EUA Newsletter 11 - 2016
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From: EUA Info [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Friday, June 10, 2016 1:01 PM
To: Helen Bahtsavanopoulou – Kotsaki
Subject: EUA Newsletter 11 - 2016
EUA Newsletter 11 | 10/06/2016
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Arab-Euro Conference on Higher Education addresses societal mission and refugees
The Third Arab-Euro Conference on Higher Education (AECHE) took place from 25 to 27 May 2016 at the University of Barcelona in Spain. Under the theme, “Opportunities and Challenges for Arab and European universities in fulfilling their societal mission,” it brought together more than 200 rectors and other academic representatives, mainly from Arab countries and Europe. Education ministers from Egypt and Morocco addressed the audience and participation was high-level.
The response of universities to refugees was one of the focuses of the conference. Participants discussed various initiatives on providing refugees access to education, including traditional, online and blended programmes. A former Syrian Deputy Minister for Higher Education, now based in France, presented an approach for providing online access to education. Another example came from the NGO Kiron and the University of Kassel, who collaborate to enrol students in online courses that are free of charge. The Technical University of Berlin emphasised the need to turn refugees as rapidly as possible into regular students, which the university does with the support of strong public funding. The Central European University in Hungary reported on its efforts to assist young people in obtaining the language and transversal skills necessary for employment and education.
How universities can better integrate students and scholars from migrant backgrounds was the topic of several presentations, among them from the University of Antwerp in Belgium and St Joseph University in Lebanon, which called for more interuniversity cooperation. The European Municipalities Network in Cyprus stressed the need for coordination at both national and local levels, in which higher education institutions can play an important role.
Representatives from the European Commission’s Directorates General on Education and Research presented concrete measures for refugees that the EU has in place or is preparing, including funding mechanisms as a way to develop partnerships and networks for research collaboration. An 11.5 million euro call is scheduled to be launched in July on topical issues such as migration drivers, skills for refugees, integration policies and measures. Funding is also available under the Science for Society call, which provides small budgets for university projects for refugees.
“For us, this is direct follow-up to the Paris Declaration and the 2015 Bologna Yerevan Communiqué that European ministers have agreed upon,” explained Lesley Wilson, Secretary General of EUA. “Addressing these issues is not always easy in a European, or even EU context. In this regard we were very pleased that our colleagues from the Association of Arab Universities agreed to join forces for a conference on this important issue.”
Academic freedom was another major topic of discussion. A representative of Scholars at Risk emphasised that the university should be a safe place to learn and discuss, and referred to the UNESCO recommendations, as well as to the examples of Tunisia and Norway which have made specific provisions for academic freedom in their legislation. Meanwhile, other presentations showed different realities. Two EUA university members from Ukraine reported on experiences of being displaced and the resulting challenges for students and staff. The permanent presence of an Israeli military compound on the Palestinian Technical University campus is not only disturbing the daily routine, but poses health and safety risks.
The Fourth Arab-Euro Conference on Higher Education (AECHE 4) will take place in the spring of 2017 and will be hosted by University Mohammed V in Rabat, Morocco. It will address Arab-European research collaboration with a thematic focus on natural resources and environmental issues. EUA will provide more information to members this autumn.
AECHE, launched in 2013, is a platform for Arab-European higher education cooperation and exchange. The Conference was organised by the AECHE Consortium, which comprises the Association of Arab Universities (AARU), EUA and the University of Barcelona, which hosts the Secretariat of the initiative, with the collaboration of AECHE’s enlarged Steering Committee, where the Union for the Mediterranean (UFM), UNICA and UNIMED also participate.
For more information on the AECHE 3 conference, please click here.
To learn more about AECHE in general, please click here.
Photo ©University of Barcelona
Policy and Projects News
EUA meets with European Ombudsman to discuss higher education sector
EU citizens, businesses and associations can file a complaint with the European Ombudsman if they encounter difficulty in exercising their rights. However, universities, students and staff generally do not take advantage of this service. EUA Secretary General Lesley Wilson recently met with European Ombudsman Emily O’Reilly and her team to discuss how to promote the Ombudsman’s office in the European higher education community.
EQUIP project wraps up first phase of activities
The first phase of activities of the EQUIP project (Enhancing quality through innovative policy and practice) is now complete. The project, in which EUA is a partner, has offered three workshops and two webinars for stakeholders in quality assurance (QA) of higher education.
Universities in Energy: UNI-SET Steering Committee holds fourth meeting
The Steering Committee (SC) of EUA’s UNI-SET project held its fourth meeting from 31 May to 1 June at the EUA office in Brussels. UNI-SET aims to mobilise the research, innovation and educational capacities of Europe's universities. The SC members discussed, among other topics, European energy policy developments and the creation of a “Roadmap for Universities in Energy”.
EUA special update on EU trade agreements and the recognition of professional qualifications
EUA has recently published a special update on EU trade agreements and the recognition of professional qualifications. EUA reports regularly on the two policy areas as they have implications for higher education institutions.
Third Funding Forum to highlight new EUA data on public funding of universities
New EUA data on public funding of higher education institutions will be in the spotlight at the upcoming EUA Funding Forum scheduled for 6 and 7 October at the University of Porto in Portugal.
Second UNI-SET Energy Clustering Event: Call for contributions
EUA and the UNI-SET consortium have launched a call for contributions for the 2nd UNI-SET Energy Clustering Event (ECE) to be held at the Politecnico di Torino in Italy from 26 to 28 September 2016.
Call for new member of EIT Governing Board
The European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) has launched a call for expression of interest for the selection of a new member of its Governing Board.
Members and Partners News
- EC event on Smart Specialisation in Energy, 16 June, Brussels (Belgium)
- HUMANE Annual Conference and upcoming events
- DAAD Conference on internationalisation and QA, 1 July, Berlin (Germany)
- EUPRIO Conference 2016, 1-3 September, Antwerp (Belgium)
- Higher Education Show, 11 October, London (UK)
9th EUA-CDE Annual Meeting
Hosted by Rovira i Virgili University, Tarragona, Spain
16-17 June 2016
2nd UNI-SET Energy Clustering Event
Hosted by the Politecnico di Torino, Turin, Italy
26-28 September 2016
3rd EUA Funding Forum
Hosted by the University of Porto, Porto, Portugal
6-7 October 2016
European University Association (EUA)
Next newsletter: 24 June 2016
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