Efficient universities: Value for society

Credits: © U.Porto Rectory

For the third time, universities, public authorities and partners came together to take stock of and discuss the latest funding trends, opportunities and challenges of the sector.

This Forum focused on the crucial issues of delivering value to society and efficient university management. At a time when public finances are under increased pressure, funding models for universities are being revised with the perspective of rationalising expenditure and generating greater added value and increase the efficiency of the sector. In many European countries, it is becoming highly relevant for the university sector to show and quantify its contribution to society, in social but also economic terms.

Some of the questions that kept participants busy:

How can efficiency strategies reinforce the university’s capacity to deliver on its core missions?
How can the contribution of universities to society be assessed, let alone measured?
Should universities communicate on their economic added value? And if so, how?
What are the expectations of funders and policy makers? What are successful policies to increase efficiency?
How to develop a productive dialogue at system level?
What is the future of European funding?
How can universities explore new partnerships and diversify their funding streams?
A biennial event, the Funding Forum is a unique, inclusive platform open to all higher education funding stakeholders – university leaders and managers, researchers, students, public authorities, public and private funders & partners.

  • Day 1

    09:00 - 09:30
    Opening plenary session
    • Sebastião Feyo de Azevedo, Rector, University of Porto, Portugal
    • Jean Chambaz, Board Member, European University Association
    09:30 - 10:15
    European overview
    • Thomas Estermann, Director for Governance, Funding and Public Policy Development, European University Association
    10:45 - 12:15
    Morning plenary session: University leaders’ panel
    • Jean Chambaz, President, University Pierre and Marie Curie, France
    • Jukka Kola, Rector, University of Helsinki, Finland
    • António Manuel Bensabat Rendas, Rector, New University of Lisbon, Portugal
    13:30 - 15:30
    Parallel thematic sessions

    Session 1: Institutional efficiency strategies

    • Chris Cobb, Pro Vice-Chancellor & Chief Operating Officer, University of London, United Kingdom
    • Diarmuid Collins, Chief Financial Officer/Bursar, University College Cork, Ireland

    Session 2: Strategic positioning and research funding

    • Jonathan Deer, Deputy Director, Research Division, London School of Economics, United Kingdom, and Gabi Lombardo, Director, European Alliance for SSH
    • Anke Zerm, Head of Research Support Service, Leuphana University of Lüneburg, Germany

    Session 3: Efficiency through partnerships

    • Theo Schuyt, Professor, Free University Amsterdam, the Netherlands
    • Liviu Matei, Provost and Pro-Rector, Central European University, Hungary
    • Eduardo Marçal Grilo, Chairman of the Council and Former Trustee, University of Aveiro and Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, Portugal
    16:00 - 17:30
    Evening session: EU Funding - universities looking ahead of the mid-term review
    • Patrick Child, Deputy Director-General for Research and Innovation, European Commission
    • Thomas Estermann, Director for Governance, Funding and Public Policy Development, European University Association
    • Patrick Prendergast, Provost and President, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland
  • Day 2

    09:00 - 10:30
    Morning plenary session: Stakeholders’ panel
    • Josephine Scholten, Executive Director, Association of Universities in the Netherlands, the Netherlands
    • Lea Meister, President, European Students’ Union
    11:00 - 13:00
    Parallel thematic sessions

    Session 4: Regulatory frameworks: inhibiting or fostering efficiencies

    • Elmar Pichl, Director General for Higher Education, Federal Ministry of Science, Research and Economy, Austria
    • Stephane Calviac, Deputy Director for Higher Education Funding, Ministry of Education, Higher Education and Research, France

    Session 5: The campus as strategic asset – optimising real estate

    • Gust Janssen, Finance Director, Hasselt University, Belgium
    • Alfred Funk, Director of Administration, University of Luxembourg, Luxembourg

    Session 6: Data as strategic asset - making informed decisions to improve efficiency

    14:30 - 15:30
    Afternoon plenary session: External perspectives
    • Futao Huang, Professor, Research Institute for Higher Education, Hiroshima University, Japan
    15:30 - 16:30
    Final plenary session: Tying it all together and closing
    • Liviu Matei, Provost and Pro-Rector, Central European University, Hungary
    • Manuel Heitor, Minister of Science, Technology and Higher Education, Portugal
    • Thomas Estermann, Director for Governance, Funding and Public Policy Development, European University Association
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