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Glasgow, Scotland, 31 March - 2 April 2005

Hosted by the University of Strathclyde, the University of Glasgow and Glasgow Caledonian University
Supported by the Scottish Executive, UK Department for Education and Skills and the European Commission

This 3rd Convention was an important event for the higher education community to discuss - at the halfway point to 2010 - the increasingly important role of institutions and students in implementing Bologna and in making the knowledge society a reality for Europe’s citizens. The 630 university leaders and partners gathered in Glasgow called for greater recognition of the vital cultural, social and economic role of Europe's universities and underlined the importance of strong universities in responding to the growing and varied societal demands on them. This requires institutions to be responsible rather than merely responsive and makes the development of diversified institutional strategies - based on autonomy, accountability and adequate financing - essential in order to exploit their full potential.

EUA’s objectives in Glasgow were to:

  • situate the Bologna reforms in the wider debate on the role of the university in society;
  • demonstrate the importance of strong universities if the Bologna reforms are to be implemented successfully (and identify the key preconditions for ensuring meaningful, long-term reform);
  • present and analyse the views of higher education institutions on the implementation of Bologna hitherto and identify key challenges for the next phase (Trends IV);
  • draw conclusions and make recommendations both to governments and higher education institutions for the next phase of the process to strengthen the European dimension of the Bologna Process.

One of the highlights of the Convention was the speech by European Commission President, José Manuel Barroso, who pledged support for the ongoing higher education reform process and called for increased dialogue between the Commission and Europe's universities. EUA welcomes this new emphasis on higher education institutions and looks forward to working with the Commission in securing the future of European universities which the President cited as "unquestionably one of Europe's top priorities." Linking universities and the reform process underway to the refocused Lisbon strategy, President Barroso stressed the key part universities have to play in the development of the knowledge society and urged university leaders to engage with other stakeholders to ensure the ambitious goals are achieved.

The next step for EUA to present the Glasgow Declaration pdf.gif to Ministers of Education meeting in Bergen in May to discuss the future of the Bologna Process.

More background information on the Convention discussions can be found on the EUA Convention Website which features all relevant information about the Convention including thematic papers, articles and interviews. It has been an essential tool for Convention participants but is also of interest for all actors in higher education to have an overview of the current situation in Europe.

European University Association (EUA)

Brussels office:
Avenue de l’Yser, 24
1040 Brussels
Tel: +32 (0) 2 230 55 44

Geneva office:
114, Rue du Rhône
Case postale 3174
1211 Geneva 3
Tel: +41 22 552 02 96