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The European Commission has just released a communication outlining the key elements of the proposal of a European Institute of Technology (EIT). The idea to create an EIT as a “new flagship for excellence in higher education, research and innovation” was originally proposed by President Barroso as part of the relaunched Lisbon agenda (see ACA Newsletter-Education Europe n° 53 and 49).
The communication, based on the outcomes of a public consultation, outlines the EIT’s overall “architecture”:
The new proposals have not quelled critics that believe the institution could dilute Europe's hard-pressed research budgets. Even though the Commission stressed that the EIT would differ from the European Research Council (ERC), in that it would be a “knowledge operator,” there are fears that funds would be diverted away from the ERC, regarded as crucial for the future of high-level European research.
In its communication, the European Commission invites the European Council to consider the elements outlined. Heads of state will hardly be able to overlook this agenda item: the EIT is the only education item up for review at the European Council spring summit in March.