UM-voorzitter Jo Ritzen heeft het manifest Empower
European Universities aangeboden aan de Europee Commissie.
Onderwijscommissaris Vassiliou reageert er helder op: zij
"strongly supports the statements of the Manifesto and will bring
them into the Europe 2020 strategy."
Medeopstellers van het stuk zijn toonaangevende
(oud-)ministers als barones Tessa Blackstone (UK), Eduardo
Grilo (Portugal, nu van de Gulbenkian Stichting), John Panaretos
(Griekenland), Gudmund Hernes (Noorwegen) en HO-topmensen als
Sijbolt Noorda, Georg Winckler (EUA), Frank Ziegele (CHE), Luc
Soete (UNU Merit) en Peter Gaehtgens (HRK).
De tekst van hun verhaal leest u hier.
Empower European Universities
Europe is in many respects in a crisis: a financial crisis, one
of sustainability and one of demography. For universities there
exists also an intellectual crisis, as the complexity of the
present world - and how to cope with it - is insufficiently
transmitted through teaching to the next generation.
We believe that universities are an important force to address
these crises and to find new ways to surmount them.
The undersigned plead for urgent action to be taken by
universities, EU member states, the European Commission and civil
society to empower universities so that they can fully utilize
their innovative potential.
1. Increase mission differentiation within higher education,
along with differentiation of strategies, new governance and
financial arrangements. Much of today's diversity is stuck in
regional or national contexts. Increased differentiation is needed
in order to integrate the full spectrum of students who aspire to
adequate participation in the emerging innovation society. This
includes a substantial part of presently untapped talent, like
underrepresented groups and life long learners. But European
universities must also become more attractive to the best and
brightest in order to maintain Europe's competitive position in a
2. Mobilize the full potential of universities to engage in
innovative teaching and learning and in research. This requires
their full autonomy. A professional management approach by
universities makes it necessary to separate academic leadership,
responsible for high academic standards, and a (supervisory) Board
of Trustees. The latter must be independent and responsible for the
strategic pursuit of the mission and appoints an independent
university leadership for the day-to-day management. The
arrangement for public funding of higher education should be
assigned to support such autonomy, which includes risk-taking and
innovation as well as public accountability.
3. Make European universities and HE systems much more
international. This means attracting more students and researchers
from Europe itself, but also from other parts of the world.
Education should be based on effective learning and geared towards
problem solving, preparing them for a global labor market embedded
in responsibility for a sustainable future. The development of
broad, general education in the introductory part of renovated
curricula has the potential to enhance cultural awareness and
democratic citizenship among students. Universities themselves need
to develop a stronger culture of placement, a sense of
responsibility for the destiny of their students in society and in
the labour market. In short, European universities should train for
These recommendations can be better realized when European
Governments commit themselves to a financing of universities which
is balanced with the social and economic returns.
Time has come for creating a differentiated world class system
of higher education within the context of the European Higher
Education and Research Area. Governments and the EC are requested
to take further steps in this direction e.g. by portability of
(students) grants and loans over national borders and the
introduction of a European Statute for a limited part of European
The undersigned are in full agreement on these points, led by a
wish to promote the empowerment of Europe's higher education. We
hope to produce a basic guideline to assess the performance of EU
member states to empower European universities by June 2011. A
first progress report is scheduled to be prepared by June 2012, to
be followed by successive progress reports. These documents shall
be produced by an NGO (Empower European Universities - EEU) for
which the undersigned act as founding members in collaboration with
independent correspondents in each of the 27 EU countries.
"Educate the next generation so as to cope intellectually,
morally and politically with the messiness and complexity of the
world" (Yehuda Elkana)
Brussels, June 16 2010