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EUA reacts to key European Commission policy documents on higher education and research

Friday, 14 July 2017

In the past week, EUA has responded to two key policy documents on higher education and research in Europe.

The “Renewed EU Agenda for Higher Education”, launched on 30 May, outlines the European Commission’s policy priorities for higher education over the next few years. It focuses on four key areas, which include tackling future skills mismatches and promoting excellence in skills development; building inclusive and connected higher education systems; ensuring higher education institutions contribute to innovation; and supporting effective and efficient higher education systems. 

EUA responded on 10 July by welcoming the Commission’s Agenda, which provides a broad vision on the role of higher education with a strong emphasis on topics of critical importance for the European higher education sectors, and builds a good basis for discussion and collaboration between the sector and policy actors at different levels.

On 7 July, EUA also responded to the “Fab – Lab – App” report of the High Level Group, chaired by Pascal Lamy and charged with examining new ways of maximising the impact of EU research and innovation programmes. The report makes 11 recommendations, which most notably include a call for doubling EU investment in research and innovation, which it links strongly to the future of Europe.

EUA, which has actively supported the work of the High Level Group, welcomed the fact that many of its priorities were reflected in the “Fab – Lab – App” report, including the need to prioritise research and innovation in both EU and national budgets and the importance of simplifying and rationalising the EC’s research and innovation programmes. The European Commission will respond to the High Level Group’s recommendations in a Communication later this year. They will also feed into the preparation of the next Framework Programme (FP9), which will be proposed by the European Commission in 2018.