Over the past decade, European systems and institutions have made efforts to reform and innovate higher education. In this regard, both the EU Modernisation Agenda and the Bologna Process have put a strong emphasis on issues such as student-centred learning, learning outcomes and skill orientation, and the need to enhance access and retention as well as the overall quality of higher education. Traditionally in this context, research staff has received more attention than teachers and the enhancement of teaching, which however seems to have become a priority for higher education institutions: Trends 2015 suggests that most European universities have developed or are developing teaching enhancement initiatives.
Nevertheless, it remains to be seen how mainstreamed and effective these are, and differences between institutions of the same system suggest that such efforts are not yet shared and could benefit from more incentives and support at system level.
In this context, EFFECT will contribute to a clearer understanding on how to seize opportunities for enhancing teaching without compromising the diverse outlooks that specific national, institutional and disciplinary contexts require. The project, its initiatives and outcomes will hence contribute to providing a basis for policy discussions on the improvement of the European higher education learning and teaching processes.