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    The AECHE Thematic Conference “The networked university: opportunities and challenges for Higher Education between the Arab World and Europe” brought together over 150 participants from European and Arab countries. The conference took place on 10-12 October at the Campus of the Technical University of Berlin in Al Gouna, Egypt and was the first-ever conference of EUA to be held at the branch campus of an EUA member institution.


    EUA welcomes the European Parliament’s recent move to reinforce the 2016 EU budget for research and education. In mid-October the Committee on Budgets adopted a motion defending EU funding for research and education in the negotiations on the 2016 budget. The text explains the amendments voted by the Committee at the end of September.


    The European Research Council (ERC) has opened the next competition for its Consolidator Grants. More than 600 million Euro is earmarked for an estimated 335 grants. The deadline for submission of research proposals is 2 February 2016.


    Mergers and concentration processes are on the rise in the university sector. Close to 100 cases over the past 15 years have been listed by the European University Association. They now feature in EUA’s University Merger Tool, www.university-mergers.eu, the first interactive online map of the institutions borne out of these processes.


    On 24-25 September 2015, Imperial College London hosted the final conference of FRINDOC, a three-year project coordinated by EUA in partnership with the University of Hong Kong, Stellenbosch University, Imperial College London, the University of Bergen and the University of Camerino with the financial support of the European Commission.


    On 24-25 September 2015, the Expert Group on Science 2.0/Open Science met in Brussels for the first time. The Expert Group on Science 2.0/Open Science was set up by decision of the EUA Council in January 2015, in order to expand the work of EUA’s Open Access taskforce, which operated between 2012 and 2014, and to take account of the implications of the Science 2.0 tools and Open Science for universities.


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