EUA : European University Association

New EUA report calls on universities and governments to do more to implement full costing

Faced with rising costs, stagnating public investment, and the current global economic crisis, Europe’s universities have never been more concerned about their financial sustainability, an issue now also high on the political agenda.

EUA, in a report published today, gives an important new insight into how higher education institutions are responding to financial pressures. Based on an in-depth, European-wide study, the report explains that the first step for universities in addressing these challenges is to identify the full costs of their activities for both internal and external purposes. Moving to full costing is thus essential to reinforce their financial sustainability.

The report calls on national governments to recognise the importance of granting autonomy to universities and to assist in the implementation of full costing. The authors also recommend that European funding schemes further simplify and develop their funding rules to meet universities’ needs and hence to strengthen their contribution to the European Higher Education and Research Areas.

This is part of EUA’s ongoing work on financial sustainability. It will be completed by a new study focusing on universities’ diversification of income streams (EUDIS), which is the second step in consolidating higher education institutions’ financial structures in times of global economic turmoil.

Please click here to read more or here to download the full report.

An executive summary can also be downloaded here.

First ASEM Rectors’ Conference: Higher Education Leaders of Asia and Europe discuss Long-term Cooperation

Following the inaugural meeting of Asian and European ministers responsible for education, hosted by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research in May 2008, the Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF), the ASEAN University Network (AUN),EUA, and the German Rectors’ Conference (HRK) recently organised the First ASEM Rectors’ Conference on the theme, "Between Tradition and Reform: Universities in Asia and Europe at the Crossroads". The event was hosted by the Freie Universität Berlin, and was supported by the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research.

The conference was an important step towards establishing a sustainable dialogue platform between Asia and Europe on higher education issues, in view of enhancing education cooperation and exchange among ASEM (Asia-Europe Meeting) countries.

The high-level meeting brought together around one hundred university leaders and education experts from ASEM countries to discuss higher education policy issues, such as governance and management of universities, quality assurance in higher education and trends in education and research cooperation between the two regions. Professor Dr Pierre de Maret, EUA Board Member, gave a keynote presentation at the event.

Recommendations from the meeting (that will be soon be published on our website) will be forwarded to the 2nd ASEM Education Ministers’ Meeting in Hanoi in May 2009 .

EUA-CDE workshop, “Enhancing Supervision: Professional Development and Assessment of Supervisors” (8 – 9 January 2009, Imperial College London, UK)

The recently formed EUA Council for Doctoral Education is organising a special workshop for its members on the topic of “Professional Development and Assessment of Doctoral Supervisors”, that will take place at Imperial College London on the 8-9 January 2009.

The workshop will cover a number of areas focusing on improving the quality of supervision of doctoral candidates. These include:

•    Professional development (training) of supervisors: how can supervisors get the right tools that respond to the needs of the doctoral candidates and the strategy of the doctoral programme?
•    Supervision assessment: what procedures exist to monitor and evaluate the quality of supervision?
•    Supervision and disciplinary differences: how can differences in supervision style and traditions between the disciplines be a source of inspiration and improvement?

The workshop is only open to EUA-CDE members and participation will be limited to a maximum of 80 persons. The target audience for this event is supervisors, Heads of Doctoral/Graduate/Research Schools or programmes and human resource professionals in universities.

Click here to find out more about the conference, or here to find out more about becoming a member of the EUA-CDE.

New EUA report: Turkish president recognises the need for more university autonomy

President of the Republic of Turkey, Abdullah Gül has recognised the need for greater autonomy for universities in Turkey, and indicated that he may transfer his authority to appoint university rectors, following the presentation of a new report on Turkish higher education by the Institutional Evaluation Programme of the European University Association.

The new report was presented to President of the Republic of Turkey at a special meeting in Istanbul on the 27th October by Professor Jarmo Visakorpi (evaluation team chair) and Ms; Christina Rozsnyai (evaluation team secretary) who were accompanied by EUA President Georg Winckler.

Professor Winckler underlined that the expansion of higher education in Turkey has not been accompanied by either the funds or the structural changes necessary to ensure high quality of education and research. The evaluation team based this report on an analysis of 17 individual institutional evaluations in Turkey and two meetings with institutional leaders. The work was conducted at the request of the Turkish Industrialists and Businessmen’s Association (TUSAID).

Amongst the different challenges facing the HE sector, the report authors underline that the greatest challenge for Turkey is granting greater autonomy to higher education institutions while ensuring accountability. Specifically, it outlines the need for a reduction in the gap between institutional and legislative autonomy; and calls for the YOK (The Turkish Higher Education Council) to be transformed into a national body that ‘truly represents higher education to government’. It also advises ‘revising legislation and YOK regulations to minimise intrusion into the internal management structure and other functions of universities’.

The report also stresses the importance of universities securing funding for several years, rather than the present situation where universities negotiate annually. This would enable universities to have resources to fulfil their longer terms aims and objectives.

Finally, the report highlights the problem of access to higher education. While the number of higher education institutions has been rising in Turkey, access to HE still remains low in Turkey (around 10%). Amongst the recommendations of the report, are that the Turkish authorities need to reconsider the current placement system but also improve the quality of secondary and vocational education.

Please click here to read the report or here to find out more about the Institutional Evaluation Programme.