EUA Newsletter 20 | 4/12/2015
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EQAF marks 10th anniversary at 2015 Forum

The 2015 European Quality Assurance Forum (EQAF) was held in London, UK on 19-21 November 2015, hosted by the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) and UCL Institute of Education. With over 500 participants, this made it the largest EQAF to date and a fitting way to mark the 10th anniversary of the Forum.

IMG_6003This year, under the title “Taking stock and looking forward”, EQAF reflected on the developments in quality assurance (QA) and higher education over the past decade, from the introduction of the first edition of the Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in the European Higher Education Area (ESG) in 2005, the formal launch of the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) in 2010, and right up to the revision of the ESG in early 2015. In doing so, participants examined the added value that QA brings to the higher education landscape and how best it can be demonstrated.

Looking to the future, much of the discussion focused on the consequences of the ESG 2015 for all higher education stakeholders.  It also addressed challenges that might be faced in meeting the new expectations set out in the document, which aims to further strengthen the European QA framework, while continuing to respect diversity in national and institutional approaches. In many places, changes are already being made, and some of these were discussed in greater detail in the EQAF paper and workshop sessions, with a range of concrete practices and case studies presented.

For those who missed EQAF 2015, or who would like to relive some parts of the event, recordings of the three plenary sessions are available here, together with the presentations and papers from the Forum.

EQAF is organised by the E4 Group consisting of EUA, the European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education (ENQA), the European Students' Union (ESU) and the European Association of Institutions in Higher Education (EURASHE). The 11th EQAF will take place on 17-19 November 2016 in Ljubljana. It will be hosted by the Slovenian Student Union and the University of Ljubljana. 

Photo © David Riera

Policy and Projects News

Smarter policies and legislation for green investment

Europe’s leading research and innovation experts came together at the ESADE Business and Law School in Barcelona at a two-day Science|Business Annual Summit to make a call for a research and innovation-based action plan against climate change. Lidia Borrell-Damian, EUA’s Director for research and innovation, participated in the event. Universities, companies and policy leaders discussed the importance of research for sustainable growth and made an appeal in The Barcelona Climate Declaration, released on 20 November 2015. 
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Visions of The Knowledge Future 2050

On 30 November 2015 the Directorate General for Research and Innovation of the European Commission published a report prepared by a group of experts entitled “The Knowledge Future: Intelligent Policy Choices for Europe 2050”. The report highlights the key role that higher education institutions should play in the knowledge future and its review of the appropriate policy opportunities that could be pursued, and the pitfalls that should be avoided.
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Researchers welcome

EUA welcomes the current initiative to revise the Directive on the conditions of entry and residence of third-country nationals for the purposes of research, studies, pupil exchange, remunerated and unremunerated training, voluntary service and au pairing. During the present negotiations between the European Parliament, European Council and European Commission, EUA has argued for a strong directive with easy access for non-EU researchers, and also to give these researchers the same rights as those who come from the EU. 
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Events News

Registrations open for UNI-SET Energy Clustering Event

EUA has opened registrations for the first Energy Clustering Event organised in the context of the UNI-SET project. The event on the topic “Addressing the human resource challenge to build the future energy system” will take place on 24-26 February 2016 at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) in Trondheim, Norway. The conference will offer insights into innovative energy research and education programmes from a multidisciplinary perspective through sharing of examples, lessons learnt and other best practices.
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Registration deadline approaching: 9th EUA-CDE thematic workshop

EUA’s Council for Doctoral Education (CDE) 9th thematic workshop will be held at Delft University, the Netherlands, on 20-21 January 2016 and will focus on “Doctoral Supervision – practices and responsibilities”. Supervision is a central and defining element of doctoral education. It is through supervised research that doctoral candidates develop a research mindset, and it is the supervisor-supervisee relationship that determines the experience of carrying out a doctorate.
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Brussels News

European Council adopts Conclusions on Gender Equality and Research Integrity

The EU Competitiveness Council adopted on 1 December 2015 Conclusions on Gender Equality and Research Integrity. Both topics are considered to be top priorities in the research and innovation domain of the current Luxembourg Presidency of the Council that will end on 31 December 2015. As a dedicated member of the European Research Area (ERA) stakeholder’s platform, EUA welcomes the Council’s commitment to enhance gender equality in the ERA.
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Members and Partners News

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