Peer Learning Activities relevant to this Peer Learning Cluster or group:
- Circling the Knowledge Triangle from the perspective of Education: the added value in better connecting Higher Education to Research and Innovation
- Peer Learning Activity on Implementing EQF / NQF in Higher Education
- Peer Learning Activity on Planning and Implementing Curricular Innovation: Structure, Content and Incentives
- Peer Learning Activity on University – Business Partnerships (UBPs)
- Peer Learning Activity on Using financial instruments for steering system performance
- The role of Higher Education systems in supporting Lifelong Learning
- Ways to increase mobility: funding models examined
Modernisation of Higher Education
Aims and Objectives
Higher education plays an essential role in society, creating new knowledge, transferring it to students and fostering innovation. Europe has around 4,000 higher education institutions, with over 17 million students and 1.5 million staff. Some European universities are amongst the best in the world, but overall potential is not used to the full. Curricula are not always up-to-date, not enough young people go to university after finishing school and not enough adults have ever attended university. European universities often lack the management tools and funding to match their ambitions.
The April 2005 Communication 'Mobilising the brainpower of Europe: enabling universities to make their full contribution to the Lisbon Strategy' sets out the key challenges and areas of work. The activities of the Cluster focus around identification and dissemination of areas of good practice with respect to higher education quality, governance and funding.
The key outputs of the Cluster include the Compendium of Good Practices in Modernising Higher Education (see Compendia of good practice section) and thematic reports, with key policy conclusions summaries on themes identified as of particular interest for peer learning.
The main reform areas for the modernisation of universities are:
Firstly profound curricular renovation, with more differentiation in courses, admission criteria and teaching/learning processes, would be needed in order to cope with the diversity of learners, to enhance mobility, recognition and employability. Curricular reform would need to encourage the emergence of excellence and raise Europe’s attractiveness. The rich diversity of European higher education also needs a minimal degree of organisation at European level, in particular through the implementation of the Bologna reforms and the establishment of a European Qualification Framework.
Secondly universities would need more autonomy, within the national framework, in order to fulfil their tasks. Both system and institutional management need modernisation as an indispensable factor for success. Good internal and external quality assurance and a European articulation of QA systems would be part of this reform.
Thirdly higher and more efficient funding is needed, through targeted investment in quality, innovation and reforms, in order to enable universities to undertake the necessary change/reforms and to convince stakeholders of the value of what they get in return.
- Business Europe
- European Trade Union Committee for Education (ETUCE)