23 April 2014 | Policy input

Europe’s Universities: Main drivers in achieving the European Research Area (ERA)

EUA-ERA Progress Report on the implementation of the actions agreed in the Memorandum of Understanding signed between the European Commission and the European University Association

Major concrete results have been achieved by EUA with its large membership in moving forward the implementation of European Research Area policies and raising further awareness of their importance.

Survey results from a significant representative sample of EUA membership show that EC ERA initiatives on researcher career conditions, open recruitment and human resources excellence are being taken up in a substantial manner. On cross-border and regional cooperation EUA has forged a innovative partnership with the Joint Research Centre (Seville)/DG Regions Smart Specialisation Platform focusing on existing “good practices”, their experience and lessons, and how universities could enhance their contribution in developing national and regional “Smart Specialisation Strategies” for future maximisation of the use of the EU regional funds for research and innovation activities leading to economic and social development. Finally, EUA has worked collectively with all Stakeholder Organisations (SHOs) who on 17 July 2012 signed the Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs)/Joint Statements in achieving agreement on “Common Principles” governing Open Access and has presented an agenda for a high-level dialogue with scientific publishers on the need for new business models that reflect the impact of digital technological developments on the process of the production of scientific knowledge for scientific publishing.

Presented here therefore is a concise progress report on these achievements made by EUA in the implementation of the actions agreed in the voluntary MoU. At the outset, it needs to be emphasised that EUA has regarded the MoU as a high priority activity and has made substantial commitment of its time and resources to implement the MoU which has required regular consultation with its governing bodies, EUA Board and Council, and survey-based data collection from its large membership base of over 850 individual universities and National Rector’s Conferences.

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