EUA : European University Association

Europe-Africa Workshop examines strategies to boost Intra and Inter Regional Academic Mobility (Ghana, 3-4 May 2010)

EUA, in conjunction with the Association of African Universities, organised the third workshop of the Access to Success project on ‘Europe-Africa: Intra and Inter Regional Academic Mobility’ in Accra, Ghana on 3-4 May 2010.

Through a series of plenary sessions and break-out discussion, this workshop looked at mobility in a bi-regional context, taking a two-dimensional approach: intra-regional mobility (within Africa and within Europe) as a potential avenue for regional higher education integration, and inter-regional mobility between Europe and Africa - the realities of brain drain and the drive for increased brain circulation.

The event started from the European experience of academic mobility under the Bologna Process and highlighted the political incentives, tools, success stories and current challenges in generating a European Higher Education Area for student and staff mobility. This was used to launch a discussion on new programmes and initiatives to develop mobility within Africa, and the role of African and European Union Commissions in promoting such initiatives.

Research networks and staff exchange within Africa was seen as particularly strategic for African universities in cultivating their capacity as both research and teaching institutions committed to social and economic development. Regarding brain drain, the workshop illustrated that many African and European institutions and governments are not aware of the statistics regarding the migration of skills from Africa, and that stronger data efforts, combined with programmes and institutional strategies to mitigate brain drain and take advantage of the diaspora must be promoted.

Around 70 participants attended including university leadership (rectors and vice-chancellors), leaders in international education and international offices of universities, cooperation agencies that fund Europe-Africa mobility programmes, the European Commission and the African Union Commission, and UNESCO. An outcome report will be posted soon on the Access to Success project website and final project outcomes and a policy white paper will be presented at a dissemination conference in Brussels on 28 September, 2010.

Monitoring the economic crisis: EUA calls for governments to support public funding of higher education

EUA has published today its latest monitoring report on the impact of the economic crisis on national higher education systems in Europe, which underlines the increasingly difficult financial situation facing many European universities.

To ensure the financial sustainability of Europe’s 5,000 plus universities, EUA is calling on governments (as underlined in its Prague Declaration) to commit to increasing investment in higher education and research and renew efforts 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.

EUA’s monitoring work has shown that there have already been major cuts to public spending in Latvia and heavy cuts of 5-10% in Italy (over 3 years), Ireland, UK, Estonia, Lithuania and Romania. Cuts of less than 5% have also been registered in the Czech Republic, Poland, Croatia and Serbia. Elsewhere, a number of governments (in Hungary, for example) have discarded previously made commitments to increase higher education funding. Only a small number of European governments (including France and Germany) have upheld their commitments or indeed provided new investments to fund higher education.
EUA’s monitoring has also collected evidence on the impact of the crisis on private funding to universities. This is becoming an increasingly important part of universities’ financial structures, helping to diversify their income streams and contributing to their overall financial sustainability. There are indications that the economic crisis has also had a negative impact on the development of university autonomy, through the introduction of more direct steering mechanisms, regulations and increasingly unbalanced accountability procedures which EUA believes will be counterproductive in making universities an essential player in overcoming the crisis.

This work has been carried out as part of EUA’s EUDIS project (European Universities Diversifying Income Streams). This EC-supported project will organise an Experts Conference ‘Towards Financially Sustainable Universities II: Diversifying Income Streams’ on the 13-14 September at the University of Bologna (Italy). Click here to find out more and register.

Download EUA’s latest economic monitoring report.

Register for the Institutional Evaluation Programme (IEP)

Registrations for the 2010-2011 round of the Institutional Evaluation Programme (IEP) are still open until 30 June 2010.

The IEP is designed for universities interested in increasing their capacity for setting and implementing strategic goals, as well as in developing an internal quality culture. The evaluation takes place over a whole academic year and includes a self-evaluation phase, two site-visits and a final report that provides specific recommendations. Since 1994, the IEP methodology has been tested in over 200 institutions across 44 countries worldwide. Institutions that have undergone an IEP evaluation in recent years are also encouraged to consider applying for a follow-up review as a means of monitoring progress.

For further information on IEP and the registration procedure, please visit the IEP website.

Registrations are open until 30 June 2010.

Further questions about the IEP may also be addressed to Joanne Byrne.

Brussels briefing: EUA breakfast meeting on Trends 2010 study (19 May 2010)

EUA this week organised a breakfast briefing for Brussels-based stakeholders to present its recently published report on the Bologna Process 'Trends 2010: A decade of change in European Higher Education'.

Hosted by the Bavarian Representation to the EU, the event was an opportunity to present this important work to major stakeholders from the European Institutions (including members of the education and research directorates of the Commission), national and regional representations in Brussels and other international organisations and policymakers working in higher education and research.

The Trends 2010 report was presented by author Andrée Sursock, who underlined the methodology and findings, together with some of the key challenges facing European higher education.

Markus Petry, Vice-President elect of the University of Applied Sciences Ingolstadt in Germany, provided an institutional perspective on Bologna – focussing on how it had affected the development of the university’s programmes, mobility and lifelong learning.

Click here to download a PDF version of the Trends 2010 report.