27 April 2004 | Position

EUA Statement on the Research Role of Europe's Universities

Universities are aware of the need to overcome their fragmentation and to develop institutional strategies underpinning their action. EUA has formulated a set of principles on which strategies and policies should be built. These reflect the unique research role of universities as institutions without which there would be no research and no researchers, and seek to identify a “European way” of fostering and utilising high quality research.


In formulating these principles, EUA acknowledges the importance of two phenomena that are increasingly and simultaneously shaping the landscape and character of Europe’s universities: on the one hand growing competition between universities that is resulting in increased differentiation, and on the other increased cooperation and interdependence between institutions that serve to create both focus and critical mass in research on a European scale.

The principles upon which Europe’s universities will build the research and innovation strategies and policies needed to meet the challenges of the Europe of Knowledge are:

- universities provide a unique space for basic research;
- universities play a crucial role in the training of researchers thus ensuring the continuity of the “research pipeline”;
- universities are research institutions based upon the integral link between teaching and research;
- universities pursue excellence in disciplinary research, and provide environments that enable the cross-fertilisation of ideas across disciplines;
- universities are knowledge centres that create, safeguard and transmit knowledge vital for social and economic welfare, locally, regionally and globally;
- universities are engaged in knowledge transfer as full partners in the innovative process;
- universities’ willingness to focus and concentrate their efforts through enhanced cooperation and networking among themselves and with business, industry and other partners.

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