In parallel to the well-established framework for European collaboration in higher education provided by the Bologna Process with the European Higher Education Area, the European Union is working towards creating a European Education Area. The European Education Area, unlike the Bologna Process, is limited to European Union member states and covers different levels and sectors of education to support lifelong learning.
In September 2020, the European Commission published a Communication on achieving the European Education Area by 2025. It outlines the next steps in this process and covers six dimensions: quality of education and training, inclusion and gender equality, green and digital transitions, teachers and trainers, higher education and the geopolitical dimension.
The Communication mentions concrete actions such as the European Universities Initiative; European graduate tracking, recognition of qualifications and study periods abroad; and a European approach for micro-credentials, which are considered as instrumental to implement the European Education Area. Other key actions related to higher education include the European Student Card Initiative, the University Transformation Agenda, exploring the feasibility of a European degree and a European statute for European university alliances and other university alliances, and reviewing the European quality assurance system.
The Erasmus+ programme is expected to play a key role in supporting the further development of the European Education Area.
The European Universities Initiative aims to strengthen strategic and in-depth transnational collaboration through the development of networks involving universities from several European countries. To date, 215 EUA member universities are part of the 41 alliances selected under the two pilot calls and more are willing to engage.
EUA supports the European Universities Initiative and advocates for a balanced and focused approach in its roll-out. The Association was part of the European Commission’s stakeholder consultation group that accompanied the preparation of the two pilot calls and continues to closely follow the developments.
In April 2020, EUA published a position on the future of the European Universities Initiative developed jointly with its national university associations. It is underpinned by evidence from the sector collected in early 2020 through a survey of 219 higher education institutions from 34 systems across Europe.
The EUA’s TrackIt study showed already in 2012 the importance of graduate tracking at both the national and institutional level. In addition, the Eurograduate pilot demonstrated the feasibility of such a European survey.
Recently, an European Commission expert group (2018-2020) mapped the diverse national approaches of collecting administrative and survey data on graduates across Europe. The group has recommended to the European Commision a phased introduction of a European graduate tracking system, including all EU member states by 2030. The proposed system would be based on a mix of administrative data available at national levels and data collected through a European survey (similar to Eurograduate).
EUA continues to monitor the development of a European graduate tracking system, as member of an European Commission expert group and the Eurograduate advisory board.
Recognition of qualifications and learning periods is a crucial prerequisite for the free movement of learners and workforce within the European Union. The EU Council Recommendation on automatic mutual recognition of qualifications and learning periods abroad builds on progress already made in other fora, notably the Bologna Process and through the widespread ratification of the Lisbon Recognition Convention. It also encourages multilateral agreements between groups of EU member states.
EUA is in regular dialogue with ENIC/NARIC centres and the European Commission representing the point of view of universities, which in most EU countries are responsible for taking decisions on academic recognition. EUA also coordinates the Erasmus+ project Spotlight on Recognition.
As part of its efforts to promote lifelong learning, the European Commission has prepared a roadmap for developing a European approach to micro-credentials by 2025. The aim is to support the building of trust in micro-credentials across Europe for their wider use, portability and recognition.
EUA has been involved in the consultation group preparing the roadmap and continues to contribute to the development of the approach. In this respect, the Microbol project provides valuable insight.
On 30 September 2020, The European Commission published a Communication on “Achieving the European Education Area by 2025”. It outlines key EU actions in education for the next five years. EUA welcomes the Communication as an acknowledgement of the vital contribution of education to Europe’s identity, its future, and the sustainability and long-term resilience of its societies.
EU Commissioner Mariya Gabriel, during the European Research and Innovation Days in September 2020, stated that excellence and inclusiveness are two sides of the same coin in the new European Research Area (ERA). EUA welcomes the European Commission’s Communication “A new ERA for Research and Innovation” released on 30 September 2020 as a starting point to making this ambition a reality.
The European Union and the United Kingdom benefit from joint research and innovation, as well as interconnected universities that strive for excellence and cooperation. Europe’s universities are united in their call to safeguard this research and innovation cooperation through fast association of...view more
The UNESCO’s International Institute for Higher Education in Latin America and the Caribbean (IESALC) is running a major public consultation as part of the Futures of Higher Education initiative until 31 July. The survey is brief, open to all, and available in English, French, Portuguese and...view more
In the six months since the UK left the European Union, the picture of how universities are...read more
The present policy input comprises EUA’s key messages for the European Commission’s public...read more
EUA encourages its members to contribute to the European Commission’s consultation on education for environmental sustainability. It will remain open until 24 September 2021. Through the Green Deal, the EU aims at taking action to fight climate change and encourage all citizens to work...view more
On 17 May 2021, the Education Ministers of EU member states adopted Council Conclusions on the European Universities Initiative. The Council Conclusions come at a crucial point as the mid-term evaluation of the first 17 alliances is approaching and important decisions will soon have to be made...view more
This is the first briefing in a new EUA series focused on evolving university governance. The...read more
The European University Alliance E³UDRES² (Engaged and Entrepreneurial European University as Driver for European Smart and Sustainable Regions) celebrates its official Online Opening Conference “Towards Future Universities for Smart and Sustainable Regions” on 22-23 March 2021, from 13:00 to...view more
In a wider context marked by the Covid-19 crisis, the transition to a digital and green economy,...read more
The European Commission has published the European Approach to Micro-credentials report analysing how a European approach to micro-credentials will help widen learning opportunities and strengthen the role of higher education and vocational education and training institutions in lifelong...view more
The European Commission has launched the Education Climate Coalition, an initiative of the European Education Area which aims to promote the green and digital transitions of education and training throughout the European Union. Education institutions of all levels are encouraged to make a...view more
Europe’s universities, in the European Union and neighbouring countries including the United Kingdom, are pleased to see that an agreement on the EU-UK future relationship has been reached. The European family of universities sees the result as a solid basis to continue and enhance our...view more
The “Spotlight on recognition” project has launched a series of activities and opportunities to engage. The project, co-funded by Erasmus+, is coordinated by EUA and will be of interest to higher education professionals and other stakeholders working in the field of recognition. The...view more
EUA member Central European University launched the 10th edition of the annual European Award for Excellence in Teaching in the Social Sciences and Humanities. Students, alumni, faculty colleagues and institutional leaders are invited to submit a recommendation of a professor or a colleague by...view more
On 30 September, the European Commission presented a package of three major initiatives aimed at unlocking Europe’s potential in education, research and innovation. The Commission published two dedicated Communications on the European Education Area and the European Research Area. It also...view more
Micro-credentials have attracted interest as a means to increase the effectiveness and flexibility...read more
On 1 July, the European Commission launched the European Skills Agenda for sustainable competitiveness, social fairness and resilience. It defines 12 actions for upskilling (improving existing skills) and reskilling (training in new skills) for the coming five years. With this Agenda, the European...view more
On 9 July, the European Commission announced the selection results of the second pilot call under the European Universities Initiative. Out of 62 applications, 24 new university alliances were chosen with a total of 165 participating higher education institutions from 26 countries. 122 of those...view more
EUA has published the position “The future of the European Universities Initiative – the sector’s perspective” together with the results of the recent EUA survey on international strategic institutional partnerships and the European Universities Initiative. Endorsed by the EUA Council, the...view more
In early 2020, EUA conducted a survey on international strategic institutional partnerships and...read more
On 31 January, with Brexit underway, higher education and research organisations from both sides of the English Channel published a common statement committing to maintain their current relationships. An initiative of Universities UK, 36 major organisations representing science and higher...view more
Many in the university sector are committed to the European idea and regret the UK’s exit from the...read more
On 7 November the first 17 alliances of the European Universities Initiative were launched in Brussels in the presence of some 800 representatives of universities, university associations, student, national ministries and the European Commission. EUA President Michael Murphy addressed the...view more
As the mid-term evaluation of the first European University Alliances comes up, stakeholders must...read more
As the European University Initiative nears its mid-term review, it is time to think seriously...read more
On the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the European University Association, Andrée Sursock...read more
Fair recognition in the European Higher Education Area can only be fully achieved if practices in...read more
The European Commission should learn from the Bologna process, which has shown how universities...read more
Creating European research and education areas requires a transparent and inclusive dialogue, says...read more
Micro-credentials are growing exponentially in popularity, attracting the interest of various...read more
The idea of a European degree is fascinating and attractive, but it also raises many conceptual...read more
Confinement due to the coronavirus is a great challenge for the international mobility of...read more
Brexit is a sad moment, as is always the case whenever a member of a community leaves. But for...read more
Europe’s universities are transnational in outlook, international in their collaborative...read more
Despite Brexit, British higher education institutions must remain in the European family of...read more
As societies transform, diversity is becoming a key concern for higher education institutions...read more
The Global Convention on Recognition will provide a strong instrument for higher education...read more
The European Universities Initiative is a great opportunity to deepen collaboration and revive the...read more
The new European Commission must make research, education and innovation a priority as it sets out...read more
Recognition of study and qualifications are key for people to move freely to study and work in...read more
In line with Emmanuel Macron’s speech and discussions at the recent Social Summit in Gothenburg,...read more
Thursday 28 January, 14.00-15.00 CET EUA, in collaboration with Nuffic, HRK and CRUE, was pleased to present this webinar organised in the context of...Read more
Inclusiveness has become a strategic question for a number of higher education institutions across Europe, impacting learning and teaching, research and...Read more
EUA and its partners the European University Continuing Education Network (eucen) and the European Students’ Union (ESU) are organising a webinar...Read more