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Europe’s international HE and research cooperation in times of uncertainty – The quest for sensible openness

International cooperation in higher education and research has recently been challenged by unprecedented levels of uncertainty due to a growing number of diverse, overlapping and successive crisis situations (health, political, military, energy and environmental) pouring in with increasing speed, and that are often very interconnected.

These new crises have significantly affected opportunities for cross-border collaboration, conditioning them in an unprecedented way in some cases. Such unforeseen, challenging developments have led to many new critical questions at ACA and within ACA member organisations, most of which have no straightforward answers:

      • How open should international higher education be during uncertain times?
      • How can we promote trust-based cooperation in times of growing concerns?
      • How can we bridge values-related differences with Europe’s longstanding strategic partners?
      • What is the best way to achieve both inclusivity and excellence in Europe’s approach to global cooperation?
      • What are the ways in which we can help European higher education prevent and mitigate global or regional tensions and crises?
      • How can we improve science diplomacy leverage to maintain or rebuild bridges through the Team Europe approach?

Consequently, and in order to contribute to current discussions on the role, nature and consequences of international cooperation in higher education and research the association, ACA has published a reflection paper, based on the Association and its members’ unique position as experienced national-level policy actors, funding and bridge building organisations. This reflection paper puts forward five broad principles to underpin Europe’s future global cooperation in higher education and research.

  1. Safeguarding the global openness principle
  2. Switching from ‘global leader’ to ‘leading by example’
  3. Taking a pragmatic, mission-driven approach informed by values
  4. Leveraging a well-substantiated inclusive excellence approach
  5. Using science diplomacy to maintain and rebuild bridges

Read full paper here