EUA Newsletter 7 - 2017
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From: EUA Info [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Friday, April 07, 2017 3:20 PM
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Subject: EUA Newsletter 7 - 2017
EUA Newsletter 7 | 7/4/2017
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EUA launches European-wide debate on university autonomy
This week, EUA renewed a crucial and timely European-wide dialogue on the importance of university autonomy. Its Annual Conference, “Autonomy and freedom: The future sustainability of universities,” underway at the University of Bergen in Norway, marks ten years of EUA work on the topic. This debate comes at a pivotal moment as there is an increasing tendency of national governments to interfere in university autonomy and academic freedom.
In a statement issued from Bergen yesterday, EUA members called on the Hungarian president to block legislation targeting the Central European University, a long-standing EUA member. On 4 April 2017, the Hungarian Parliament adopted an amendment to the country’s Education Law that, if signed by the president, will make further operations of CEU in Hungary almost impossible. EUA’s statement stresses that autonomous institutions should be left to govern themselves free of state interference and oppression.
“University autonomy and academic freedom are crucial for the well-functioning of universities and higher education systems,” said EUA President Rolf Tarrach. “They are essential pillars of the future sustainability of our institutions.”
Earlier in the week, EUA underlined the importance of universities as independent and open communities of scholars. EUA cited the case in Hungary, as well as worrying reports of governmental interference in internal university affairs in Turkey following the attempted coup in July 2016.
To support the broader dialogue, EUA presented the state of play on university autonomy in Europe at the Annual Conference with the launch of its newly-updated Autonomy Scorecard. The extensive study profiles and scores 29 higher education systems and is a central reference in discussions and analyses of institutional autonomy – both in Europe and beyond.
While EUA’s analysis shows some improvements, it also reveals new restrictions in several areas as well as a lack of a global view on university autonomy. More specifically, the findings indicate that university autonomy is affected both by legal restrictions and factors such as stronger accountability measures and micromanagement. The challenging economic context impacts autonomy in financial management, staffing matters and organisational aspects. In addition, public authorities exert stronger steering through funding mechanisms, while concentration processes, like mergers, raise new questions for university autonomy.
“The EUA Autonomy Scorecard offers a university perspective while contributing to national and regional policy dialogues by providing data and structure to a complex topic,” said Thomas Estermann, EUA Director of Governance, Funding and Public Policy Development.
EUA will continue to monitor developments in autonomy and academic freedom across Europe, keeping with its founding aim of “promoting and safeguarding university values and the case for university autonomy,” and provide a forum for such dialogue at the European level.
Photo: Dag Rune Olsen, Rector, University of Bergen; Torbjørn Røe Isaksen, Norwegian Minister of Education and Research; Rolf Tarrach, EUA President
Policy and Projects News
New EUA Board members elected
EUA members elected three new Board members during the 2017 General Assembly on 6 April 2017.
EUA Council approves new members
During this week’s meeting in Bergen, Norway, the EUA Council approved seven new membership applications.
UK triggers Brexit, EUA advocates for continued university collaboration
On 29 March 2017, Prime Minister Theresa May officially declared the intent of the UK to leave the European Union. Shortly afterwards, the European Parliament and Council published their guidelines for the next two years of negotiations.
New European Code for Research Integrity
ALLEA, the Federation of European Academies of Sciences and Humanities, published a new European Code of Conduct for Research Integrity on 24 March 2017. This meets the wish of EU Research Commissioner Carlos Moedas to renew the integrity framework used in the Horizon 2020 Model Grant Agreement. EUA has given extensive input to the Code through its response to ALLEA’s first draft.
First USTREAM peer learning seminar: Last chance to participate
EUA and Universities UK (UUK) will organise a peer learning seminar on efficiency of higher education management for university leaders and public officials on 1 and 2 June 2017 in London.
Final call for registration: Arab-Euro Conference on Higher Education
Participants from the European Higher Education Area are still in time to register for the Fourth Arab-Euro Conference on Higher Education (AECHE 4). Focused on research collaboration and capacity building among Arab and European universities, the event will be hosted by Mohammed V University in Rabat, Morocco from 24 to 26 April 2017.
IEP webinar: How an evaluation can benefit your institution
EUA’s Institutional Evaluation Programme (IEP) will hold a webinar to provide insight into how the Programme works and how institutions can benefit from taking part in an evaluation. The webinar will take place on 26 April at 14.00 CEST.
UNI-SET: New paradigms discussed in London, Registration open for next event
The 4th UNI-SET Energy Clustering Event, "Universities in the Energy Transition: Focus on Sustainable Transport and Carbon Capture, Storage & Use," took place at Imperial College London in the UK on 27 and 28 March 2017. The event was organised by EUA and KU Leuven, which represents universities in EIT InnoEnergy.
Reminder: Call for contributions to EUA-CDE Annual Meeting
The EUA Council for Doctoral Education (EUA-CDE) is accepting proposals for contributions to its 2017 Annual Meeting, “Doctoral Education and Harnessing Digital Possibilities.” The event will be hosted by Tallinn University in Estonia on 15 and 16 June 2017.
Members and Partners News
- European universities 60 years after the Treaty of Rome
- Participate in ALDA survey on gender equality
- How to attract talented researchers: Register for regional workshops
- Science & You event, 4-6 May, Montreal (Canada)
Fourth Arab-Euro Conference on Higher Education
Mohammed V University, Rabat, Morocco
24 - 26 April 2017
"IEP: What’s it all about"
26 April 2017
5th UNI-SET Energy Clustering Event
KU Leuven, Leuven, Belgium
31 May 2017 - 2 June 2017
European University Association (EUA)
Next newsletter: 21 April 2017
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