Recommendations for developing the European Education Area
The Guild welcomes the initiative to establish the European Education Area (EEA) that will address how higher education institutions can be strengthened in teaching and learning at a European level.
New technologies, pedagogies and demands from students and employers on the attributes of university graduates have considerable implications on teaching and learning. As universities used to responding to shifting societal demands, we welcome opportunities for change, but also note the risk that study programmes become supercharged. In the position paper published today, The Guild emphasizes that the need for pedagogical innovation should not compromise the fundamental mission of universities: providing deep subject knowledge, and stimulating enquiring minds, based on excellence in teaching and research.
Drawing upon the rich experience of our members in developing new approaches to teaching and learning, The Guild makes the following recommendations:
Instead of promoting particular pedagogical practices (e.g. blended learning or challenge-based learning), we encourage the introduction of innovative pedagogies based on the evidence of their positive effects on learning outcomes. We need to build on digitalisation as a means to an end, not as an end in itself.
Although The Guild’s members are committed to continuing the physical exchange of students and staff members, we support new initiatives that can strengthen the ability of students to think across physical and virtual borders.
The desire to develop micro-credits that are often market-driven and target specific skills shortages at the European level needs to be carefully balanced with the in-depth knowledge and the holistic education offered by universities.
Given the need to invest time and resources in both research and teaching in research-intensive universities, a stronger emphasis on teaching quality and pedagogical innovation can make a significant difference. Efforts to strengthen research-led education should also come with investment in pedagogical skills, encouraged by recruitment and promotion practices.
Click here to read the full position paper