The Guild's Vision for Europe's Universities

The speed of social, economic and geopolitical change, accelerated through the current Covid-19 pandemic, forms an urgent context for articulating how universities can best support society through research, education and innovation in the future. In response, The Guild’s Presidents have articulated a vision for the future of Europe’s universities. The ways in which universities need to change to embrace future challenges must always be informed, Presidents argue, by a deep reflection of the values that define us.

It is essential that the development of the European Research Area and the European Education Area is informed by a deep understanding of the rich potential of our universities. University research within and across institutions needs to be strengthened, The Guild’s Presidents argue, in all its dimensions. This must include fundamental, frontier-led research, to ensure we are equipped to respond to the unknown challenges of the future. At the same time, they emphasize the need for pedagogical change in a digital age, building on the educational excellence of universities to develop new, appropriate pedagogies.

The Guild’s Presidents underline their vision with an urgent call to enhance the autonomy of universities, and for public authorities to develop a close partnership with universities to strengthen the public understanding of science and its role in public policy and debate. They stress the importance of embracing transformation, to ensure that changes strengthen, rather than deflect from, the core mission of comprehensive universities.

Read the key recommendations in the interactive document >>

Download the insight paper >>

Strengthening Europe’s universities at a time of global transformation

What are our universities’ strengths, and how can these be enhanced, for the benefit not just of staff and students, but also of our societies? And how do our universities need to change over the next decade or so to ensure Europe’s universities continue to be world-leading in the research and education they deliver?

The Guild's Presidents discuss these and other key issues from education to innovation and international collaboration in detail in a series of interviews. Watch some of them below and see all the clips on The Guild's YouTube channel >>

The Guild’s response to the European strategy for universities

On 18 January 2022, the Commission presented the European strategy for universities as a way to articulate a transformative vision for the higher education sector. The Guild welcomes the strategy as a framework which recognizes the rich potential and contribution of Europe’s universities to our society through research, education and innovation. However, there is a genuine question whether the strategy is visionary enough. And how well it captures the research and innovation dimension which is discussed in the framework of the European Research Area.

Read The Guild's full response >>

Forum on European Universities

On 5 December 2019, The Guild Forum on the European Universities Initiative offered an opportunity to consider the academic priorities and challenges presented by European Universities. The discussion came at a critical moment, when the first European Universities kicked off their activities, the second pilot call had been published, and when policymakers began turning their minds to the full implementation phase in the next Erasmus+ programme.

Watch the recording of the event below (starting at 33:00) and read about the debate >>

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