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EUA Newsletter 3   4 February 2011

‘Smart People for Smart Growth’: EUA publishes response to ‘Innovation Union’ strategy ahead of European Heads of State Meeting

The European University Association (EUA) published its position statement on the European Union’s “Innovation Union” Strategy ahead of this week’s meeting of European Heads of State who gather in Brussels on Friday 4 February for a meeting of the European Council. The main topics on the agenda include innovation, research and energy.

 

Published in October 2010, the "Innovation Union" Communication seeks to set out a strategic approach to innovation in Europe, driven by the highest political level, and is one of the seven "flagships" in the Europe 2020 Strategy. EUA has published this statement, entitled “Smart People for Smart Growth”, this week to underline to all stakeholders the crucial role of universities and higher education in developing an Innovation Union.

 

The statement focuses around a series of key messages that include:

 

  • Europe’s universities play an essential role in the “innovation chain” through their research and teaching activities which strengthen the knowledge base and skills development to provide new jobs for the future.
  • Innovation requires a wider interpretation and understanding than simply being seen as the last step to commercial application. The breadth of university-based research has its impact at many levels in the economy and society. Innovation comes from contributions across the full spectrum of sciences from engineering and technical sciences, medical and life sciences to the social sciences, arts and humanities. Wider interdisciplinary perspectives will also be needed to tackle the growing societal challenges effectively.
  • Three concerns should be overriding for EU funding instruments in the Innovation Union and the next Framework Programme (FP8): Excellence criteria should determine the use and allocation of instruments and funding across the range of research and innovation activities based upon assessments and indicators of best practice in the various research domains. Simplification and reduction of heavy administrative and accounting procedures should be the driving forces for the improved implementation of FP8. Competitive funding instruments open to all research institutions should be a governing principle of FP8 with no programmes targeted specifically for certain types of research institutions as exclusive partners.
  • In order to achieve the ambitious programme set forth in the Innovation Union Communication, it is clear that FP8 and related EU instruments will need an increased budget.
  • Particularly in times of economic crisis, government expenditure on university‐based research and training (and higher education as a whole) should not be regarded as “consumption” of public resources that can be easily cut, but as an “investment” in training, skills development and research and innovation activities needed to lead Europe out of the economic crisis and towards a truly "Innovation Union”.
  • Our global regional competitors are not waiting for us, they are investing heavily in universities and the next generation of young people who will be the innovators of tomorrow!

A full copy of the position paper can be downloaded here.

EUA announces candidates for new President and Board

(c) Jan Kouba

Professors Lauritz Holm-Nielsen (Denmark) and Maria Helena Nazaré (Portugal) have been officially nominated by the Council of the European University Association (EUA) as candidates for election as the next EUA President. The elections will take place at the EUA Annual Conference in Aarhus on 14 April 2011.

 

Both nominations were approved by the EUA Council at a meeting in Brussels on Friday 28 January. The successful candidate will become President-elect with immediate effect, and will take over from current EUA President, Professor Jean-Marc Rapp, in March 2012. He/she will serve for a period of three years.
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Photos: (c) Jan Kouba

EUA welcomes new members

During the EUA Council meeting last week in Brussels five universities were welcomed as full individual members and one as an associate member of EUA.

 

The following institutions have joined as full members:
• Le Mans University (France)
• University of Nordland (Norway)
• “Ovidius” University of Constantza (Romania)
• Slovak University of Agriculture in Nitra (Slovakia)
• Koç University (Turkey)

 

Salzburg University of Applied Sciences (Austria) has also joined as an associate member.
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IEP appeals to European Quality Assurance Register for higher education (EQAR)

At the beginning of 2010, EUA’s Institutional Evaluation Programme (IEP) – an independent membership service of EUA – applied to be included in the European Quality Assurance Register for higher education (EQAR). Before the application passed in front of the EQAR’s Register Committee, IEP underwent an external review focussing on its compliance with the Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in the European Higher Education Area (ESG).

 

In November 2010, The EQAR Register Committee rejected the application concluding that “due to its mission and nature EUA-IEP is unable to substantially comply” with the ESG. The IEP contests this decision and has this week appealed against the EQAR Register Committee’s decision.
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Policy and Projects News

EUA Brussels reception to launch new study on ‘European universities diversifying income streams’ (22 February 18h-20h30)

On the evening of 22 February 2011, EUA will organise a reception in Brussels to present its major new study on ‘European universities diversifying income streams’. As part of EUA’s series Towards financially sustainable universities, this report will provide an overview of the status of income diversification in European universities. It also identifies the conditions and success factors needed to implement income diversification strategies that help sustain the academic mission of higher education institutions.
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Events News

Save the date: Getting to grips with rankings - A high-level seminar for European university leaders (17 June 2011, Brussels, Belgium)

Over the last 18 months, EUA has been carrying out a comprehensive review of all major international university rankings. Universities are increasingly confronted by a plethora of ranking and classification initiatives – both at the national and international level. While many university leaders have reservations about rankings, their methodologies and criteria, there is a growing recognition that such initiatives are here to stay.
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Workshop Report: Mobility and Collaboration in Doctoral Education

The outcomes of the recent EUA Council for Doctoral Education’s (EUA-CDE) Workshop on Mobility and Collaboration are now available on the workshop website.

 

More than 90 participants gathered at ELTE University in Budapest last month to share best practice and demonstrate the engagement of universities in setting up collaborations to facilitate mobility across borders and sectors.
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News from Brussels

European Commission launches consultation on the new Modernisation Agenda

The European Commission 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 propose action to respond to the challenges of the new decade.
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European Commission introduces simplification measures for FP7

The ongoing debate on the simplification of the European funding programmes, in which EUA is actively participating on behalf of its members, has led to the adoption of new measures by the European Commission. These concern the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) for Research and are of immediate effect.
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