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EU push for university-business cooperation

Through its recent communication – ‘A new partnership for the modernisation of universities: the EU Forum for University-Business Dialogue’ - the European Commission strives to assist member states in their efforts to reform their higher education systems. The communication is designed to formalise the already existing Forum as a European platform for dialogue and to provide it with a reinforced structure of plenary meetings and thematic seminars, together with a web space that is to be developed to foster the sharing of good practice and to support continuing discussions.

The Forum was first launched in 2008, as a platform for dialogue between the academic and the business communities, and convened for the second time in February 2009. The platform brings together higher education institutions, companies, business associations, intermediaries and public authorities. Fields of work so far included curricular development to increase the employability of graduates, the identification of skills required on the labour market, and the role of universities in developing lifelong learning, to name a few.

The communication also enlists future steps to be taken and new areas to be explored, hoping that participants will learn from each other and that dialogue will inspire reforms on the regional, national and institutional levels. The document is accompanied by a staff working paper, which reports more fully on the experiences of university-business cooperation that lie behind the exchanges in the first two years since the creation of the Forum.

European Commission
Staff working paper