This online event focused on the upcoming European Strategy for Universities and its interplay with system-level reform processes. It brought together university representatives, European policy makers, representatives of national ministries and other stakeholders in higher education and research. The aim was to discuss how European policies and programmes interact with national reform processes, pushing forward system transformation as we head towards 2030.

Expected for January 2022, the European Strategy for Universities as announced by the European Commission, aims to support university transformation by fostering synergies between university missions through related EU policies, programmes and national reforms. This strategy comes in a context of reform discussions, also in connection to the Next Generation EU recovery and resilience plans. Both national and European levels are key to improve the framework conditions for universities across Europe and enable them to best serve society and achieve the vision of open, engaged and autonomous institutions as set out in “EUA’s Universities without walls – A vision for 2030”.

Topics discussed at the online event were:

  • how to achieve synergies between higher education, research and innovation at the different levels of policies, programmes and practice and how to better connect those;
  • how to foster recovery and resilience and use European funding to support reforms and build capacity for the future;
  • how to enable deeper transnational collaboration and remove barriers to allow universities to be innovative.

These and many more issues were addressed in three online sessions featuring examples of European policies, national reforms and perspectives from universities across Europe.

The recording of this online event is available via EUA's YouTube Channel

14.00-14.45 Opening session

  • Introduction by Amanda Crowfoot, Secretary General, EUA
  • Welcome speech by Michael Murphy, President, EUA
  • First keynote by the European Commission: Pauline Rouch, Head of Cabinet of European Commissioner Mariya Gabriel, presenting the European Strategy for Universities
  • Second keynote by French EU Council Presidency: Aline Humbert, Adviser on Higher Education, Education and Youth for the Permanent Representation of France to the European Union

14.45 – 15.30 Panel 1 - Synergies between higher education, research and innovation: policies, programmes and practice

  • Jens Peter Gaul, Secretary General, German Rectors’ Conference (HRK), Germany
  • Marc Vanholsbeeck, acting Deputy Director General for Higher Education and Scientific Research, Ministry for Higher Education, Lifelong Learning and Scientific Research, Wallonia-Brussels Federation, Belgium
  • Darinka Vrecko, Secretary, Department of Higher Education, Ministry of Education, Science and Sport, Slovenia and co-chair of the BFUG task force on synergies
  • Moderation: Thomas Jørgensen, EUA Senior Policy Coordinator

15.30 – 15.45 Break

15.45 - 16.30
Panel 2 - Fostering recovery and resilience: the role of national plans in university system reforms

  • Maurizio Tira, Rector, University of Brescia, Italy
  • Karina Angelieva, Deputy Minister of innovation and Growth, Bulgaria
  • Josep M. Garrell, Rector, Ramon Llull University, Spain, Vice-President of the Spanish Rectors’ Conference (CRUE) and EUA Board member
  • Moderation: Thomas Estermann, Director for Governance, Funding and Public Policy Development, EUA

16.30 – 17.15 Panel 3 - The future of transnational university collaboration: how to overcome system-level barriers

  • Vanessa Debiais-Sainton, Head of Unit, Higher Education, Directorate General for Education and Culture, European Commission
  • Florence Balthasar, Head of International Affairs, Zürich University of the Arts, Switzerland
  • Peter Lievens, Vice-Rector for International Policy, KU Leuven, Belgium and Member of the Board of Directors, UNA Europa European University alliance
  • Elmar Pichl, Director General for Universities and Universities of Applied Sciences, Ministry for Education, Science and Research, Austria
  • Moderation: Anna-Lena Claeys-Kulik, EUA Policy Coordinator

17.15-17.30 Closing remarks by Amanda Crowfoot, EUA Secretary General

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