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This month the European Commission has launched a high level group on the modernisation of higher education. With the aim of identifying best practices and providing recommendations to the member states, and with a mandate until 2015, the group will firstly focus on the issues of quality and excellence in teaching, followed by an analysis of how to adapt learning in the digital age.
The high level group is composed of a total of 8 members with a wide range of expertise areas and of different geographical backgrounds: Mary McAleese, the chair of the group and former president of Ireland; Agneta Bladh; Vincent Berger; Christian Bode, one of the founders of ACA and former Secretary-General of DAAD; Jan Muehlfeit; Tea Petrin; Alessandro Schiesaro and Loukas Tsoukalis.
Against the backdrop of the European agenda for the modernisation of higher education (see ACA Newsletter – Education Europe, September 2011), which calls for the increase in the number of higher education graduates, for the improvement of quality and relevance of teaching and researcher training, and for stronger links between education, research and business, the creation of this group is thus part of a comprehensive plan to modernise higher education systems in the EU. The higher education area is high on the EU policy agenda, as it is instrumental to improve growth and jobs within the EU2020 strategy.