Slide 1

Report
European Higher Education in a
Global Perspective
Lesley Wilson
Secretary General
European University Association
Oslo, 11 March 2008
Outline
I.
II.
III.
IV.
V.
The starting point – Higher Education - a growth business
Challenges for European Higher Education and Research
The European policy context
EUA priorities – European strategies for Europe’s
universities in a global environment– what we have done
and what we will do
The situation of smaller countries – strengths & weaknesses
2
I. The starting point:
Higher education - A global growth business
Numbers
Mobility
Graduates in the labour force
Income and employment
II. Challenges facing European Higher Education
and Research
Globalisation and its impact
The demography of Europe & European HE – students
& staff
Convergence and diversity
Sustainable funding and appropriate governance
structures
Relevance – employability, economic & social
development, innovation
Shifts in knowledge creation, validation & ownership
European identity and values in a global world
III. The policy context in Europe
Bologna Process – a reform agenda for 46 countries
approaching the 2010 deadline – completing the agreed
reforms and thinking about the future
Lisbon Strategy : push for excellence in research &
innovation, concentration & selectivity for global
competitiveness – role of universities increasingly on the
agenda
Limited EU responsibility for higher education
 but growing competence in relation to research
 and increased profile of vocational education, (LLL)
III. 2 - Policy discussions impacting on universities
Bologna Process – looking forward to post 2010
The EC’s Modernisation Agenda for Universities
FP7: support rates & cost models – review 2010;
ERC – next steps
Follow-up of the Green Paper on the future of the ERA – the
role of universities
European Structural & Social Funds – new emphasis on
Lisbon Objectives in Research and Innovation
European Researchers’ Charter and Code of
Conduct/Research Careers and Mobility
Improving University/Business collaboration & Knowledge
Transfer
IV. EUA priorities
1 –Bologna & the European Higher Education Area
Continue to support universities in improving the learning
process – use TRENDS VI to evaluate progress made by
2010
Ensure universities have a voice in influencing the future of
the Bologna process –which priorities & how?
Encourage universities to view LLL as being central to their
thinking – an LLL charter for European Universities
Increase awareness of the importance of learning outcomes
Continue to emphasise the need for quality processes
reflecting institutional values & mission in universities
Support the newly created European Register of Q Agencies
(EQAR) – ensuring legitimacy & effectiveness
IV. 2 The Role of Universities
in Research and Innovation
Universities in the ERA – follow-up of the Green Paper
discussion – universities as actors in the ERA
Further developing university business collaboration - Taking
forward the “Responsible Partnering” initiative
Build expertise on universities as key actors in regional
development – spotlight on innovation
Launch the EUA Council on Doctoral Education as a way to
further develop and strengthen doctoral programmes and
doctoral students’ career paths
Follow-up the recent EUA recommendations on open access
Prepare the FP7 mid term review, e.g. in relation to cost
models for universities
IV. 3 Building partnerships & promoting the
international visibility of European universities
Engaging in policy dialogue with partner
associations in other world regions, e.g.
Transatlantic Dialogue with ACE/AUCC
Contributing to the implementation of the
Bologna global strategy
Special focus Asia - EU-Asia platform on HE –
study fairs, workshops & seminars
Organisation of study visits under a European
umbrella
Continuing international involvement in quality
discussions and doctoral education
IV. 4 - Governance – focus on
autonomy and accountability
Provide first steps in benchmarking the
different elements of the autonomy of
Europe’s universities
Map the reforms taking place across Europe
Examine the changing forms of
accountability: QA, the role of rankings, focus
on learning outcomes, university Board, full
cost accounting etc..
Investigate the question of diversity
Support universities by offering workshops
and seminars allowing exchange of good
practice on key issues
IV.5 - Sustainable Funding
Continue to work on frameworks for financial
sustainability
Continue to provide support to universities to enable
them to identify the full costs of their activities and
projects
Encourage universities to take account of the multiple
benefits of implementing costing systems – as as
trategic tool for planning & decision making
Lobby for more public funding of research on a
competitive basis. Strengthen the role and resources
of the ERC & support well-funded competitive
schemes at national level to maintain & strengthen
capacity
V- Challenges & opportunities for smaller countries
Easier to discuss collectively system development – and to
reach consensus on shared societal goals..but also a
question of culture & not just size
Need to identify strengths & agree on priorities e.g. on
research topics
Therefore cooperation across borders/at European level
necessary for competitiveness – targeted partnerships to
complement own strengths
Importance of mobility – movement in and out of the
systems, especially for young researchers
Hence also often more outward looking & open, e.g. to
offering programmes in English to attract foreign students
VI - Closing Remarks
Europe should be more aware of the benefits of HE for
society & as an element of the continent’s attractiveness
Europe is becoming an increasingly attractive destination,
cf IAU survey - European universities are the most sought
after partners for universities in other parts of the world
Reinforcing the core elements of ongoing reforms will make
universities more attractive internationally, e.g.
 Improving quality and increasing transparency
 Enhancing doctoral programmes & improving
opportunities for young researchers
Peter Scott – “Europe thanks to Bologna may have been
given the opportunity to respond the C21 agendas” (EUA
Bologna Handbook, 2006)

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