Crisis raakt Europees HO

Nieuws | de redactie
17 februari 2009 | De universiteiten in Europa monitoren de gevolgen van de crisis voor het HO. Klappen vallen bij de derde geldstromen vanuit bedrijven. In sommige landen is het HO pro-actief tegen de crisis, in andere dreigen reeds nu bezuinigingen: Italië en Oost-Europa. Over het HO-beleid in Nederland is men niet erg optimistisch gestemd.

‘It is clear from early feedback that there is currently a wide variety of situations across Europe and that could change in the coming weeks and months’, aldus de EUA. ‘While in some countries, it is too early to note any direct impact on universities, it is clear that some national HE sectors already fear difficult times ahead. Meanwhile, EUA has also seen that there have been proactive approaches from universities to promote their role in economic recovery. The British University sector (through Universities UK) for example has implemented a communication campaign promoting the role of universities in helping business in times of economic downturn.’ Zie hieronder voor het document ‘Standing Together’ van de Britse universiteiten.

Over ons land wordt het volgende gemeld: ‘The Dutch rectors’ conference has reported difficulties in negotiating with the government for public funding increases in this context; however, no direct budget cuts are planned so far. The rectors’ conference is especially concerned about sensitive areas in research and innovation where collaboration with the business sector is endangered as companies tend to pull back from their financial commitment. Thus the government is called to step in and invest strategically for a limited period, until business is confident enough to renew its cooperation with universities.’

‘National governments also seem to be reacting in different ways; some have already announced or implemented budget cuts for higher education (Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland), while others have reacted by increasing the level of available funds (Denmark, France), especially in matters of infrastructure expenditure (Germany, Switzerland), as part of national stimulus packages. Some countries are in the process of implementing reforms, which makes it more difficult to announce new measures (Finland, Switzerland). It is a general concern from university leaders over the degree of commitment of the business sector in their financial cooperation with universities, and a view that the economic downturn may decrease the funding coming from private sources.’

De Britse instellingen hebben een gezamenlijk statement gepubliceerd waarin zij bedrijven met recessieproblemen benaderen voor gezamenlijke oplossingen. Zij stellen daarin onder meer; “It’s never been more important, or more timely, for businesses to look at what’s on offer on their doorstep, or for universities to show what they can do to help. Universities can provide staff training at all levels, with bespoke courses designed for the specific needs of business; university business schools can improve leadership and management skills, and develop programmes to improve the customer experience; consultancy services can help improve company practices; and businesses can also engage through work placements and similar schemes.

This leaflet details these and other ways in which business can engage with universities and includes case studies of schemes that are already helping companies retain staff and customers and boost productivity. We are all affected by a slowdown in the economy and, equally, we all stand to benefit from the longer-term investment that knowledge transfer between business and higher education represents. Students are the graduates, entrepreneurs, innovators, managers, employers and leaders of the future, and the UK’s prosperity in years to come lies in our contribution to the global knowledge economy. We have included a contact point for every UK university and higher education college as well as general enquiry points at Universities UK and GuildHE to make that first engagement as easy as possible.”

Het document ‘Standing Together’ vindt u hier.

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