Problems reading this Newsletter? Click here
EUA Newsletter 13   22 June 2012

EUA’s first Funding Forum explores university responses to the economic crisis

EUA held its first Forum dedicated to higher education funding at the University of Salzburg, Austria, from 11 to 12 June. The stakeholder platform, the first of its kind, brought together university leaders and managers, researchers, funders and policy makers from 33 countries to discuss a series of issues related to university funding.

 

Photo: LPB Franz NeumayrEUA President Helena Nazaré opened the Forum with the Austrian Minister for Science and Research Karlheinz Töchterle, State President Gabi Burgstaller and Rector of the University of Salzburg Heinrich Schmidinger. Professor Nazaré reminded policy makers of the importance of sustainable public funding for higher education and research, underlining that funding (for HE and research) should be seen as an investment rather than expenditure. She also urged participants to use the economic downturn as an opportunity to address long-term challenges.

 

During the two-day event, university leaders and funders exchanged perspectives and focused on how to improve relationships in the difficult present economic context. These discussions emphasised the need for enhanced cooperation within the sector in order to improve universities’ strategic positioning in the knowledge economy. Forum contributors also shed light on the impact of funding reforms on university management and in particular highlighted that the effects of the increasing focus placed on performance-based funding are still to be seen.

 

The Forum also showed clearly that universities are having to adapt profoundly to what will doubtless be long-term changes, at a time characterised by uncertainty. While many universities have seen public funding go down (see EUA’s update report of the Public Funding Observatory), regulation by public authorities has also been tightened in a number of countries, putting pressure on institutional strategies. Meanwhile, the discussions also underlined that the debate around ‘cost-sharing’ in higher education and tuition fees is also growing throughout Europe. While a number of models exist, they essentially depend on the provision of well-designed student support systems.

 

The Forum also explored how universities are using income diversification as a risk-mitigation measure. It was underlined that this should be accompanied by the necessary support for and development of internal management capacities, both in terms of governance structures and human resources. Diversification also requires attention to organisational matters as well as control of activities and cost structures. Identifying opportunities for cooperation and pooling resources within the sector was identified as a crucial element of strategic planning. Finally, it was also stressed that an increased focus on communication and quality allows universities to preserve and further strengthen their attractiveness to staff, students and funders.

 

The Forum’s General Rapporteur, Liviu Matei (Senior Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer of the Central European University, Budapest), called on participants, and more specifically public authorities at national and European level, to recognise the essential role of institutional leadership in the area of higher education funding. He recommended that public authorities promote and support initiatives aiming at training and reinforcing skills of university leaders, but also consider further investment in human resources at all levels of financial management as a priority.

 

EUA’s Funding Forum also clearly demonstrated the relevance of discussing higher education funding at European level, in the framework of the dynamics stimulated by the Bologna Process, the European Higher Education Area and the Europe 2020 Strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. Participants sent a strong message to policy makers that higher education funding policies should be designed, implemented, assessed and revised with the active participation of all key stakeholders.

 

EUA intends to take forward the rich outcomes of the Funding Forum in the near future, with the publication of a selection of contributions on the various topics addressed during the event. Presentations from the event are already available on EUA’s website.

 

The EUA Funding Forum is supported by the European Commission’s Lifelong Learning Programme.

 

Photo LPB Franz Neumayr: left to right Karlheinz Töchterle, Austrian Minister for Science and Research, Gabi Burgstaller, State President of the Land of Salzburg, Helena Nazaré, EUA President, and Heinrich Schmidinger, Rector of the University of Salzburg.

Policy and Projects News

New Public Funding Observatory update reports on trends in higher education funding

Participants at EUA’s first Funding Forum were given a preview of the association’s new update report of the Public Funding Observatory. The latest in a series of updates on the impact of the economic crisis on public higher education funding includes for the first time a full overview of developments over the period 2008-2012.
Read more

EUA’s views on the European Parliament’s draft report on the Rules for Participation in Horizon 2020 - the Framework Programme for Research and Innovation (2014-2020)

EUA welcomes and supports the approach adopted by MEP Christian Ehler (rapporteur for the rules for participation and dissemination in the Horizon 2020 programme) in his draft report, presented in this week’s meeting of the European Parliament ITRE (Industry, Research and Energy) Committee.
Read more

New publication: EUA Annual Report 2011 now online

EUA’s Annual Report 2011 is now available on the EUA website. The online publication gives an overview of all EUA’s work – including all of its key policy initiatives, projects and events, together with a breakdown of EUA’s governing bodies, financial statements and membership development in 2011.
Read more

French award recognises key role of EUA in European HE and research

EUA is pleased to announce that its work has been honoured in France with the bestowing of the title of Chevalier dans l'Ordre du Mérite to Lesley Wilson (Secretary General) and Andrée Sursock (former Deputy Secretary General, who is now Senior Advisor to EUA).
Read more

Events News

Register for EUA Doctoral Week: Global Perspectives, Funding of Doctoral Education and Quality Assurance (23-27 September 2012)

EUA is organising “Doctoral Week” at the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden, from 23 to 27 September 2012. The week will be based around three separate but connected events that will provide different higher education and research stakeholders with an opportunity to engage with three highly relevant issues for doctoral education: global trends, funding and quality assurance.
Read more

Dissemination Conference: A Comprehensive Policy Vision for Europe’s new Mobility Agenda

Registrations are still open for the final conference of the project Mapping University Mobility of Students and Staff (MAUNIMO), to be held at the University of Oslo in Norway from 4 to 5 September 2012. The event is the culmination of a two-year project that piloted a mobility self-evaluation tool, the Mobility Mapping Tool (MMT), with 30 European universities and assessed both the impact of the tool and the prospects of launching it more widely as a university service.
Read more

Call for contributions: 7th European Quality Assurance Forum, Tallinn, Estonia (22-24 November 2012)

The 7th European Quality Assurance Forum (EQAF) will take place at Tallinn University, Estonia, from 22 to 24 November 2012. The 2012 EQAF, entitled “How does Quality Assurance Make a Difference?”, will combine practice-oriented or research-based discussions that will take place in paper sessions and workshops with presentations of current developments in quality assurance (QA). The Forum organisers, ENQA, ESU, EUA and EURASHE, have opened a call for contributions for papers and workshops. The deadline to submit contributions is 31 July 2012. Please note that registrations for the event will open soon.
Read more

News from Brussels

Brussels in brief: updates on EU activities in education and research

The European Commission is holding a public consultation on the future rules concerning the entry and residence of non-EU national researchers and students. Meanwhile the European Investment Bank (EIB) Institute, which was officially launched this month, has published a call for proposals for its EIB University Research Sponsorship Programme (EIBURS).
Read more

EVENTS

PUBLICATIONS

Member and Partners News


Next Newsletter: 6 July 2012

If you want to unsubscribe, please send an email to info@eua.be