rules based on trust, highlighting key elements of the EUA’s recent submission to the public consultation on the Second Triennial Review of the Financial Regulation.

This European Parliament meeting follows EUA’s active contribution to the high-level seminar organised in February by the EU Spanish Presidency on the topic of simplification of Community funding for research. EUA understands that the Spanish Presidency is preparing a communication on this issue that will be presented to Research Ministers taking part in the European Council’s Competiveness Committee later this month. This also follows last week’s publication by DG Research of a communication on this issue that will also be addressed to the EU Council and Parliament.

Report from the Third European University-Business Forum, Brussels (4-5 May 2010)

Organised by the European Commission’s Directorate for Education and Culture, the third edition of the University-Business Forum was entitled “University-Business Cooperation for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth”.

The topics addressed included: university-business cooperation with SMEs and regional development; university-business cooperation to stimulate and develop innovation; and university-business cooperation and quality of education.

EUA played an active role in the meeting discussions and debates. Board Member, Prof. Tadeusz Luty, highlighted in the opening round table that partnerships are important in all areas of university missions, curricula development, research collaboration and innovation activities. He also underlined that autonomy and sustainable funding, investment in higher education and research and European funding instruments were three essential framework conditions required by universities to integrate successfully the European Higher Education and Research Areas, especially in the context of the global economic crisis. Two recent examples of EUA initiatives in the field of university partnerships illustrated these messages: the revised Responsible Partnering guidelines published in October 2009 and the preliminary results on the EUA mapping of university cooperation with external partners in the field of energy (EPUE Platform).

Senior Programme Manager Dr. Lidia Borrell-Damian chaired a session on “Cooperation to stimulate and develop innovation” and presented, together with Dr. Leopold Demiddeleer, President of the European Industrial Research Management Association (EIRMA), the revised Responsible Partnering Guidelines.

The conference addressed some of the key success factors related to university-business cooperation and highlighted good examples of embedding entrepreneurship in curricula. It also reflected the need that companies have for multidisciplinary approaches as innovation normally arises at the crossing of disciplinary boundaries. The conference presentations and conclusions will be shortly available on the Directorate for Education website.

Reminder: Call for Contributions for the 5th European Quality Assurance Forum

The 5th European Quality Assurance Forum, ‘Building bridges: making sense of QA in European, national and institutional contexts,’ will take place on 18-20 November 2010 and will be hosted by University Claude Bernard Lyon I, France.

As in previous years, the organisers (the E4 Group: EUA, ESU, ENQA, EURASHE) are seeking contributions. Proposals are welcome in three different formats: papers, workshop propositions, and as proposals for holding a stand in the Forum Café. The latter involves sharing an example of practice in QA in an informal and networking context, while paper and workshop proposals might delve deeper into how QA tools and processes relate to European and national policy discussions or interact with institutional quality frameworks and quality culture.

The deadline for contributions is 26 July 2010.

For further information please visit this webpage or contact

New publication: Creativity and diversity – Challenges for quality assurance beyond 2010

EUA is pleased to announce the launch of a new publication: "Creativity and diversity: Challenges for quality assurance beyond 2010”. The publication assembles a selection of keynote presentations and excellent papers that contributed to lively discussions at the 4th European Quality Assurance Forum which was held in Copenhagen on 19-21 November 2009 and gathered together around 500 academics and experts in quality assurance.

The keynotes and papers discuss how current QA practices might leave enough space for creativity and innovative changes, review developments in QA practice and include reflections on national or institutional case studies building on the theme of the 4th Forum.

Please click here to download the publication.

Please note also that the Forum organisers have launched a call for papers for the 5th Forum which will take place on 18-20 November, 2010 (please see story above).