Universities are crucial for the future of Europe: they create knowledge, foster innovation, critical thinking, tolerance and open minds and provide the high-level skills and innovative thinking on which Europe’s future economic, social and cultural development depends. Universities strive for the long-term in addition to assuming new tasks, focusing increasingly on providing solutions to current problems in response to the growing expectations of society. They educate the global citizens of tomorrow, are motors for the economy and provide the optimal creative environment for the talented young researchers that Europe needs.
Looking to the future, universities are proactively responding to the rapid changes in the environment within which they operate; these include the impact of globalisation and new technologies on both teaching and research; and increased pressure on financial resources at a time when student numbers continue to grow, as do the costs of research.
The importance of EU investment in both higher education and research cannot be overstated if Europe wants to mobilise the potential and capacities of present and next generations of young people.