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Feedback sought on two EU university schemes

Image: zimmytws, via Shutterstock

Commission opens consultation on European Universities Initiative and forthcoming universities strategy

The European Commission is seeking feedback on two EU schemes to strengthen universities, as part of broader efforts to boost innovation and cross-border collaboration in Europe.

One consultation is on the EU’s European Universities Initiative, under which 41 networks of more than 200 institutions in various countries have been given funding to conduct joint activities, such as the creation of joint posts and curricula.

Feedback is being sought on difficulties identified with the EUI, including to do with the recognition of joint educational programmes, the integration of student mobility into such programmes and the sharing of resources between institutions.

With a view to a Commission proposal for a recommendation from member state governments in the Council of the EU, the consultation is inviting recommendations “aimed at facilitating transnational cooperation between all higher education institutions in the EU, helping to ease the free flow of ideas, creativity and innovation”.

Separately, the Commission is also seeking ideas for its forthcoming European strategy for universities, saying that higher education must respond to climate change, technological development and shifting demographics.

“The EU’s prosperity depends on it maintaining excellent universities, as it needs innovation and a well-skilled workforce,” the call for ideas says. “With this initiative, the Commission aims to support the higher education sector to manage change and play a leading role in achieving the EU’s policy goals.”

Both consultations were launched on 20 October and will remain open until 17 November.