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Graz, Austria, 29-31 May 2003

This 2nd Convention of European Higher Education Institutions brought together 570 institutional representatives to discuss the current and future status of European higher education and the universities’ role in educational reforms. The conclusions of these discussions are outlined in the Graz Declarationpdf.gif which underlines the importance of developing a long-term vision for 2010 and beyond. It is stressed that pushing the Bologna reforms forward will help consolidate the role of the universities as the motor of a Europe of knowledge. The contribution of the Graz discussions aimed at further clarification of the idea of what a 'European University' is and the added value of institutions working together at European level.

A key priority outlined in the Declaration is the need for an integral link between the higher education area and research area as it is central to European higher education and a defining feature of Europe’s universities. It is for this reason that universities requested the recognition of the doctoral level as the third “cycle” in the Bologna Process.

This link was recognised by the Education Ministers in the Berlin Communiquépdf.gif, which highlights the essential role of higher education institutions and students in realising the EHEA and specifically the need for strong institutions. They also added a new objective (‘action line’) on "Doctoral studies and promotion of young researchers" which specifically mentions doctoral programmes as the third cycle in the Process.

EUA has taken this as a starting point for its 2003/2005 Bologna action that is based upon the conclusions and recommendations of Trends IIIpdf.gif, the Graz Declarationpdf.gif and in its activities for the last two yearspdf.gif.

European University Association (EUA)

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