EUA : European University Association

EUA Autumn Conference: 'Inclusive and responsive universities' ensuring Europe's competitiveness. (23-25 October 2008, Rotterdam)

EUA is delighted to announce that registration is open for the Autumn conference, that will be held at Erasmus University in Rotterdam (Netherlands) from the 23-25 October 2008.

This year's conference will explore the role of universities in promoting social equity and a more inclusive society, with a particular focus on universities to take a strategic approach to lifelong learning. The conference will address these different aspects in the context of the European Universities Charter on Lifelong Learning that EUA is presently preparing and against the background of the demographic challenges facing Europe, in particular the aging of many populations.

Participants will also consider the importance of developing a shared European approach to these issues and identify the challenges for universities in developing institutional strategies that enhance social inclusiveness whilst integrating lifelong learning.

In addition to a series of high-level plenary speakers - due to include the Minister of education from the Netherlands and the Chief Executive of Royal Dutch Shell - there will also be a series of working group sessions tackling themes in more depth. Please see the conference programme for full details.

The conference is targeted at university leaders (rectors, vice rectors, heads of administration, students) as well as other organisations involved in education policy, social partners, employers and senior government officials.

Register now for the EUA Autumn conference.

EU-Asia Higher Education Platform: European Higher Education Fair and India-EU Symposium (12-14 November 2008)

In February, EUA, the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and the Netherlands Organization for International Cooperation in Higher Education (Nuffic), were selected by the European Commission to establish an EU-Asia Higher Education Platform for European and Asian academics and policy makers.

The Consortium is pleased to announce details of the project's first event: the European Higher Education Fair (EHEF) New Delhi, India that will take place from 12-14 November 2008.

Mirroring a successful series of EU-funded fairs that have been taking place over the past two years, two additional EHEFs are going to take place in Asia in 2008-2009. The EHEFs aim to increase the attractiveness of Europe as a study and research centre for excellence. The fairs provide a platform for representatives of national structures and higher education institutions (HEI) from all 27 EU Member States. The fair will give students and parents the opportunity to collect valuable information about the broad range of study opportunities available in Europe.

The event in India will also include an India-EU Higher Education Symposium addressing EU-Indian higher education policy and cooperation issues and aiming to strengthen Europe's economic and cultural presence in Asia and vice-versa, to enhance mutual awareness and to contribute to the further development of EU-Asian cooperation in the field of higher education. It will provide a platform for high-level dialogue between government officials, senior managers and policy makers from India and Europe and representatives from higher education institutions and academic networks.

To find out more about the EHEF event - that will be attended by European Commissioner Ján Figel' - please visit this website.  

As part of the EU-Asia Higher Education Platform, the consortium will also be organising a series of roundtables and workshops late in 2008 and 2009. Further information about these events will be published in the EUA newsletter and website later this year.

Final reminder: Call for papers, workshops and posters for 3rd QA Forum (20-22 November 2008)

The 3rd European Quality Assurance Forum will take place on the 20-22 November 2008 at the Corvinus University in Budapest, Hungary.

This year's edition will explore European and international trends in quality assurance. Participants will examine the implications of various developments for quality assurance in European higher education and internationally. More specifically, this Forum aims to gain an understanding of how higher education institutions and QA agencies are responding to new forms of accountability and to analyse the impact and consequences of this development.

As for the previous Forums, the organisers have issued a call for papers, seeking contributions from Forum participants. Please note that the deadline to submit all types of contributions is now over. For more information please read the call or contact Thérèse Zhang.

Around Europe: UK report on demographic change and German moves to boost lifelong learning

A report published last week by Universities UK (UUK) outlines how universities are preparing themselves for the prospective demographic changes that will have an impact on the demand for higher education over the next 20 years.

This is the second report on a major project assessing the future size and shape of the higher education sector in the UK. As the project's first report demonstrated, the number of 18 to 20-year-olds - who make up over 70 per cent of entrants to full-time undergraduate programmes - is projected to fall sharply from 2009 to 2019 before rising again during the following decade up to 2027. The older age groups, from which part-time undergraduates are mainly drawn, will, on the other hand, experience modest growth over the same time period.

The second report analyses the potential impact of known and readily foreseeable policy developments on HEIs across the four countries of the UK. Please click here to read the full UUK report.

Meanwhile, the German Rectors' conference (HRK) has published a new position paper on continuing education. In the paper, the HRK urges its members to develop strategies for continuing education and integrate these within the overall university strategy. University leaders should also be encouraged to create incentive schemes for staff that will help boost lifelong learning in universities.

The HRK is also urging the German government to increase its support for continuing education - through greater financial support (through the regional "Länder" - which are responsible for funding higher education) and by developing promotional and support programmes. 

Opening of the Third Mitrovica Summer Courses 2008

On Monday 14 July the Mitrovica Summer Courses (MSC), the largest international educational project of the Kosovo Serbian academic and student community, were opened in North Mitrovica, Kosovo.

MSC is supported by the Dutch NGO SPARK and the Netherland?s Minister for Development Cooperation.

EUA participated in the opening ceremony as a signal of the importance and full support given to this initiative by the European higher education community. The MSC is a prime example of what academic cooperation can achieve: during the next two weeks, 150 students from North Mitrovica and all over Europe will participate in ECTS graded courses taught by 6 international and 12 local professors. The opening ceremony was also attended by representatives of all major international community organisations, demonstrating the important role this initiative plays in the region. 

Brussels Update: Commission report on EU education systems

The European Commission has presented the latest data on Member States' progress towards the 2010 goals they have set themselves for their education systems under the Lisbon strategy.

This annual "indicators and benchmarks" report looks at individual country's performances in key areas such as completion of secondary education, graduates in maths, science and technology and the participation of adults in lifelong learning activities. To find out more, please click here to read the full text of the 2008 Report.  

Meanwhile, the Brussels-based think tank Bruegel has just published a new higher education report entitled "Higher aspirations: An agenda for reforming European universities". The report analyses how the EU and its member states can seek to ensure that Europe's higher education systems achieve their dual goal of excellence with equal access for all. It also seeks to provide concrete suggestions to policymakers on how to "connect Lisbon to Bologna".

Click here to read the full report.