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NextGenerationEU: What do National Recovery Plans hold for universities?

Bennetot Pruvot, E., & Estermann, T. (2021). (issue brief). NextGenerationEU: What do National Recovery and Resilience Plans hold for universities? (pp. 1–24). Brussels, Belgium: European University Association.


The NextGenerationEU (NGEU) financial support package aims to support the recovery of EU member states from the COVID-19 pandemic. One of its main goals is helping member states rebound from the economic and social difficulties brought by the COVID-19 pandemic. In this briefing, the position of higher education institutions in the national recovery plans is examined, while keeping in mind the universities’ contributions to education, upskilling and reskilling.

What is the role of higher education institutions in achieving the recovery plans objectives, and how should universities benefit from these financial support packages? In most member states, the higher education sector has been involved in the design of the recovery plans through national university associations. While the planning phase plays an important role, implementation of these recovery measures will be crucial. In this briefing, the authors examine the topics covered by national recovery plans relevant to universities, while also tackling topics which are not strictly related to higher education or research.

The authors’ objective is to help universities identify and make use of such measures, while stressing on the importance of the opportunities that these recovery plans can have for higher education institutions. The briefing examines selected national recovery plans and highlights the opportunities available to universities, including funding schemes, and possible improvements to infrastructure and equipment. The briefing also outlines suggestions to both universities and policymakers on how to communicate about the implementation of the recovery plan objectives.

The full brief can be found here.