EUA Newsletter 16 | 07/10/2016
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Third EUA Funding Forum: EUA launches high-level dialogue on university funding trends

The 3rd EUA Funding Forum, “Efficient universities: Value for Society”, took place at the University of Porto in Portugal on 6 and 7 October 2016. At the event, EUA brought together stakeholders from 35 countries, including university leaders and national and European policy makers to explore and discuss the sector’s latest funding trends, opportunities and challenges.

funding forumIn a special highlight, EUA presented the findings of the 2016 edition of the Public Funding Observatory, which provided the backdrop for a unique panel discussion with three visionary university leaders from different parts of Europe: Jean Chambaz, President of University Pierre and Marie Curie, Jukka Kola, Rector of the University of Helsinki and Antonio Manuel Bensabat Rendas, Rector of Universidade Nova de Lisboa. 

“We are convinced that universities are key actors in addressing the major challenges Europe is facing and they generate high added value for both the economy and society,” said Jean Chambaz. “Therefore, they need sufficient, sustainable and simple funding at the national and European levels.”

In addition to the national data analysis, EUA also shared some of the initial findings of its membership consultation on Horizon 2020 and Erasmus+, which will be released later this year. Participants agreed that these EU grant programmes are highly effective, triggering new research and development spending, contributing to growth, creating jobs and fostering collaboration and student and staff mobility. However, they suffer from inefficiency due to low success rates and oversubscription, as well as high application and participation costs.

Speakers stressed the importance of calculating the real price of participation. EUA estimates the cost of all Horizon 2020 proposals made so far, both those accepted and declined, could be the equivalent to about 30-50% of all grant money allocated. Participants agreed that the solution requires action from universities, national and European funders. Funders need to identify inefficiencies and provide more money, while higher education institutions need to develop coherent funding strategies and submit only their strongest proposals.

The consultation data also shows that grants should not be substituted by loan schemes, such as the European Fund for Strategic Investment, because universities in many systems are not allowed to borrow money and grants have a long history of providing high returns on investment.

Participation at the 3rd EUA Funding Forum also included European and national policy makers, such as Manuel Heitor, Portuguese Minister of Science, Technology and Higher Education, and Patrick Child, European Commission Deputy Director-General for Research and Innovation.

EUA’s USTREAM project on Universities for Strategic, Efficient and Autonomous Management, is also at the heart of the Funding Forum discussions. USTREAM, run by EUA in collaboration with the Irish Universities Association, Universities UK, and the Central European University, aims to explore measures pursued by universities across Europe in order to enhance efficiency. 

For more information on the Forum, please click here
To see the Public Funding Observatory tool, please click here. For the report, please click here.
For more information on EUA’s campaign on sufficient, sustainable and simple funding, please click here.

Photo: Antonio Manuel Bensabat Rendas, Rector, Universidade Nova de Lisboa; Jukka Kola, Rector, University of Helsinki; Jean Chambaz, President, University Pierre and Marie Curie and Pedro Nuno Teixeira, Vice-Rector for Academic Affairs, University of Porto © University of Porto

Policy and Projects News

Public Funding Observatory: EUA releases new data on university funding

EUA presented the findings of the 2016 Public Funding Observatory on 6 October 2016 on the occasion of the 3rd Funding Forum at the University of Porto in Portugal. The data captures the very latest funding trends in Europe and offers the most up-to-date information on 30 different higher education systems.
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Open Science: EUA reflects on progress made after one year of work

On 22 and 23 September 2016, the EUA High-Level Group on “big deals” with scientific publishers and the Expert Group on Science 2.0/Open Science met in Brussels to take stock of the work developed over the last year and to prepare EUA’s upcoming activities in this important policy area.
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Nine universities sign up for IEP evaluations in 2016-2017

EUA’s Institutional Evaluation Programme (IEP) will evaluate nine universities during the academic year 2016-2017. Five universities have registered for initial evaluations, and four have opted for follow-up evaluations in order to assess the progress made since their first evaluation.
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Events News

Roadmap  for Universities in Energy validated at 2nd UNI-SET Energy Clustering Event

Around 100 participants from 23 countries gathered in Turin, Italy from 26 to 28 September 2016 to take part in the 2nd UNI-SET Energy Clustering Event. Entitled "Universities in the Energy Transition: Focus on Energy Efficient Systems and Nuclear Safety," the event was organised by EUA and KU Leuven, which represents universities in KIC-InnoEnergy.
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Register now: EUA webinar on Research and Innovation Strategies for Smart Specialisation

On 26 October 2016, EUA will hold a webinar on “The role of universities in Regional Innovation: The case of Research and Innovation Strategies for Smart Specialisation (RIS3).” Universities are uniquely placed to support regional development across the linked domains of knowledge generation, innovation and education and European universities endorse the concept of smart specialisation as a strategic foundation for regional development.
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Call for host: EUA Annual Conference and General Assembly 2018 and 2019

EUA is inviting applications from member universities to host the EUA Annual Conference and General Assembly in 2018 and 2019. By bringing together university leaders, researchers, students, policy makers and partner stakeholders, the EUA Annual Conference provides a unique platform for discussion, and an unrivalled opportunity to network with peers from Europe.
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Members and Partners News

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Next newsletter: 21 October 2016

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