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EUA Newsletter 10   27 May 2011

EUA responds to key consultations on the future of EU research funding and modernisation of European higher education

EUA has this week published its responses to two important consultations recently launched by the European Commission: the Green Paper on a “Common Strategic Framework for future EU Research and Innovation Funding”; and the consultation on the modernisation of higher education in Europe.


The Green paper focuses on defining a common strategic framework for EU research funding for the period 2014-2020 and the range of funding instruments required (when the current Framework Programme, FP7, ends in 2013). Meanwhile, the second consultation relates to the European Commission’s plans to adopt a new Communication on the modernisation of higher education in the third quarter of 2011. This new Communication will review progress towards the objectives set out in the 2006 Communication ‘Delivering on the modernisation agenda for universities: education, research and innovation’ and will propose action to respond to the challenges of the new decade.


EUA sees the development of the European Research Area and European Higher Education Area as being crucially linked if Europe's universities are to play their full part in contributing to the achievement of the Europe 2020 objectives.

Read more in the stories below.

EUA position on the Green Paper on a Common Strategic Framework for EU Research and Innovation Funding

EUA has this week published its position paper on the European Commission’s “Green Paper” which seeks to focus a debate on a common strategic framework for research and innovation funding over the period 2014-2020 and the range of funding instruments required.


Building on its recent “smart people for smart growth” statement, the paper underlines that EUA supports the concept put forward in the “Green Paper” of developing a “Common Strategic Framework” to cover all relevant EU research and innovation funding currently provided through the Research Framework Programme (FP7), the Competitiveness and Innovation Programme (CIP), and other EU initiatives relating to research and innovation activities such as the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT).  Underpinning all of the points made in the position paper, EUA asserts that an increased overall budget for research and innovation (for the next financial period 2014-2020) is required to achieve the ambitious programme set forth in the “Innovation Union” policy framework.


The EUA paper focuses on six main issues/messages:

  • “Bottom-up” funding instruments must be continued and enhanced. EUA would like to see a strengthening of both the European Research Council (ERC) and the Marie Curie Actions and believes that both merit enhanced funding support in 2014-2020 as core “bottom-up” instruments.
  • Europe’s universities have a crucial and essential role to play in EU research and innovation funding instruments contributing to tackling societal “grand challenges”.
  • Simplification of funding instruments requires a common set of rules applied across all EU research and innovation funding.
  • Avoid complexity in the mixing of Competition and Cohesion instruments. The “Green Paper” seeks also to explore how to achieve greater synergy between the EU research and innovation funding instruments and the Cohesion policy instruments, the European Regional Structural Funds and European Social Funds (i.e. the portions of those Cohesion funds devoted to research and development objectives). EUA believes that the potential mixing of “competition” funding instruments (FPs and CIP) with “cohesion” instruments (Structural Funds) could create more complexity and inefficiency rather than synergy with respect to implementation in Europe’s universities.
  • The integral role of the social sciences, arts and humanities should be enhanced. Interdisciplinary research perspectives involving the social sciences, arts and humanities will be essential to tackle effectively societal “grand challenges” in the areas of energy, climate change, health, sustainable cities etc. This needs to be explicitly recognised in the future development of the Common Strategic Framework for future research and innovation funding.
  • Strengthen the international dimension of EU research and innovation funding. Funding instruments should be used to further support and strengthen the European and international profile of university‐based research through project collaboration and the enhanced mobility of their academic and research staff, post‐doctoral and doctoral researchers and their career development. 

The EUA paper offers firm and clear advice on these issues and the priorities for a common strategic framework as seen from the perspective of Europe’s universities. EUA has submitted this paper to the European Commission and looks forward to an active and engaged dialogue in the coming months.


Download the EUA position paper here.


All of the responses submitted to Green Paper consultation can be accessed on this website.

EUA response to EC Consultation on the Modernisation of Higher Education

The European Commission has announced it will revise and update the 2006 Communication “Delivering on the Modernisation Agenda for Universities” in the context of the EU 2020, the EU’s strategic agenda for growth. To contribute to the consultation process, EUA has published a statement highlighting the factors that the association believes are crucial in the years to come for supporting universities and for determining the future strategic direction of higher education and research.


The statement outlines that while significant progress has been made towards the objectives outlined in 2006, the main elements of the modernisation agenda (autonomy, governance, funding and innovation) still remain central to the development of sustainable European higher and research areas.


The statement also outlines a series of priorities for the Modernisation Agenda in the years to come, which include:

  • underlining the increased role of universities in underpinning social and economic development;
  • promoting a balanced development of higher education across the EU;
  • enhancing the quality of higher education and research;
  • underlining that quality assurance and rankings/transparency tools serve different purposes;
  • recognising the substantial growth and development of doctoral education in Europe, and the increasing global dimension of European higher education. 

Read more

Policy and Projects News

University associations join forces in project to boost regional development of higher education in Latin America

A consortium of more than 20 national and international university associations from across Latin America and Europe have joined forces to launch a major three-year project designed to improve mechanisms for modernisation, reform and harmonisation of education systems in Latin America and to enhance Europe-Latin America university partnership.


ALFA PUENTES: Building Capacity of University Associations in fostering Latin-American regional integration – co-funded by the European Commission ALFA programme – was launched last week in Bogota, Colombia at the first meeting of the project partners. The meeting was opened by the Colombian Minister of Education, María Fernanda Campo, as well as leading project partners EUA, the Observatorio de las Relaciones Unión Europea - América Latina (OBREAL) and host ASCUN – the Asociación Colombiana de Universidades.

Read more

EUIMA-Full Costing Country workshop promotes collaboration among universities in implementing full costing in Poland

The sixth country workshop organised under the EUIMA-Full Costing project took place on 13 May 2011 at the University of Warsaw in Poland, which hosted the event together with the University Science Commission, a body that represents all Polish public universities.

Read more

Report from 3rd EUIMA-Collaborative Research Workshop, Karlstad University, Sweden (12-13 May 2011)

The third workshop in the EUIMA-Collaborative Research project was hosted on 12th and 13th May 2011 by Karlstad University, Sweden.


Through a varied representation of key actors – academics, professionals in the industry sector and funding bodies - the workshop offered an overview of the Swedish innovation context and provided examples of research collaborations in “cluster frameworks” that aim at revitalising regional development and creating added value through multidisciplinary research collaborations involving universities, SMEs, large industry and other public-sector partners.
Read more

Bologna Process and the recognition of professional qualifications

EUA monitors European-level developments at the interface of the Bologna Process and the EC Directive (2005/36/EC) on the recognition of professional qualifications. The most recent update has just been posted on the EUA website. In addition to coverage of the EU institutions, the updates report on the recent activities of academic, professional, regulatory and student bodies, with particular reference to the sectoral professions (medical doctor, dentist, general care nurse, midwife, veterinary doctor, pharmacist and architect).

Please click here to read more.

Events News

Conference Announcement: The Engaged University, Southampton, UK (31 August – 1 September 2011)

This conference, organised by EUA, the European Access Network (EAN), the European University Continuing Education Network (EUCEN) and the European Association of Distance Teaching Universities (EADTU), will focus on strategic institutional approaches to Lifelong learning. The event will be hosted by the University of Southampton.


For more information, please download this flyer.


As the number of participants is limited, please submit a declaration of interest.

Last chance to register for EUA Rankings Seminar (17 June 2011, Brussels, Belgium)

Over the last 18 months, EUA has been carrying out a comprehensive review of major international university rankings that will be of assistance to university leadership by shedding light on the different approaches adopted by the various international rankings. This new report, the first in a series, will be launched and presented to leaders of EUA member institutions at a special one-day seminar to take place on Friday 17 June at the Bibliothèque Solvay in Brussels. Please note that only a few places remain for this event. The registration deadline is 6 June 2011.
To find out more about this event, please visit the event website.

News from Brussels

Updates on new EU activities in the areas of higher education and research

The European Commission has released a new report on fundraising in universities; a ‘flash barometer’ looking at young Europeans' mobility; and has issued a new proposal on a strategy for intellectual property rights (IPR).
Read more



Member and Partners News

Next Newsletter: 10 June 2011

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