EUA : European University Association

Professor Jean-Marc Rapp becomes EUA president-elect

EUA is pleased to announce that members have voted Professor Jean-Marc Rapp (Switzerland) as President-elect during the association’s autumn conference in Rotterdam.

Professor Rapp is President elect until he takes over from current EUA President, Professor Georg Winckler, at the Spring Convention in Prague (2009). Former Rector of the University of Lausanne and President of the Swiss Rectors Conference (CRUS), he is currently a Vice-President of EUA.

Professor Rapp will serve for three years (2009-2012) as the President of EUA.


Autumn Conference and New EUA Charter on Lifelong Learning

More than 300 participants took part in last week’s autumn conference in Rotterdam which focused on the theme “Inclusive and responsive universities – ensuring Europe’s competitiveness.”

Sir Roderick Floud pointed out in his keynote address on Thursday 23 October that lifelong learning is not a new activity for universities and that there is no contradiction between having a strong research focus and opening up the university to new target groups.

The conference was also the occasion for EUA to officially present the new “European Universities’ Charter on Lifelong Learning”, a key EUA policy document. The Charter, developed at the request of the French Prime Minister François Fillon, is based around a series of 10 commitments made by universities in addressing the development and implementation of lifelong learning strategies, with a set of matching commitments proposed for governments and regional partners.

EUA President Georg Winckler presented the Charter to EUA members setting out in his speech the many compelling reasons why European universities should engage in lifelong learning as a priority in the years to come. He also informed members that he would present the new lifelong learning agenda at a meeting of European Education Ministers taking place at the end of November in Bordeaux, under the French Presidency of the European Union. This would be the opportunity to discuss with governments the commitments required from them in this field.

In presenting the conference conclusions, general rapporteur Hanne Smidt, provided an insight into how universities can develop and implement a lifelong learning strategy in practice. Discovering and building on existing practices, while also developing new initiatives that make up a coherent portfolio of lifelong learning activities will be essential elements in the individual strategy of each institution.

The new Charter can be downloaded in English or in French.


Bologna post 2010: EUA welcomes feedback on new policy paper

In April 2009, Ministers of Education from 46 European countries will meet in Leuven/Louvain-la-Neuve (Belgium) to look to the future and debate how to take the Bologna process forward once the European Higher Education Area formally comes into being in 2010.

EUA has published a first policy document that represents work in progress in setting university priorities for the future of the Bologna process. The EUA Council adopted this document following a consultation of its 34 national rectors’ conferences and the association would now welcome feedback from member universities. Feedback received will feed into the organisation’s Prague Convention in March 2009 and the final political declaration EUA will present to Ministers in April 2009.

The new policy document underlines that the achievements of the Bologna process have to be further consolidated and their sustainability ensured both at national level and within individual universities: “careful attention must be given to following up unfinished business to ensure that the qualitative changes required” are made and become sustainable across Europe. It also stresses the importance of the stakeholder model of cooperation created over the last decade. “It has provided opportunities for universities, through EUA, to take a leading role in policy development, and this should be built upon in the future”.

As priorities for advancing the European Higher Education Area in the future EUA proposes:

•    Consolidating Europe’s broad base of research-based education – by connecting more closely the European Research Area and the European Higher Education Area;
•    Widening participation – providing more education to more young people;
•    Redefining public responsibility of higher education, particularly in relation to the autonomy of higher education institutions;
•    Enhancing the international attractiveness of European universities - making sure that European universities are ‘fit to face’ global competition.

The working policy document can be downloaded here. Please send any feedback you may have directly to Michael Horig.


EUA welcomes new Members

On the occasion of the EUA Council meeting last week in Rotterdam, and following the statutory changes adopted by the General Assembly in Barcelona, eight new institutions have been welcomed as individual full members of EUA:

•    Hochschule Fulda – University of Applied Sciences (Germany)
•    Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna – SSSA (Italy)
•    University of Mitrovica (Kosovo UN 1244)
•    University of Agriculture in Krakow (Poland)
•    Matej Bel University in Banská Bystrica (Slovak Republic)
•    Lviv Polytechnic National University (Ukraine)
•    Sumy State University (Ukraine)
•    University of London (United Kingdom)

In addition, Erzincan University (Turkey) has been accepted as an individual associate member; Coimbra Group, UNICA – Network of Universities from the Capitals of Europe and Utrecht Network were accepted as collective associate members (European networks); and the Hungarian Higher Education Lifelong Learning Network was granted affiliate status.


EUA Supports Launching of European Energy Research Alliance

At its recent Council meeting held at Erasmus University, Rotterdam, EUA agreed to give its support to the establishment of a European Energy Research Alliance (EERA). It was particularly welcomed that the European Commission had invited EUA to participate in EERA on behalf of Europe’s universities in what is regarded as an important pilot development in the new “joint programming” approach in the further building of the European Research Area.

In launching the EERA in Paris on 28th October in Paris the EU Commissioner for Science and Research, Janez Potocnik said: "The development of cutting-edge energy technologies requires the pooling of the best brains and resources beyond national borders. The creation of the European Energy Research Alliance that will coordinate national and European energy research programmes is a crucial step forwards. This test case of joint programming will enable us to leverage on a more efficient use of national and European resources and compete successfully on the international level." 

The EERA will foster cooperation between major national research institutes and universities that will help to move from today's model of collaborating on individual projects towards a new way of jointly implemented programmes. There are many scientific fields which have an impact on the development of energy technologies, from engineering to the social sciences. The Alliance will be able to cover many different disciplines, bringing a much-needed multidisciplinary approach to energy research.

In participating in EERA, EUA wants to ensure the openness of the EERA to high quality research fostered through appropriate coordination and funding mechanisms (both national and European) that provide opportunities to bring excellent university-based researchers and research teams together to tackle the challenge of overcoming the fragmentation of Europe’s research efforts in this strategically important research field. The success of the EERA will be measured by its openness to European research communities to develop an innovative research agenda that includes both specialist disciplinary expertise and inter-disciplinary approaches to address commonly-agreed research priorities.

Professor Helena Nazare (Rector, University of Aveiro, Portugal) represented EUA at the EERA founding group meeting and the EU French Presidency Conference on the SET-PLAN on 27-28th October 2008 in Paris.


Job Opportunities at EUA

EUA is currently looking to recruit a Senior Programme Manager and Project Officer to be based at its secretariat in Brussels:

•    Senior Programme Manager (higher education policy and project development). Reporting to the Head of Unit responsible for the development of EUA’s European higher education policy and internationalisation agenda, this senior position requires a broad understanding of the teaching and learning process in European universities and considerable experience in the design and implementation of relevant policies and instruments.

•    Project Officer, a highly motivated professional to work within the EUA Higher Education Unit to implement projects and other activities in relation to EUA higher education policy and internationalisation agendas.

More information about these positions and other vacancies is also available through the EUA website. Applications (CV and covering letter) should be sent to Isabelle Damman at: vacancies@eua.be.