EUA : European University Association

EUA Spring Conference in Barcelona (27 – 29 March 2008)

EUA is delighted to announce that it will be holding its Spring Conference at the University of Barcelona, Spain from the 27-29 March 2008.

The Barcelona Conference – entitled the Governance of European Universities Post 2010 (II): Enhancing Institutional Mission and Profiles - will continue the debate from last month’s EUA conference in Wroclaw on the crucial issue of institutional and system governance in Europe. During the meeting, participants will examine the policies and strategies being pursued by higher education institutions and European, regional or national authorities to improve the effectiveness of increasingly diverse higher education institutions and systems.

This is becoming more and more important across Europe, as universities look to respond to changing societal demands and rising global competition in higher education. The challenge for universities is to define their specific institutional profiles and place in the system by ensuring complementarity and critical mass, thus also contributing to the improvement of social cohesion and the efficiency of the system as a whole.

The conference will be of particular interest to institutional leaders: rectors, vice rectors and heads of administration.

Registration and full programme information will be available soon through the EUA website.

New Handbook for Summer 2008: Internationalisation of European Higher Education

After the success of the Bologna Handbook, EUA is teaming up with the Academic Cooperation Association and Raabe Academic publishers to launch a new Handbook for 2008 entitled Internationalisation of European Higher Education.

Approaching internationalisation from an institutional perspective, the Handbook will be a crucial tool for all institutions. It will focus on all of the key issues of practical and operational interest in relation to European higher education and display them in the context of global developments and overarching policy processes. It will also facilitate discussion on the goals of internationalisation at institutional level and their implementation.

The Handbook is designed specifically for those involved in developing and implementing internationalisation strategies and measures, including university leadership and international office managers. It will also be an invaluable point of reference for a broader group of policy makers interested in internationalisation in a wider European context. Due to be published in Summer 2008 as a loose-leaf binder collection, with regular supplements, the Handbook will be complemented by information available online.

Sign up now by sending this form back to Raabe Academic publishers and benefit from a special early bird rate until the end of December. A further reduction is available for all EUA members.

If you have any questions about subscriptions, please contact:

Commission launches European Qualifications Framework for lifelong learning

European Commissioner for Education, Training, Culture and Youth, Ján Figel’, officially launched the European Qualifications Framework for lifelong learning (EQF-LLL) this week.

The principal aim of the EQF-LLL is to act as a translation device between the Member States' qualifications systems. The recommendation that has been approved by the European Council and the European Parliament foresees that Member States relate their national qualifications systems to the EQF by 2010, and that individual certificates or diplomas should bear an EQF reference by 2012.

In 2005, in the framework of the Bologna process, European education ministers already adopted a European Qualifications Framework for the European Higher Education Area and committed themselves to start developing national qualifications frameworks for higher education by 2007. The subsequent initiative of the European Commission to develop the EQF for LLL in parallel has caused some confusion.

EUA believes that efforts should be undertaken to ensure that the two European frameworks are well aligned. Any future advisory group for the EQF-LLL should include representatives from the Bologna process. Equally, the Coordination Group on Qualifications Frameworks set up by the Bologna Follow-up Group and chaired by the Council of Europe should continue to take into account the EQF-LLL. Most importantly, European governments would be well advised to take both frameworks into account when developing their single national frameworks.

The outcomes of the recent Council of Europe conference on Qualifications Frameworks (11-12 October) can be found here

Enhancing doctoral career opportunities: Update on EUA DOC-CAREERS project

Representatives from business, universities and government gathered in Paris, France last week for the third and final workshop of the EUA DOC-CAREERS project.

Launched in 2006, the project has been specifically designed to explore the relations between doctoral training programmes and the career development and employability prospects for doctoral candidates. The project’s key activities include a series of workshops, case studies and consultation with key stakeholders (including industry, doctoral candidates, doctoral holders and universities). The outcomes of the first two workshops – focusing respectively on the issues of transferable skills for doctoral holders and university-enterprise collaboration in doctoral programmes – have been published. 

Last week’s workshop at the Schlumberger Riboud Product Centre in Paris focused on the theme “towards enhanced doctoral career opportunities”. Through a series of case studies, and interactive plenary sessions, participants were able to share good practice on cooperation between non-academic partners and universities, but also to debate the best strategies for tracking the careers of doctoral holders. Presentations will soon be available on the DOC-CAREERS homepage of the EUA website.

The final DOC-CAREERS report is expected to be published in Spring 2008.

Updates from Brussels: EIT and Erasmus Mundus

Ministers participating in last week’s EU Council reached a political agreement on the draft regulation for the creation of the European institute of innovation and technology (EIT).

The move should allow the EU to start implementation of the EIT from Spring 2008, (after completing the second reading phase provided for under the Council-Parliament co decision procedure). Further details of the agreement are available on the Commission website.

In a separate meeting, EU Finance ministers have also agreed to the financing of the EIT, as part of a deal on the EU's overall €120 billion budget for 2008. They gave the green light to the €309 million funding of the new institute from various existing budgetary chapters so that the new body can start work next year.

In a meeting of the Education, Youth and Culture (EYC) Council, Ministers also agreed on extending the scope of the current Erasmus Mundus Programme until the end of the current financial framework (2013). As underlined in our July newsletter the new Erasmus Mundus II will be extended to cover a whole range of new activities including doctoral studies (joint programmes and partnerships). Negotiations will now continue with the European Parliament, with the aim of securing approval so the new programme can start in 2009.

Finally, Ministers taking part in the Competitiveness Council also adopted a resolution on 'modernising universities for Europe's competitiveness'.