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What future for the EIT?

The European Commission’s proposal to create a European Institute of Technology (EIT) based on the model of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is not conquering widespread enthusiasm in the European scientific community. Following the European Council of 24th March, which gave a lukewarm welcome to the Commission’s proposal, several important stakeholders in the field of higher education and research have expressed their opinion about the setting up of the institute.

The European Research Advisory Board (EURAB) is of the opinion that such an institute will not work and that an MIT-style institute should emerge from the scientific community itself and not by using a top-down approach. In addition, EURAB fears that plans for the creation of the EIT could undermine preparations for a European Research Council, which, unlike the EIT, is strongly desired by the scientific community.

Criticism came also from the European Universities Association (EUA), which stated that the EIT would contribute to the institutional and intellectual fragmentation of Europe’s universities. The league of European Research Universities (LERU), in answer to the Commission’s proposal, stated that a single EIT will not deliver significant benefits in Europe, while a networked EIT lacks the structure that makes the MIT so powerful.

EURAB's response to EIT
EUA's response to EIT
LERU's response to EIT