05 Apr 2023
EC reports on implementation of European Strategy for Universities
On 5 April 2022, the European Commission (EC) and EU countries agreed on the European Strategy for Universities (ES4U), empowering higher education institutions for the future of Europe. One year after, the EC reports on what has been achieved so far. The European Strategy for Universities aims at supporting and enabling universities to adapt to changing conditions, to thrive and to contribute to Europe’s resilience and recovery. It is a call to EU countries and higher education institutions across Europe to join forces. It seeks to develop a genuine European dimension in the higher education sector, built on shared values. The strategy recognises excellence and inclusion as a distinctive feature of European higher education, exemplary for our European way of life.
The strategy has proposed 4 flagship initiatives to take transnational cooperation to a new level of intensity and scope. After 1 yea progress has been made in all four initiatives:
- 44 alliances of European Universities supported by Erasmus+ covering 340 higher education institutions from across Europe
- 90 universities and 17 ministries involved in 10 Erasmus+ pilot projects are developing a joint European degree label and testing EU cooperation instruments, such as a possible European legal status for alliances of higher education institutions
- European Student Card initiative: the deployment of a unique European Student Identifier facilitating a smoother mobility experience for the students and institutions involved
Other key deliverables of the ES4U include the following:
- EU countries adopted the European Approach to Micro-credentials for lifelong learning and employability following a Commission proposal
- Erasmus+ supports more than 100 000 traineeships per academic year
- Erasmus+ calls now open to new innovative approaches to learning and teaching, including living labs, student incubators, green and digital skills, and innovators at school;
- Erasmus+ supports future-proof skills development and entrepreneurship competences of graduates;
- Digital Europe supports multi-disciplinary courses in artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, microelectronics, and high-performance computing;
- The European Commission is introducing the Seal of excellence under Erasmus+;
- A new Erasmus Student Charter that raises awareness among mobile students about their rights and responsibilities related to academic freedom, values, and integrity;
- The Commission published a state of play on the implementation of the Council Recommendation on promoting automatic mutual recognition of higher education and upper secondary education and training qualifications and the outcomes of learning periods abroad, and supports EU countries;
- Horizon Europe financial support for a network of education, research and innovation experts to address the under-representation of women in STEM fields (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) and to elaborate a concrete roadmap;
- The European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) initiated the European Battery Academy in February 2022 with a budget of €10 million;
- The Commission initiated MSCA4Ukraine to support a fellowship scheme for displaced researchers from Ukraine (at doctoral and postdoctoral level) to continue their work in a host organisation in Europe. The first fellowships are starting in April 2023;
- Annual European Talent Fair had its first edition in Leiden in 2022. It brought together students, early career researchers, scholars, start-ups, industry and investors to promote young people’s talent and job opportunities in the research sector across the EU.
The Commission states that it will continue to cooperate with EU countries and the higher education sector on the co-implementation of the ES4U. It will use both policy and funding instruments to achieve the objectives of the European Strategy for Universities.
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