Higher Education in Europe
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Higher Education in Europe
Developments in the higher education sector in Europe
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Funding changes creates uncertainty for universities in devolved countries

Universities in the three devolved countries of the United Kingdom face an uncertain future in the wake of the UK government’s decision to switch the financial burden from the state to students in the form of higher fees, according to a report from the Higher Education Policy Institute (HEPI).

 

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EUA > EUA’s input to forthcoming Bologna Process Ministerial Conference

EUA > EUA’s input to forthcoming Bologna Process Ministerial Conference | Higher Education in Europe | Scoop.it

Later this month (26-27 April), Ministers responsible for higher education from the 47 member countries of the Bologna Process will gather in Bucharest, Romania, for the latest Ministerial meeting. As a consultative member, EUA will participate on behalf of its members in the meeting, which will underline the importance of putting higher education at the centre of efforts to overcome the crisis and set goals for the further development of the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) in the next years.

 

Since the last Ministerial meeting in Vienna (2010) and the launch of the EHEA, EUA has actively participated in the Bologna Follow-Up Group (BFUG) that has prepared the meeting in Bucharest. It has also contributed to the different BFUG working groups, particularly by providing data and information gathered from its members during its projects and thematic events on topics including lifelong learning, quality, transparency and the global rankings, mobility and employability.

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Five Welsh universities to reduce fees to £7,500 next year

Five Welsh universities to reduce fees to £7,500 next year | Higher Education in Europe | Scoop.it

Half of Wales’ 10 campus-based universities will reduce their tuition fees to £7,500 next year.

Glamorgan, Trinity Saint David, Swansea Metropolitan, Newport and Cardiff Metropolitan universities have all chosen to lower the cost of their courses.

 

It follows a decision by the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales (Hefcw) to change the way in which full-time student places are allocated to the nation’s institutions from September 2013.

 

The system will see around 12,600 “non-priority” places – 52% of the annual intake – top-sliced and reallocated to universities in a two-part process.

 

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Top research universities show how to beat the economic squeeze

Top research universities show how to beat the economic squeeze | Higher Education in Europe | Scoop.it

Three years after the global credit crunch led to economic downturn and widespread austerity budgets, and resulting cutbacks in resources and staff at many universities, some have been able to swim against the tide and expand.

 

Lund University in southern Sweden recruited 471 new staff members in 2011, a 9% increase. And that came on top of hiring an extra 310 members of staff in 2010.

Lund now has 6,300 staff members and 47,000 students on an operating budget of SEK6 billion (US$890 million).

 

According to Per Eriksson, the university’s vice-chancellor, Lund’s expansion is built on its success in applying for research grants, specifically long-term ones.

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Europe should look beyond itself where big changes are happening

The recent European University Association annual conference was much concerned with Europe's economic crisis, but much of what will affect it in the future is happening outside the continent. It should pay more attention.

 

When I was invited by Nigel Thrift, the vice-chancellor of Warwick, to be a plenary speaker at the European University Association’s annual conference, I had never before heard of the EUA. But I immediately grasped the importance of the occasion, with 400 heads of higher education institutions in Europe attending, and the opportunity to find out what is going on in European higher education, as well as meeting many of its leaders. I was not disappointed.

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EU can 'add value' in higher education policy

EU can 'add value' in higher education policy | Higher Education in Europe | Scoop.it

Last week the House of Lords' European Union select committee, in the United Kingdom, published a report on the EU's contribution to the modernisation of higher education in Europe. The European Commission's view is that "the potential of European higher education institutions to fulfil their role in society and contribute to Europe's prosperity remains under-exploited". They recognise that most of the effort to realise this potential falls to member states, but stress that the EU can help, principally through mobility and research.

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The development of private higher education in Russia

The development of private higher education in Russia | Higher Education in Europe | Scoop.it

Privatisation in education, specifically the reduction of public finance and engagement of private, non-governmental, and other funds is one of the significant features of evolving economies. In the process of privatisation, the influence of governmental bodies on professional training and qualifications gradually decreases to the level of those regulatory functions such as licensing or accreditation. This paves the way for an increase of non-state resources.

 

It is clear that private investment ensures greater flexibility and adaptability of the learning process in relation to the regularly changing requirements of the labour market.

 

Financial independence from government, with its system of control and distribution of funds, is no less important, since it creates the conditions to spread innovative technologies into the sphere of education. At the same time, two of the main principles of higher professional schools – university autonomy and assurance of academic freedom – are encouraged.

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International numbers climb 67%, Turkey

International numbers climb 67%, Turkey | Higher Education in Europe | Scoop.it

The number of international students studying in Turkish universities has increased significantly over the past five years, according to data from the country’s Student Selection and Placement Center (ÖSYM).

 

There were 26,911 students in Turkey in the 2010/11 academic year, up from 16,059 in 2005/06 academic year – a rise of more than 67%. The figure was 21,948 in 2009/10 and 18,720 in 2008/9.

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Greek Students Fight Stray Dogs and Despair Amid College Cuts

Greek Students Fight Stray Dogs and Despair Amid College Cuts | Higher Education in Europe | Scoop.it

Greek universities face issues that go beyond financing, students, professors and administrators say.

 

The higher-education system is a legacy of the student-led revolt against the 1970s dictatorship, said Dimitri Sotiropoulos, an associate professor of political science at

the University of Athens.

 

“In Europe, and in southern Europe in particular, universities were always the hub of reform movements and even revolutionary movements,” Sotiropoulos said in an interview. “It was the only space where antifascist intellectuals could express opinions.”

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Catching up with Western standards of education

Catching up with Western standards of education | Higher Education in Europe | Scoop.it
RBTH got in touch with former Minister of Education Vladimir Filippov to discuss how Russia has been adjusting to the Bologna Process that started in 2003.
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Universities drag heels over crisis-driven reforms

Greece’s universities, deeply embroiled in the general crisis that has plagued the country for at least two years, are only reluctantly implementing key reforms to the way they are run, in the face of dramatic opposition from academics and students.

 

While the education ministry and university rectors have been at loggerheads for some time, there are now divisions between academics who support the ‘reforms’ contained in Law 4009/2011 and those who oppose it, while students are also opposed.

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European research ministers demand key role for social sciences in Horizon 2020

Europe’s research ministers have voiced concern that social sciences and humanities should be given a more prominent role in Horizon 2020, the next European Union framework programme for 2014-20.

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The Debt Crisis and Higher Education Reforms in Greece: A Catalyst for Change.

The Greek debt crisis has been a major topic in the news for the past two years. Since the introduction of the austerity measures by the IMF and the Troika, the discussion in media about Greece has been focusing on the frequent incidents of social unrest, the prediction of the exact day of bankruptcy, and all the evils of government budget deficits of P.I.G.S.

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European Union defies criticism of its university ranking plan

The European Commission’s higher education head has defended the European Union’s planned U-Multirank university rankings system against its critics.

 

Jordi Curell, director of lifelong learning, higher education and international affairs at the directorate general for education and culture, conceded that there was opposition to its development.

 

"When we started working on the project of U-Multirank, many people from the higher education community were opposed to it,” he told an international symposium on university rankings and quality assurance in Brussels on 12 April.

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Ministers to consider mobility measures as countries fall short of target

Ministers to consider mobility measures as countries fall short of target | Higher Education in Europe | Scoop.it

Ministers from 47 European countries will be warned that they risk missing their goal of at least 20% of graduates studying or training abroad, when they assess progress towards the Bologna goals in Bucharest later this month.

 

They will be asked to sign up to a pledge to expand mobility funding and enable portability of grants, loans and scholarships provided by European Higher Education Area (EHEA) countries.

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German students criticise teaching quality scheme

Germany’s student union has criticised efforts to improve higher education funding, saying they contribute too little towards improving teaching and focus too much on a research elite.

 

Support for teaching via an initiative led by the Stifterverband, a private association supported by the German business community, is claimed to involve too little money. Recent attempts to amend the constitutional framework of higher education to allow for more cooperation are said to focus, in effect, too much on a research elite.

 

In January, the Stifterverband, announced its 'Excellence Initiative for Teaching', with which it sought to provide €5 million (US$6.6 million) to improve teaching in higher education. The Stifterverband assumed that the Kultusministerkonferenz (KMK), the conference of ministers at state level dealing with education affairs, would contribute a further €5 million.

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Academies reject Horizon 2020 pledge on social sciences

Academies reject Horizon 2020 pledge on social sciences | Higher Education in Europe | Scoop.it

The European Alliance for the Social Sciences and Humanities (ALLEA) has rejected the European Commission’s view that social sciences and humanities are adequately covered in the European Union’s proposed Horizon 2020 research programme.

 

It calls for an added dimension to be established on "understanding Europe in a global context – transitions towards innovative and inclusive societies".

 

Europe’s research ministers have already argued that social sciences and humanities should be given a more prominent role in Horizon 2020, the next European Union framework programme for 2014-20. Commission plans would make Horizon 2020 the world’s largest publicly financed research programme with a proposed budget of €80 billion (US$105 billion).

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The Modernization of Higher Education in Russia

The Modernization of Higher Education in Russia | Higher Education in Europe | Scoop.it

It is well known that Russia was in a state of confusion during its first years of democracy in the early 1990s. After the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union the centralized economic system broke down and the iron curtain fell. The state started to operate in a new political and economic environment. In this context, what major changes have occurred in Russia’s education system during the last 20 years of democracy?


Via Dr Vangelis Tsiligiris
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Russia Moves to Improve Its University Rankings

Russia Moves to Improve Its University Rankings | Higher Education in Europe | Scoop.it

After it was reported this month that not a single Russian university had cracked The Times Higher Education’s ranking of top 100 schools by academic reputation , Education Minister Andrei Fursenko said that Russia was in the process of creating its own rating system.

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Balkan poll follows Berlitz study showing strong demand for language learning

Balkan poll follows Berlitz study showing strong demand for language learning | Higher Education in Europe | Scoop.it

Prodirekt, provider of education and training in the Balkan region, and its language-focussed social network Verbalisti recently announced the results of a poll designed to discover how parents in the Balkans feel about the language education of their children.

 

The survey polled 1566 people from 4 countries: Serbia, Croatia, Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina. Results clearly showed that parents place a high regard for foreign language education...

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Europe to open student mobility scheme to rest of world

Officials in Europe are pressing on with plans to expand its flagship student mobility programme beyond the borders of existing eligible countries despite the economic crisis.

 

They see the Erasmus student mobility programme as one of the success stories in the development of the European project. Plans under consideration in Europe’s decision-making bodies could see that programme lifted onto a global plane within two years.

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Europe’s €80 billion plan to boost research and innovation

Europe’s €80 billion plan to boost research and innovation | Higher Education in Europe | Scoop.it

With a proposed budget of €80 billion (US$105 billion), the European Commission’s new Horizon 2020 plan complemented the approach being taken in most of the European Union's member states to increase investment in research and innovation as the routes to future growth, Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, EU commissioner for research, innovation and science, said last week.

 

“Europe is focusing huge efforts on fiscal consolidation but we must ensure that this is smart fiscal consolidation, with the measures that will produce jobs, growth and competitiveness today and tomorrow,” Geoghegan-Quinn said in a keynote address to the Universities Australia annual conference.

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Spanish government slashes funding for excellence, universities face cuts

The Spanish government is to slash funding for its Campus of Excellence programme, a further blow to universities that are already dealing with cuts and a harsh economic climate.

 

Loans totalling EUR74 million (US$98 million) agreed during 2011 under the previous socialist administration will now not be forthcoming, according to the Spanish Ministry of Education. Only two universities, one in Madrid and the other in the Rioja region, will receive loans, for a little over EUR1 million.

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One in five graduates ‘overqualified’ for their job claim challenged

Europe’s graduates are finding jobs twice as quickly as non-graduates, according to a EURYDICE report presented to European Union education ministers this month.

 

But the report’s claim that one in five are “overqualified” for the jobs they take has been challenged by independent analysts, who have cast doubt on the validity of the definition used.

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Europe defies US in new ranking of best cities for students

Forget the Eurozone crisis and the attractions of the New World. A new ranking of the world’s best cities for students places Europe’s cities firmly ahead of the US for quality of life, affordability and their universities’ academic reputation.

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