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The European Commission presented a ‘higher education package’, consisting of the European Strategy for Universities and a proposal for a Council Recommendation on effective European higher education cooperation.
An outcome of an intensive co-design process, the Strategy recognises the universities’ role in the European way of life and builds on the first lessons learned from the European Universities Initiative. It outlines four key joint objectives for the sector by mid-2024, which require alignment of policy priorities and investments at EU, national, regional, and institutional levels:
The Strategy provides a roadmap for action based on a set of flagship initiatives supporting these goals as of 2022 and making up a framework for European cooperation in the higher education sector:
These flagships are complemented by further actions foreseen to support the implementation of other objectives, including:
Several stakeholders (e.g. EUA, the Guild) have published their quick reactions to welcome the package and flag any immediate concerns. ACA especially welcomes the aim of fostering Europe’s global role and leadership by strengthening international exchanges via the ‘Study in Europe’ activities, enhancing peer-learning among universities and agencies on internationalisation, and building partnerships with priority regions. Nonetheless, given the scale and importance of this pillar, the vision and the accompanying set of actions could be expanded in order to fully match the ambition.
An active participant in the Strategy’s co-design, ACA will continue to support the debate on the new policy agenda and work towards its uptake by the higher education sector across Europe.