In its new position paper, the Guild supports the European Universities initiative to boost the competitiveness of the European higher education sector. The creation of collaborative flagships, distinguished by high-quality education and research excellence, will bring a step-change to the Bologna process through the mutual recognition of degrees and the removal of barriers to mobility. The initiative will be a powerful catalyst to bring together universities, governments and the EU to work towards a more integrated, transnational, research-led student experience.
The Guild embraces the vision of creating new and transformative strategies of “universities of the future”, that can act as role models contributing to the modernisation of the university sector in Europe. It is crucial that the networks will be ambitious and innovative in developing deeper collaboration, whilst remaining open and transparent to maximise their outreach and impact.
To contribute to the planning of a successful concept for the European Universities, the Guild makes the following recommendations:
- University networks must be built on clear strategic objectives and committed leadership, and their success should be measured against their priorities and ambitions.
- The initiative should be built on concerted action and the long-term commitment of universities, governments and the EU.
- The networks should be ambitious in defining added value and quality for education, and identify ways to enhance research excellence through new ways of collaboration.
- Funding for the networks of European Universities must maximise opportunities for bottom-up initiatives, and it should support networks with different compositions, and at different stages of development. The initiative should support institutional, thematic and challenge-based networks.
- The initiative should empower universities to create new bridges between research, education and innovation. They should also actively engage with other societal actors as part of their mission to contribute to the welfare and social cohesion of their regions.
Read the Guild’s position paper with all of our recommendations for the European Universities initiative.