EU outlines higher education priorities

Nieuws | de redactie
26 september 2011 | Under the headline “Modernisation and employability at heart of new higher education reform strategy”, the European Commission published a communication calling on EU member states to foster study success and excellence to reach their EU2020 goals.

In July, the Commission launched its proposals for the nextmultiannual EU budget (2014-2020) which include substantialincreases for education, training and youth (+73%), and forresearch (+46%), in recognition of their pivotal role in supportinggrowth. The reform agenda for modernising higher education willguide the spending priorities of EU programmes in support ofreforms.

On a EU level, the European  Commission will foster themulti-dimensional U-Multirank system in order to “better informstudents about the courses which are best for them. [Next to that,the EU wants to create] an ‘Erasmus for Masters’ loan guaranteescheme for students taking a full degree course abroad.”

Androulla Vassiliou, European Commissioner for Education,Culture, Multilingualism and Youth, commented on the report saying that “highereducation is a powerful driver of economic growth and opens doorsto better living standards and opportunities for people. It is alsothe best insurance against unemployment. Even so, too manygraduates struggle to find jobs or quality work. We need to reformhigher education – and vocational education – so that we equip ouryoung people with the skills they need to reach their potential interms of development and employability.”

Priority areas

  • Increasing the number of graduates,attracting a broader cross-section of society into highereducation, and reducing the numbers who drop out without completingtheir courses
  • Improving the quality and relevance of higher education, socurricula meet the needs of individuals, the labour market and thecareers of the future, as well as stimulating andrewarding excellence in teaching andresearch
  • Providing more opportunities for students to gain additionalskills through study or training abroad,and to encourage cross-border co-operation to boost highereducation performance
  • Training more researchers to preparethe ground for the industries of tomorrow
  • Strengthening the links between education, researchand business to promote excellence andinnovation
  • Ensuring efficient funding– freeingup higher education governance and investing in quality educationto match labour market needs

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