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EUA Prague Declaration: Universities outline proposals to combat economic crisis and long-term road map for higher education in Europe

09 April 2009

EUA has published this week its Prague Declaration that contains a series of targeted messages to Europe’s politicians with proposals from universities to help combat the current economic and financial crisis. Based on the outcomes of the recent EUA Prague Convention – the Declaration also sets out a long-term agenda for European universities in the next decade identifying ‘10 paths to success’.

The Declaration - that will be presented to the 46 education ministers attending the Bologna process Ministerial Summit at the end of April – underlines universities’ role as a driving force for economic recovery in Europe. However, it stresses that, for universities to play their full role in helping European economies out of recession, politicians must commit to major investment in higher education and research. “Europe cannot afford to run the risk of losing a generation of talented people or a serious decrease in research or innovation activity,” the Declaration underlines.

EUA urges “decision makers at the national and European level to emulate the major investment in higher education and research that characterises the US economic stimulus package” and which supports both high end research and students and families struggling to pay for higher education. EUA is calling for renewed efforts from governments to reach the Barcelona target of 3% (of GDP) investment in research and the 2% (of GDP) target for investment in higher education proposed by the European Commission. The Declaration recommends that European stimulus packages are needed to create real opportunities and incentives for young researchers; to tap unused potential through the implementation and financing of lifelong learning across Europe; and to upgrade universities’ facilities and campus infrastructure.

Looking ahead to the next decade – the EUA Prague Declaration outlines 10 key success factors for European universities:

•    widening opportunities for participation in, and successful completion of, higher education
•    improving researcher careers
•    providing relevant and innovative study programmes
•    developing distinctive institutional research profiles
•    shaping, reinforcing and implementing autonomy
•    increasing and diversifying income
•    enhancing quality and transparency
•    promoting internationalisation
•    increasing and improving the quality of mobility
•    developing partnerships.

In the coming months, the EUA Board and Council will develop a specific action plan for each of these 10 issues with recommendations at the institutional, national and European level.

Please click to download a full version of the Declaration.

European University Association (EUA)

Brussels office:
Avenue de l’Yser, 24
1040 Brussels
Tel: +32 (0) 2 230 55 44

Geneva office:
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Case postale 3174
1211 Geneva 3
Tel: +41 22 552 02 96