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In 2006, the European Commission issued an official communication, Delivering on the modernisation agenda for universities: Education, research and innovation, which stressed the role of higher education modernisation as a core element for the success of the Lisbon Strategy and the building of a knowledge-based economy. With the successor of the not-so-successful Lisbon Agenda – the Europe2020 Strategy – in full swing, the European Commission is now preparing a new communication on the higher education reform and modernisation agenda. The need for a renewed strategy in this field was initially brought up by the Education Council in May 2009, when it adopted the Updated Strategic Framework for European Cooperation in Education and Training (ET2020).
The new communication on the modernisation agenda should be released in September 2011, a little more than a year from now. According to current planning and thinking, the policy document will most likely take stock of progress made in the reform of European universities, highlight remaining challenges and pinpoint where further progress is needed. As with all similar communications, the consultation with stakeholders seems to be an integral part of the document drafting process. Though a timeline for consultations has not yet been made public, interested parties should nevertheless keep an eye on these developments.