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EUA Newsletter 4   20 February 2015

EUA urges Juncker and MEPs not to u-turn on research

EUA’s campaign on the Investment Plan and the European Commission’s proposed cuts to Horizon 2020 entered a crucial second phase last week.

Through an open letter to President Jean-Claude Juncker EUA urged the Commission not to u-turn on its previous commitments to European research. A separate letter was sent to specific Members of the European Parliament involved in scrutinising the proposal, calling on them to reject the plan in its current form which would harm the research capacities of universities in their respective constituencies and damage Europe’s long-term growth and competitiveness. The action has been reported across Europe and builds on the work undertaken in the first phase of the campaign, namely the statements issued in December and January and the joint statement with the ERA stakeholders.

The Commission’s proposal, known as the European Funding for Strategic Investments (EFSI), was initiated to tackle Europe’s investment gap. EUA has made it clear throughout this campaign that it supports efforts to boost Europe’s growth but removing 2.7 billion Euros from the Horizon 2020 programme is not the way to do it. The proposed cuts span over the full scope of the programme, affecting the Excellent Science pillar (for instance the European Research Council and Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions) as well as the Societal Challenges pillar (collaborative research).

EUA argues that cutting this budget would downgrade the importance of research funding at a European level. Indeed the Association is convinced that the European Union puts itself at risk of losing ground against competitors that are investing heavily in research and that the cuts induced by the proposal will only aggravate an already difficult situation. Several EU countries have substantially reduced research funding as a consequence of the economic crisis, as revealed by EUA’s annual Public Funding Observatory. The proposal, as it stands, follows an unacceptable trend of cuts to research and sends the wrong signal to national and regional policy makers.

The European Parliament’s Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee will vote on the EFSI proposal at the end of March. While EUA will continue to lobby the European institutions in this regard, it’s crucial that our network is mobilised to ensure that the university community’s voice is heard. 

EUA’s Investment Plan Campaign, Phase Two — February 2015 

  • Open letter to European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and Commissioner for Research Carlos Moedas.
  • Letter addressed to Members of the European Parliament involved in the legislative procedure (leading committee and opinion committees).
  • EUA members operating in countries that participate in the Horizon 2020 programme invited to lobby their MEPs and/or national governments and permanent representations in Brussels. 
  • EUA is considering further action in partnership with the ERA stakeholders.
Policy and Projects News

A report on EUA members’ first experiences on U-Multirank

EUA has published a new report  that discusses the experiences and views of EUA members on U-Multirank, a multi-dimensional ranking of higher education institutions produced with seed funding from the European Commission.
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New members for EUA-CDE Steering Committee 

The EUA Council for Doctoral Education (EUA-CDE) has replaced three outgoing members of the Steering Committee. The new members reflect the diversity of the EUA membership in terms of geography as well as demonstrating Europe’s strength in the area of doctoral education, coming from institutions that have a strong research base and have demonstrated good practices in the training of early stage researchers.

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Strategic importance of HR Management underlined at final ATHENA Training Seminar

The third of three ATHENA Training Seminars  took place on 10-11 February 2015 at the University of Amsterdam. This capacity building event welcomed senior managers and university leaders from ATHENA project partner institutions, national rectors’ conferences and public authorities in Armenia, Moldova and Ukraine.

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EUREQA fourth training workshop

Partners of the EUREQA project  (Empowering Universities to fulfil their Responsibility for Quality Assurance) met at Shkodra University “Luigj Gurakuqi” in Albania for their fourth and final regional training workshop. The event focussed on curriculum planning and development and included sessions on learning outcomes and teaching methods.

EUA briefing note on Recognition of Professional Qualifications

It has been a year since the amended Directive 2013/55/EU on the Recognition of Professional Qualifications came into effect. EU member states have reached the half-way point of the period in which they must transpose its provisions domestically.

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Events News

Dates for the diary: upcoming events

EUA has a number of events planned over the next months. Further details of events that EUA is organising/co-organising are available through the EUA newsletter and/or website, but please find below a list of dates of several events taking place later this year.

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Member and Partners News

Next newsletter: 6 March 2015

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