Enable universities to release transformative forces

Today, we publish two positions: our Vision for the European Education Area and our input for the evaluation of the European Universities pilot.
20th April 2020
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The leading universities of science and technology united within CESAER today publish two positions: the first on our Vision for the European Education Area (EEA) and the second on our input for the evaluation of the European Universities pilot. We urge the European Union to adopt the boldest ambitions when shaping the European Education Area (EEA) and to enable universities to release transformative forces, inter alia through the European Universities.

Rik Van de Walle (President of CESAER and Rector of Ghent University) said: “Further development of the EEA and the European Universities initiative are of great importance to universities as they have direct implications on how we deliver education and training, advance cooperation and address the grand challenges. The trying times we are going through have demonstrated the need for relevant, excellent, accessible and research-based education and training to prepare our students for the unpredictable future. However, this goal is unachievable without sufficient and sustainable funding. That is why we call to adopt an enforceable percentage of GDP target for higher education funding.”

In our first position, we welcome the achievements to date and the progress towards the EEA, and support the commitment of the European institutions to make it a reality. In contributing to the development of the EEA, we urge to:

  • Adopt the boldest ambitions;
  • Secure sufficient funding for education and training at all levels;
  • Enable students, learners and teachers to contribute to a sustainable future;
  • Ensure mutual recognition of qualifications and learning outcomes from abroad becomes a reality.

With our second position, we reflect on the pilot of the European University alliances, one of the building blocks of the EEA, and put forward our recommendations for the further development of this initiative under the next Erasmus and Horizon Europe programmes from 2021 to 2027. In our view, European University alliances will only be successful if they are:

  • Enabled to release transformative forces;
  • Based on scientific excellence and strong cooperation (existing and new);
  • Provided with sustainable funding;
  • Facilitated to be inclusive and open.

David Bohmert (Secretary General of CESAER) said: “The leading research-based universities united within our association combine research, education and innovation effectively. With these two positions, we underline our commitment and efforts in European higher education policy, initiatives and funding programmes, and offer our expertise and partnership to European and national institutions and stakeholder organisations alike.”

Please find below the links to full positions:

  • Position ´Vision for the European Education Area´ is available here.
  • Position ´Evaluation of European University Alliances Pilot´ is available here.

For more information about these positions, please contact our Secretary General David Bohmert and our Advisor for Higher Education Indrė Antanavičiūtė.

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