Staff development for learning and teaching at European universities

The Staff development for learning and teaching at European universities (STAFF-DEV) project aims to analyse how staff development and academic assessment are conducted at European higher education institutions (HEIs) and to strengthen institutional capacity and strategies in this regard. In doing so, STAFF-DEV seeks to contribute to policy making in reforming academic assessment and careers in Europe. 

The project will promote interconnected higher education systems by looking at how staff development works in transnational cooperation, as well as by ultimately supporting higher education institutions to implement the Recommendations for the Enhancement of Higher Education Learning and Teaching from the Bologna Process, which address staff development.

STAFF-DEV is coordinated by EUA in a consortium with the University of Oslo (Norway), University College Cork (Ireland), Utrecht University (the Netherlands) and Ruhr University Bochum (Germany). Alongside the project team, STAFF-DEV also benefits from the input of an Advisory Board comprised of leading experts on the topic.

The project runs from January 2024 until December 2026. It is funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Commission.

For further information about the project, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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  • Background

    STAFF-DEV builds on a series of activities on learning and teaching conducted by EUA in the past years, which confirmed the need to increase exchanges of practices to enhance and accelerate positive developments. Among other measures, staff development in teaching has been identified as one of the drivers for further enhancing learning and teaching at higher education institutions (HEIs).

    Since 2017, EUA has conducted Learning & Teaching Thematic Peer Groups(TPG), which gather a selected group of EUA member universities each year to discuss and explore practices and lessons learnt in organising and implementing learning and teaching at the institutional level. Throughout the reports produced by TPGs over in recent years, offering adequate (continued) professional development to teachers, and motivating them to engage in it through adequate recognition for teaching are among the most often cited recommendations.

    EUA’s Trends report of 2018 highlighted that across Europe, the majority of HEIs already offer some form of courses to teachers to enhance their teaching skills. EUA’s EFFECT project (2015-2019) addressed teaching enhancement, notably with a feasibility study on teaching enhancement in European higher education. In addition, two reports, published in 2018 and 2022, mapped national developments in learning and teaching in several European Higher Education Area (EHEA) countries, with a focus on teaching enhancement.

  • Objectives and timelines

    The main project objectives are to:

    • Offer a thorough knowledge and evidence base on how staff development in teaching is being implemented at European higher education institutions, and how it is embedded into institutional and national strategies for learning and teaching and academic assessment. To this end, a literature review, a survey of European higher education institutions and a series of focus groups will take place in 2024. The resulting publication will be available at the beginning of 2025.
    • Provide capacity-building opportunities for higher education institutions, through a series of peer learning and training activities in 2025 and 2026.
    • Contribute to policy making in reforming academic assessment and careers in Europe, by providing practice-based recommendations towards the end of the project.
  • Activities

    Strand 1: Knowledge and evidence baseStrand 2: Practice-sharing and capacity buildingStrand 3: Policy contribution
    Jan 2024 – Jan 2025 June 2024 – Sept 2026 2025 and 2026
    • A desk research and literature review on the state of play of staff development.
    • A short survey to European HEIs on the topic.
    • 2 focus groups.
    • 3 Thematic Peer Groups (TPG), to run from Q1 2025 to Q1 2026.
    • 4 Masterclasses in 2025 and 2026.
    • Translating outcomes and lessons learnt into policy recommendations on how to enhance learning and teaching through staff development capacities, academic assessment, and appropriate career paths.
    • A final conference by the end of 2026 to present the findings of the project.
    • Outreach and advocacy activities to raise awareness and promote these recommendations.

    University leaders, such as rectors, vice-rectors, heads of L&T centres, etc, may be interested in the STAFF-DEV project activities and outcomes. Participation in the survey, focus groups, TPGs, masterclasses and various other activities will be possible through open calls, which will be featured on this project webpage.

  • Project partners


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