In order to ensure Europe’s global connectivity, and to keep abreast of global higher education development trends, EUA is in continued dialogue with partners outside of Europe. The Association has consistently pushed for a global dimension of European higher education by building a joint European approach for international collaboration, supporting institutional internationalisation and promoting European higher education to its global partners.
European universities have a wide range of international contacts and academic collaborations with partner institutions around the world. With the consolidation of the European Higher Education Area came the realisation that Europe is increasingly attractive globally, both as a study destination and as a partner for exchange. In parallel, the global race for talent has accelerated, and European universities have increasingly focused on positioning their education and research offer internationally.
Internationalisation is a strategic goal of European governments and universities, with priority placed on student and staff mobility, cross-border partnerships and learning and teaching approaches. EUA supports the institutional development of internationalisation through a variety of projects and memberships services. It is also actively engaged in global policy dialogues and collaboration between Europe and other world regions, including the EU Neighbourhood. EUA laid down its own approach in 2006 in its International Agenda – which may have been the first ever European-level higher education strategy. While since then a lot of progress has been made in internationalisation, and the overall context has changed, the principles of the International Agenda continue to guide EUA’s exchange and collaboration with international partners.
EUA keeps links with the Association of African Universities (AAU) with whom it endorsed a joint Statement on Europe-Africa higher education cooperation, outlining the commitments of the two organisations. It has also been following the Africa-EU Strategic Partnership.
Together with AAU and other partners, EUA mapped the various ways in which universities are contributing to the development agenda, and issued a White Paper: Africa-Europe Higher Education Cooperation for Development , with several principles for European universities engaging with partners in emerging economies, in Africa and beyond. Since then EUA and AAU continued their partnership under the EU-funded HAQAA initiative, mainly meant to develop a pan-African Quality Assurance and Accreditation System (2016-2018).
EUA is also involved as a partner in the Yebo! project, which focuses on further developing the internationalisation of doctoral education in South African universities.
Since 1989, the three associations have gathered higher education institutional leaders (presidents, rectors and chancellors) from Europe, Canada and the United States for a Transatlantic Dialogue, to discuss and share perspectives on current higher education issues and policy developments.
In Latin America, EUA has participated in a number of initiatives aimed at higher education integration, harmonisation and enhanced cooperation and exchange. EUA started a dialogue with the Consejo Universitario Iberoamericano (CUIB) in 2004, to work towards the creation of an integrated higher education and research area between EU and the Latin American and Caribbean countries (LAC region). Over the years, EUA has also collaborated on projects with a number of organisations such as the Observatorio de las Relaciones Union Europea America Latina (OBREAL) and LAC university associations.
EUA also follows the process between the European Union and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), in which higher education, research, technology and innovation have been assigned priority. In 2017, it became the main European partner in a related stakeholder process, in close collaboration with LAC partner organisations and the EU-LAC Foundation.
The Arab-Euro Conference on Higher Education (AECHE) is a joint initiative of the Association of Arab Universities (AARU) and EUA, supported by members and partners to promote dialogue, mutual understanding, and increased cooperation between Arab and European universities.
Launched in 2013 at the University of Barcelona, AECHE organises thematic conferences and promotes policy exchange between the two regions. In 2017, the Mohammed V University in Morocco hosted the 4th AECHE Conference, which focused on research collaboration and capacity building among Arab and European universities.
To generate dialogue and sustainable relations between Asian and European institutions, EUA has taken up several initiatives with Asian partners. From 2008-2009, EUA led a European Commission funded project “EU-Asia Higher Education Platform” (EAHEP) organising thematic workshops, roundtables, symposia and European higher education fairs across Asia and Europe. More recently, EUA partnered in an initiative “European Union Support to Higher Education in the Asean Region”. (2015-2018).
EUA has a large membership far beyond the EU, including 122 institutions in EU Neighbourhood and accession countries, as well as 32 institutions in Russia and Kazakhstan. These higher education institutions participate in EUA events and projects and contribute to the community of European universities.
Higher education and research play a key role in fostering cooperation between the European Union
and its neighbours. Universities build bridges across political, cultural and economic borders through student and staff mobility, research collaborations, and through studying and teaching foreign cultures. The Association works towards improving higher education in the whole region, using the advantage of its diversity with a common purpose.
EUA monitors the international trade agreements that the European Commission negotiates with third country partners and regions. While such agreements do not necessarily include higher education, neither do they automatically exclude it.
Article 1.3 of the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) excludes “any services supplied in the exercise of governmental authority [and supplied] neither on a commercial basis nor in competition with one or more service suppliers”.
How such services are defined is nevertheless open to interpretation. As higher education institutions explore diverse funding streams, the distinctions between public, private, not-for-profit and for-profit are increasingly unclear.
EUA, the American Council of Education (ACE), Universities Canada and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) issued a Joint Declaration on Higher Education and the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) in 2001. In 2015, the EUA Board declared that higher education benefits individuals, society and the world at large in ways that are not easily quantifiable. It is a public responsibility to which all citizens have right of access and not a commodity to be transacted by commercial interests on a for-profit basis. It should not be subject to international trade regimes.
The statement warns that TTIP and TiSA cast into doubt the ability of national and regional authorities to determine the nature of their Higher Education provisions and calls on the EU to make no commitments in the fields of higher and adult education.
The Association of African Universities (AAU), representing over 200 university members throughout Africa, and the European University Association (EUA), representing over 800 universities and university organisations in 46 European countries, have embarked upon structured dialogue and cooperation on pressing issues regarding higher education and development in both regions.
HUMANE, the Heads of University Management & Administration Network in Europe, together with partner EFMD, the European Foundation for Management Development, will organise the Shanghai Transnational Partnerships School from 17 to 22 November. Developed in collaboration with the Shanghai...view more
The International Association of Universities (IAU) recently held its annual conference in Kuala Lumpur with a focus on partnerships for societal impact. Some 300 delegates were present from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe and from Brazil to Uganda. The European contingent notably included a strong...view more
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On 1-4 July about 30 university presidents from Canada, Europe and the United States convened at the European University Institute (EUI) in Fiesole, Florence, for the 15th Transatlantic Dialogue. This event addressed the timely theme “Higher education and its communities: openness, democracy and...view more
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The American Council on Education (ACE) has launched a global exchange on how to improve outcomes for underserved students through research, policy and the dissemination of good practices. On 2-4 February 2018, ACE invited higher education, policy and business leaders to participate in...view more
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On 18 October, EUA and EARMA, the European Association of Research Managers and Administrators, co-organised a seminar entitled “Higher education cooperation for development and Sustainable Development Goals: Meeting global and regional challenges”. The seminar was hosted by MEP Bogdan Wenta at...view more
The 6th Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF) Rectors’ Conference and Students’ Forum (ARC6) took place at Singapore Management University on 9-13 October 2017. The event brought together around 110 university leaders, higher education experts, student leaders, and representatives from the business sector...view more
Results of the EU-CELAC Academic and Knowledge Summit. Over 250 members of the EU, Latin American and Caribbean academic and scientific community convened in El Salvador at the University of El Salvador on 5-6 October, for the EU-CELAC Academic and Knowledge Summit, an event to feed...view more
Speaking on the topic of ‘Breaking the mould: anticipating the future of global education’, EUA Secretary General Lesley Wilson gave the keynote address at the 52nd Annual Assembly of CLADEA (Consejo Latinoamericano de Escuela de Administración), the Latin American Council of Management Schools,...view more
This briefing focuses on the detail of the EU side of the CETA. On the Canadian side, the Agreement involves federal administrations as well as those at provincial and territorial levels. This is not a case of the complex confronting the simple. The full consolidated text runs 1 500 pages. EU...read more
EUA is deeply concerned about the spirit of US President Donald Trump’s new travel ban and its potential implications on the free flow of people and ideas. EUA believes the new executive order, issued on 6 March 2017, continues to aim indiscriminately at large groups of people to the...view more
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EUA reports regularly on two policy areas which have implications for higher education institutions: EU trade agreements and EU legislation on the recognition of professional qualifications. As the globalisation of higher education gathers pace and as potential EU trade agreements proliferate,...read more
EU trade negotiations can affect the conditions under which the European higher education sector operates. The position of EUA’s Board and Council is that the EU should not make commitments in the categories of HE and AE (higher and adult education) and that it should make absolutely...read more
Europe needs talented students and researchers in order to achieve its goals for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. For this reason, the European University Association (EUA) welcomes the initiative to revise the Directive on the conditions of entry and residence of third-country nationals...read more
This Update joins others in a growing dossier aiming to keep the higher education sector informed of developments in EU trade negotiations. It follows a Statement issued by EUA Board and Council at the end of January, which concluded that 'the EU should not make commitments in the categories of HE...read more
This Update follows a background paper published by EUA in January 2014 and Updates issued in April and August. EUA is concerned with the status of higher education as a tradable service and the extent to which HE might feature in future international free trade agreements (FTAs). A number of...read more
This Update follows a background paper published by EUA in January and an Update issued in April 2014. EUA is primarily concerned with the status of higher education as a tradable service and the extent to which it might feature in international trade agreements. A number of such agreements are...read more
The TRESAL survey, undertaken under the ALPHA PUENTES project, gathered information developments in Latin American higher education over the past decade, through responses from university leadership, staff and students. The results were expected to strengthen institutions, help build the Latin...read more
This Update concerns TTIP as it stands at the beginning of April 2014. It covers the current context and the issues that may prove to be of relevance to EUA members and to the European higher education sector at large. This Update follows a background paper published by EUA in January...read more
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