Archive for July, 2010

Foundations laid for doctoral education in Europe

July 2, 2010

Development of a European knowledge society is likely to drive demand in all sectors of the workforce for PhD holders with the creative and intellectual skills to work in a wide variety of roles – going well beyond research and development.

More than 200 stakeholders meeting at the Freie Universität Berlin for the annual meeting of the EUA Council for Doctoral Education discussed how universities should develop strong, research-based doctoral programmes.

Check: Full report on the University World News site

Povl Tiedemann

July 2010

EUA (European University Association) calls for governments to support public funding of higher education

July 2, 2010

EUA has published (2010-05-21) 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.

Povl Tiedemann

June 2010

EU Commission going for higher education directorate

July 2, 2010

By Alan Osborn, University World News
Is the European Commission going to give higher education a much higher profile? The creation of a new Brussels directorate devoted entirely to higher education has been welcomed by universities in the European Union – but they could be reading too much into the move.
Full report on the University World News site

Povl Tiedemann

July 2010