The European Commission: New initiatives in Jan. 2022 for HE

The European Commission launched two new higher education initiatives in January 2022: A European strategy for universities and a Proposal for a COUNCIL RECOMMENDATION on building bridges for effective European higher education cooperation 

 

Universities have a unique position at the crossroads of education, research, and innovation, at the service of society and the economy: they play a crucial role in the realization of the European Education Area (EEA) and the European Research Area (ERA), in synergy with the European Higher Education Area. Through strong partnerships in the EU and around the world and building on the cumulative advantage of education systems and research networks, they are key players in promoting the European model in line with EU interests and values: the rule of law, human rights, and international norms and standards.

Diversity, inclusion, and gender equality in higher education are more important than ever. Students, academics, administrators, and researchers from disadvantaged backgrounds are still underrepresented in higher education11. A gender gap persists in some areas of study and research and in decision-making positions in universities. The gender balance decreases significantly with seniority in heads of higher education institutions, where women occupy just under 24% of these positions in the EU27. 

Universities have a unique position at the crossroads of education, research, and innovation, at the service of society and the economy: they play a crucial role in the realization of the European Education Area (EEA) and the European Research Area (ERA), in synergy with the European Higher Education Area. Through strong partnerships in the EU and around the world and building on the cumulative value of education systems and research networks, they are key actors to promote the European model in line with EU interests and values: Rule of Law, Human Rights, and International Norms and Standards.

Extract from the Proposal

Achieving the European Education Area by 2025 means creating a European learning space that benefits all learners, academics, and other education personnel who can move freely throughout the EU to study and work. To achieve this, European higher education institutions must be able to cooperate more closely and intensively. Further realization of a European Research Area requires strengthening the mobility of researchers and the flow of knowledge, incentivizing investment in research and innovation, and enhancing transnational collaboration between higher education institutions and with businesses and other research and innovation actors in their ecosystems. Transnational cooperation strengthens the inclusiveness, excellence, diversity, attractiveness and global competitiveness of European higher education. It will contribute to equality and non-discrimination, to solving European challenges related to climate change, digital transformation, and aging populations, to equipping learners with relevant skills and knowledge, and to building resilience and supporting recovery. It will strengthen the role of higher education institutions on the global stage and make Europe a pacesetter in solving global challenges effectively and efficiently, a global source of inspiration, and an attractive destination for students, academics, and researchers.

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