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EUA Newsletter 8   22 April 2011

EUA Annual Conference: Developing talent depends on investment in universities and university autonomy

Around 450 university leaders and other higher education stakeholders gathered last week (13-15 April) at Aarhus University, Denmark, for the EUA Annual Conference on the theme “Investing today in talent for tomorrow”.


Photo: Lars Kruse/AU KommunikationEurope’s future as a dynamic competitive global region will depend largely on its ability to increase the number of highly trained people within EU Member States and to attract others from abroad. The meeting in Aarhus highlighted that developing and nurturing more talented individuals is already central to the mission of European universities. One of the most striking developments in recent years in this respect has been the rapid development of doctoral (PhD) education within universities. The establishment of structured doctoral programmes and schools has rapidly become the norm in Europe. Other recent changes have also included improved university-industry partnerships and rapid internationalisation of universities.


At the same time, universities face a number of challenges in developing talent - not least because of increasing global competition to attract and retain the best researchers and students. At a time when the EU is preparing priorities and budgets for the next financial period (2014-2020), the conference examined the elements that underpin successful strategies for developing talent and will determine universities’ contribution to the EU2020 agenda for ‘Smart, Sustainable and Inclusive Growth’.


Participants discussed different ways of embedding research from the undergraduate level onwards and underlined how engaging undergraduate students in research improves their overall educational experience and increases interest in pursuing research careers. They also analysed different ways of creating greater critical mass which makes it easier for universities to develop better career opportunities and structures for young researchers.


As employers, universities themselves also play a crucial role in developing talent. University leaders agreed, for example, that they will need to improve support to young researchers in writing their first grant proposal, or through transversal skills development; provide clear recruitment and exit procedures; and do more to retain staff through a set of institutional benefits such as supplementary pension schemes, support for international mobility and competitive wages. They will also need to put in place the additional human resource (HR) management needed to support international recruitment. University rectors/presidents/vice-chancellors will also have to focus on mentoring and grooming the next generation of university leaders.
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Photo: Lars Kruse/AU Kommunikation

EUA members elect next President and new Board members

Photo: Lars Kruse AU Kommunikation EUA is pleased to announce that during the General Assembly held at the Annual Conference, its members elected Professor Maria Helena Nazaré (Portugal) as its President elect. Professor Nazaré takes over from current EUA President, Professor Jean-Marc Rapp, in March 2012.


Professor Nazaré (who will be the first female President of the Association) was one of two candidates in the election together with Professor Lauritz B. Holm-Nielsen (Denmark). More than 300 members voted in a very close election held during the EUA Annual Meeting at Aarhus University in Denmark.

Photo: Lars Kruse AU Kommunikation
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EUA welcomes new members

In last week’s EUA Council during the Annual Meeting in Aarhus, EUA welcomed eight universities as full individual members.
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EUA celebrates 10th Anniversary in Aarhus

EUA celebrated its 10th Anniversary during its Annual Conference in Aarhus. This was an opportunity not only to celebrate and look back on the achievements of the association but also to launch discussions on future priorities and the most important milestones for EUA in the next decade.
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Policy and Projects News

New EUA policy position: Working together towards financial sustainability for European universities

On the basis of EUA’s recent work on financial sustainability, and following the publication of EUA’s Europe-wide study on the financing of European universities in February this year, the EUA Council last week adopted a policy statement on the issue of university funding. Entitled ‘“Working together towards financial sustainability for European universities”, the policy position underlines the key factors that contribute to promoting financial sustainability for Europe’s universities.
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EUA Platform of Universities (EPUE) contributes to EERA First Annual Congress

The European Energy Research Alliance (EERA) held its First Annual Congress on 11-12 April in Brussels. The first part of the Congress, focused on the status and strategic direction of the first seven EERA Joint Programmes launched in June and November 2010 during EU SET Plan Conferences in Madrid and Brussels. These covered the fields of Geothermal Energy, Smart Grids, Wind Energy, Photovoltaic Energy, Carbon Capture and Storage, Materials for Nuclear and Bio-energy. The second part of the Congress took place in the European Parliament, and was opened by Mr. Jerzy Buzek, President of the European Parliament.
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Events News

Global Strategic Forum on Doctoral Education, Aarhus University, (11-12 April 2011)  

The EUA Council for Doctoral Education (EUA-CDE) organised a Forum for around 45 university leaders and experts in doctoral education prior to the EUA Annual Conference at Aarhus University, Denmark, to discuss the global aspects of doctoral education.The participants represented 31 countries from six continents and five international university associations.
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Rankings Seminar for European university leaders (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.

To find out more about this event, please visit the event website.

Please note that participation in the seminar is by invitation only. Invitations to EUA members have already been sent to the Executive Head of the institution (President, Rector, Vice-Chancellor, Pro-Vice-Chancellor). If your institution has not received an invitation or you would like to register your interest to take part in this event, please send an email to

News from Brussels

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

This week the European Commission has published its annual report on progress towards the common European objectives in education and training. Meanwhile, it has also announced a consultation on the future strategy of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology, and has tabled a proposal for a unitary patent.
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Member and Partners News

Next Newsletter: 6 May 2011

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