EUA : European University Association

EUA responds to Commission’s “Green Paper” consultation on the European Research Area

The European University Association has today published its response to the European Commission's Green Paper on the future of the European Research Area (ERA).

The EUA viewpoint builds upon the outcomes of its “Lisbon Declaration” arising from the EUA 4th Convention of Higher Education Institutions held in Spring this year.
 
EUA is launching its position paper as a contribution to the debate to be held at the High Level Conference on the Future of Science and Technology in Europe organized by the Portuguese Presidency from 8-10 October in Lisbon, Portugal. Professor Georg Winckler, EUA President, summarized the message of the EUA viewpoint as follows “Europe’s universities are a central pillar in building the ERA through their main responsibility for providing the supply of trained researchers and through their core missions in fundamental and collaborative research. In performing these major functions Europe’s universities play a crucial underpinning role in enhancing the economic competitiveness of Europe. EUA expects, therefore, that Europe’s universities as key stakeholders in the European Research Area will be brought fully into the process of putting into practice the proposed “Action lines” that will result from the current debate”.

The EUA statement, which brings together the viewpoints offered by national rectors conferences and universities across Europe, welcomes the fact that the Green Paper clearly places universities as key stakeholders in the future of the ERA, and the fact that it acknowledges the need for university autonomy in the management of its research mission.

However, EUA's response also underlines a number of the organisation's concerns with the Commission’s communication. These include:

  • The central problem of the historical under-financing of universities in Europe compared to its main global competitors is understated in the communication and needs to connect with the earlier EC Communication on “The Modernisation Agenda for Universities” which stated the need to aim to devote 2% of GDP (including both public and private funding) to higher education and research by 2015;
  • Insufficient priority is given to the importance of fundamental research and the need to strengthen the role and resources available to the newly-established European Research Council to enhance university excellence in Europe;
  • There is a significant lack of any reference on the need to move towards full cost funding of research supported by external funding agencies as an essential condition to underpin the sustainability of universities’ research missions;
  • Greater dialogue and synergy is required in the policy development of the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) and the European Research Area (ERA), particularly in relation to achieving a sufficient flow and supply of competent researchers;
  • The Green Paper debate needs to connect more with higher education reform underway, particularly in doctoral training reform and the further development of doctoral programmes for both academic and non-academic careers;
  • The Green Paper does not give sufficient recognition to the role of research in fostering high level teaching at all levels in higher education institutions. Research is a strong force in driving quality issues in education and this should be acknowledged and promoted in the debate on the future development of the ERA.

EUA’s response includes statements on the six main dimensions of the ERA outlined in the Green paper, and concludes with a set of recommended requirements and actions that will need to underpin policy actions to achieve European added value in the future successful development of the ERA.

In particular, EUA believes that universities need to be involved as full partners in discussions on follow up at all levels, especially where crucial questions of autonomy and funding are concerned.

Please click here to read the EUA response.

Global Higher Education Leaders Agree to Graduate
Education Principles

At the first-ever global meeting on graduate education, held in Banff, Canada earlier this month, higher education leaders from North America, Europe, and the Pacific Rim agreed to a Statement of Principles.

EUA Secretary General, Lesley Wilson was among the participants that included deans and rectors of graduate schools, embassy officials, government ministers, and other scholars, representing the United States, Canada, Europe, China, and Australia.

The principles are intended to serve as a general guide to international collaboration and collective work to advance and improve graduate education across multiple countries and regions. The statement emerged from a conference designed to initiate a global dialogue on the opportunities and challenges created by the globalization of graduate education. The “Strategic Leaders Global Summit on Graduate Education” was jointly convened and hosted by the U.S.-based Council of Graduate Schools (CGS) and the Government of Alberta, Canada.

We are delighted that at this “Banff Summit” our five university associations from Europe, Australia, Canada, China and the United States have reached agreement on a set of principles that can guide us in the strengthening of international collaboration in graduate education,” says Lesley Wilson.

EUA’s own work in the context of the Bologna reform process, in higher education and our recently published report on the state of play of doctoral education in Europe has shown that the graduate education environment is changing rapidly to reflect new demands for highly trained professionals in academic, business and governmental and non-governmental sector careers. We are confident this new agreement will enhance the international dimension of graduate education in Europe, through closer dialogue, the exchange of best practice and by encouraging further mobility of both staff and graduates.”

Meeting sessions focused on opportunities to work collectively on best practices in both master’s and doctoral education, as well as on joint and dual degrees and other international collaborations. The conference also addressed challenges in graduate education, such as:

  • The need for global dialogue
  • Incorporating all stakeholders, such as employers and policymakers
  • The flows of top international talent
  • Graduate education as a regional and national economic driver

The conference grew out of discussions begun a year ago at a transatlantic meeting in Salzburg, Austria between EUA and CGS. Delegates at that meeting agreed that in an environment of growing competition in graduate education, there was a need for increased international dialogue and co-operation.

A report based upon the proceedings will be released in December.

EUA Events in Asia

At the beginning of this month (2-8 September) EUA successfully organised its first ever
event in Asia.

More than 25 participants from Europe were given an insight into Asian universities through a specially organized study trip to South East Asia, which included visits to Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University, and the Open University, the University Kebangsaan, the University Sains Malaysia, all in Malaysia. EUA members also participated in the Asia Europe Colloquium on University Governance and Management (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 5-6 September) organized jointly by EUA, the Malaysian Vice Chancellors Committee, and the Asia Europe Foundation (ASEF).

Visits to universities in Singapore and Malaysia provided a flavour of the speed in which some Asian universities are developing their teaching and research activities, and demonstrated the high priority that governments attach to these issues. The meetings and visits also offered multiple possibilities for networking and concrete cooperation building, and insights into the institutional culture and the research management of some of the leading universities in Asia.

The Asia-Europe Colloquium addressed the state of play in institutional governance and management in both regions. It also included an exchange on good practices, regional HE integration and the role of national and regional university representative bodies as a buffer between institutions and governments.

A representative of the European Commission outlined the cooperation agenda with Asia and announced the Erasmus Mundus External Cooperation Window for Asia to be launched before end 2007, which will facilitate inter-university staff and student mobility and would replace the Asia Link.  

EUA members then participated as speakers and presenters at the Asia-Link Symposium, which is part of the Commission’s European Higher Education Fair (EHEF) series of study fairs. The symposium gathered more than 200 participants and included excellent presentations, focusing on issues such as European and Asian institutions developing joint programmes using the ECTS as a credit currency; and how Malaysia is taking up the modernisation challenges in higher education by launching a lifelong learning agenda based on a qualifications framework. (For the presentations please visit the EHEF website).

A summary report of EUA events in Asia and the presentations delivered will be published in due course on the EUA website.

EUA at the 2007 EAIE Conference

EUA organised four sessions at last week's European Association for International Education (EAIE) conference in Trondheim, Norway.

The event brought together more than 2,600 international education professionals, who came to network and to update themselves on innovations and developments in the internationalisation of higher education.

EUA's sessions were among the best attended in the conference and stimulated considerable debate. They focused on the following themes:

The EUA introductory presentations on these topics are available from the links above.

EUA Employment Opportunities

In the next six months, EUA will be embarking on a number of new projects to pursue the ongoing development of the European Higher Education Area in a global context.

Several Brussels-based fixed-term positions, offering a package of competitive salary and working conditions, will be available for senior programme managers and programme officers.

Suitably qualified individuals, corresponding to the profiles below, and interested in gaining experience in a fast-moving higher education policy arena, are invited to submit their CV and covering letter to Isabelle Damman by 30 October 2007.

Ref SPM0907: Senior Project Manager Profile

Highly motivated and experienced professional with responsibility for developing and implementing projects that aim at strengthening universities, through inter-institutional cooperation investigating current policy and practice in a range of thematic areas.

Principal Responsibilities

1. Project Management

  • Project development and implementation
  • Liaison with members and outside partners
  • Preparation of reports and publications
  • Monitoring financial and activities reporting
  • Preparing steering committee and project meetings
  • Contributing to the development of informational material as required (e.g., EUA web site, the newsletter, and any other external or internal publication as appropriate)
  • Contributing to the strategic development of EUA activities
  • Contract management (in collaboration with the EUA Accountancy department)

2. Representation of EUA

3. Contribution to EUA policy, statutory meetings and other conferences and events

Background and Qualifications

Required qualifications and experience:

  • Higher education second cycle degree
  • Minimum eight years relevant experience, preferably managing higher education/research projects within a university environment
  • Experience working in a multi-cultural and pluri-lingual environment
  • Experience in team management
  • Extensive knowledge of higher education systems in Europe

Required skills and competences

  • Excellent oral and written communication skills
  • Excellent organisational skills
  • Excellent budgetary and financial management skills
  • Excellent IT skills
  • Mastery of English and at least one other European language
  • Ability to work both independently and as part of a team, against tight deadlines and in a very complex international environment.
  • Keen interest in the higher education sector and public policy

Ref PO0907: Project Officer Profile

Highly motivated professional to work within a team implementing projects in a range of thematic areas with the overall aim of strengthening universities and developing the European higher education area in a global context.

Principal Responsibilities

1. Project Implementation

  • Liaison with members and partners
  • Preparation of reports and publications
  • Monitoring expenses and finances
  • Preparing and organising project meetings
  • Developing information both within the project, and for outside partners (e.g., EUA web site, newsletter etc)
  • Contract management (in collaboration with the EUA Accountancy department)

2. Representation of EUA

3. Contribution to EUA statutory meetings, conferences and events

Background and Qualifications

Required qualifications and experience:

  • Higher education second cycle degree
  • Minimum two years relevant professional experience preferably within a university environment
  • Experience working in a multi-cultural and pluri-lingual environment
  • Good knowledge of higher education systems in Europe

Required skills and competences

  • Excellent oral and written communication skills
  • Excellent organisational skills
  • Excellent budgetary and financial management skills
  • Excellent IT skills
  • Mastery of English and at least one other European language
  • Ability to work both independently and as part of a team, against tight deadlines and in a very complex international environment.
  • Keen interest in the higher education sector and public policy

Applications

CV and cover letter, specifying the relevant post and reference number, should be sent to Isabelle Damman at: vacancies@remove-this.eua.be.
EUA regrets that we are not able to acknowledge received applications.

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