EURASHE sends its feedback for the European Research Area (ERA) roadmap

On the 6th of July 2020, the European Commission opened a public consultation on the European Research Area (ERA) roadmap, inviting European citizens, civil organisations and all the main stakeholders to send their feedback on the initiative, which will feed into the ERA Communication planned for autumn 2020. The forthcoming Communication will aim, in particular, at relaunching and revitalising the ERA, in order to make it future-proof and better able to address the major challenges of the digital and green transition, together with increasing Europe’s resilience following the Covid-19 crisis.

EURASHE took part in the consultation with the following feedback, which can also be downloaded here.

EURASHE, as the European representative of professional higher education institutions, welcomes the commitment to revitalize the European Research Area (ERA) and boost the research and innovation performance throughout European countries and regions. As the recent health crisis showed us, research and innovation will be at the core of Europe’s recovery and a coordinated approach between Member States is needed to tackle the new global and societal challenges.

In particular, we strongly support the opportunity to integrate ERA to the European Education Area (EEA), with the aim of mutually reinforce them and bring down the barriers that prevent the realisation of a broader European knowledge strategy. As Commissioner Gabriel stated during her hearing before the European Parliament, research and education belong together. In order to bring to life innovative solutions, researchers need to be equipped with the right set of skills and with an entrepreneurial mindset that would allow them to conduct their research with a challenge-based approach. In this sense, it is only with a strong and deep integration with EEA, that ERA can aim to be an excellence-driven, open labour market for highly-skilled researchers.

Taking into account the natural links between ERA and EEA, EURASHE believes that the forthcoming Communication should also address the synergies with the 41 European Universities alliances, which Commissioner Gabriel defined as “a key building block for the European Education Area”. Due to their own nature, as transnational alliances promoting a seamless mobility of students, staff and researchers, European Universities will strengthen the links between education, research and innovation, opening the way for a renewed push towards systemic policy initiatives such as ERA.

The participation of 26 professional higher education institutions, in particular Universities of Applied Sciences (hereafter UAS), in the European Universities alliances will also provide a diverse set of experiences, which can support ERA in the development of a legal toolbox guiding the cooperation not only between universities but also between universities and the private sector. As outlined in the 2018 ERA Progress Report, transferring research results to the market and establishing a closer collaboration between industries and universities is still needed in order to reach an optimal circulation, access to and transfer to scientific knowledge (ERA Priority 5). To this aim, due to their applied research profile and close ties with the world of work, UAS can become important players in filling the innovation gap in the transformation of research results into marketable solutions. In this sense, professional higher education institutions and especially UAS can also play a significant role in the forthcoming European Framework Programme for Research and Innovation, Horizon Europe, acting in particular as a bridge between regional and national innovation actors, both from the private and public sector.

While strongly supporting the initiative to give a renewed impetus to ERA, EURASHE therefore believes that the forthcoming Communication should extensively discuss the opportunities for a better integration between ERA and EEA, addressing ways to mutually reinforce them and possible synergies with other European programmes, in particular the European Universities initiative.

Contact:

Ms Federica Garbuglia
Policy and Events Officer, EURASHE
Phone: +32 (0) 2 211 10 04
E-mail: federica.garbuglia@eurashe.eu

Webinar “Quality in Work-based Learning: the way to maximise the value of Professional Higher Education” | 27 August 2020 | Zoom

Data on the employability in Europe illustrates that a significant number of young people are facing challenges during their transition from education to work and that skills mismatches exist between labour demand and supply. The lack of work or practical experience especially becomes a serious obstacle to young people’s ability to enter the labour market.

A promising way to face those challenges are apprenticeships; when they are of high quality, they promote the smoother transition of young people from HVET institutions to the world of work. However, their implementation is complex and the lack of European guidelines to support it seems to be preventing many of the actors in the sector to launch valuable, steady and sustainable Apprenticeship Programmes.

The ApprenticeshipQ (AppQ) project partners developed two Manuals, respectively for Professional Higher education institutions and SMEs, with the aim of giving the picture of the current situation about the quality of apprenticeships and enabling users to implement improvements. Together with the Manuals, an online tool will be soon launched by the project consortium to further support HVET institutions and SMEs in ensuring the quality of apprenticeships.

The webinar will present to the professional higher education community the Quality Apprenticeship Manuals and the online-tool developed by the AppQ project, while engaging decision-makers at institutional, national and EU-level so that successful innovation can be embraced and further supported top-down.

The webinar is organized in the framework of the ApprenticeshipQ project and will take place on 27 August 2020 from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM (CEST) on Zoom.

Speakers of the event are:

  • Norbert Schöbel, DG for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, European Commission
  • Jon Altuna, Academic Vice-Rector of Mondragon University
  • Adam Gajek, Policy Advisor on Skills at EUROCHAMBRES
  • Eva Fernandez de Labastida, Internationalisation and Project Manager, UNIBASQ
  • Nina De Winter, Executive Committee member, European Students’ Union (ESU)

The discussion will be moderated by Vaidotas Viliunas, Policy and Project Officer of EURASHE.

Register here!

Fulda University of Applied Sciences joins EURASHE

This month Fulda University of Applied Sciences joined EURASHE.

Fulda University of Applied Sciences (UAS) covers a broad spectrum of academic and professional education. It offers numerous first-degree programmes, graduate programmes and other educational activities (including part-time continuing education programmes for professionals and dual-study programmes in cooperation with enterprises and public administration) and counts currently approx. 10.000 students.

The University has been a project coordinator and partner of several European funded projects (FP7, Horizon2020, LLP, Erasmus+, COSME) and numerous national as well as regional research, education and innovation projects. Fulda University has been furthermore consortium coordinator for Erasmus Traineeships (and former Leonardo) Mobility Projects since 2001 and has been a coordinator of the European OPEN-EYE consortium (COSME -Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs Programme) since 2009.

Transdisciplinary Research is promoted in five interdisciplinary research centres and two regional research networks. Fulda University of Applied Sciences also disposes of several Doctoral Research Centres. Fulda University has been the first university of applied sciences in Germany, which can award PhD degrees. Since 2017 doctoral studies have been carried out in the Doctoral Research Centres “Social Sciences with a focus on Globalization, European Integration and Interculturality”, “Social Work”, “Public Health “and “Applied Computer Science”.

Currently, EURASHE has 66 members which represent more than 600 higher education institutions around the world.

18 EURASHE members among newly selected European Universities

On the 9th of July, 2020 the European Commission announced 24 new European Universities that will join the first 17 alliances of higher education institutions selected already in 2019. Among them -18 member institutions of EURASHE.

The selected EURASHE members are:

  • Polytechnic Institute of Porto (Advanced Technology Higher Education Network Alliance)
  • Polytechnic Institute of Setúbal, St. Pölten University of Applied sciences, Szent István University, University College Leuven Limburg (Engaged and Entrepreneurial European University as Driver for European Smart and Sustainable Regions)
  • Budapest University of Technology and Economics, Polytechnic University of Bucharest (European Engineering Learning Innovation and Science Alliance)
  • Semmelweis University (European University of Well-Being)
  • Technological University Dublin (European University of Technology)
  • Luca School of Arts, University of Theatre and Film Arts (FILMEU-The European Universities Alliance for Film and Media Arts);
  • University of Agribusiness and Rural development Plovdiv (INnoVations of Regional Sustainability: European UniversiTy Alliance);
  • University of Debrecen (European University of Brain and Technology)
  • Athlone Institute of Technology, Limerick Institute of Technology, Polytechnic Institute of Leiria, Polytechnic of Cávado and Ave, Széchenyi István University (Regional University Network-European University).

The selected Alliances, which include EURASHE member institutions, will work closely and address the emerging themes such as innovation, technology development, regional engagement, entrepreneurship and others. Also, the institutions will promote mutual cooperation of their students and staff, share a pool online and physical resources, courses, expertise, data and infrastructure.

In total, a budget of up to €287 million is available for these 41 European Universities. Each alliance receives up to €5 million from the Erasmus+ programme and up to €2 million from the Horizon 2020 programme for three years to start implementing their plans and pave the way for other higher education institutions across the EU to follow.

 

Contact:

Ms Dovile Sandaraite
Communications and European Affairs Manager, EURASHE
Phone: +32 (0)4 986 90 140
E-mail: dovile.sandaraite@eurashe.eu

European Commission presents two initiatives: Youth Employment Support and European Skills Agenda

On the 1st of July, 2020 the European Commission (hereafter –EC) presented two initiatives – Youth Employment Support package and the European Skills Agenda for sustainable competitiveness, social fairness and resilience.

Youth Employment Support package contains three proposals to provide a ‘bridge to jobs’ for the next generation. Firstly, the EC strengthen the Council Recommendation on the Youth Guarantee and within “Bridge to jobs” will:

  • Expand the targeted age group to 24-29 year olds;
  • Widen the outreach to more vulnerable youth groups, such as racial and ethnic minorities and the disabled.
  • Ensure better matching the needs of companies with the right skillsets
  • Provide tailored guidance and mentoring

Also the EC proposes Council Recommendation on vocational education and training. The new proposal aims to make systems more agile, attractive, and fit for the digital and green economy. Finally, the EC proposes to relaunch the European Alliance for Apprenticeships. The Alliance brings together national and regional authorities, businesses, trade unions, education and training providers.

The European Skills Agenda for sustainable competitiveness, social fairness and resilience is built around 5 following areas:

  1. Calls for collective actions, mobilising business, social partners and stakeholders, to commit to working together, in particular within the EU’s industrial eco-systems.
  2. Identifies the financial means to foster investment in skills.
  3. Defines a clear strategy to ensure that skills lead to jobs.
  4. Helps people build their skills throughout life in an environment where lifelong learning is the norm.
  5. Sets ambitious objectives for up and reskilling to be achieved within the next 5 years.

The Agenda also includes 12 actions:

1. A Pact for Skills
2. Strengthening skills intelligence
3. EU support for strategic national upskilling action
4. Proposal for a Council Recommendation on Vocational Education and Training
5. Rolling out the European universities initiative and upskilling scientists
6. Skills to support the green and digital transitions
7. Increasing STEM graduates and fostering entrepreneurial and transversal skills
8. Skills for Life
9. Initiative on Individual Learning Accounts
10. A European approach to micro-credentials
11. New Europass Platform – now launched!
12. Improving the enabling framework to unlock Member States’ and private investments in skills

More information here and here.

Professional higher education sector calls for more and better internationalization for the future

Last week EURASHE, together with its members CEU Andalucía, organised the webinar “Internationalisation of Research and Innovation: where European and global experiences meet” on 23 June 2020 on Zoom, inviting representatives from the European Commission, professional higher education institutions – hereafter PHE – and the world of work to share opportunities and experiences in the field of international cooperation in R&I.

The discussion was launched by Alejandro Zurita, R&I Counsellor for Brazil at the Delegation of the EU to Brazil who gave an overview of the main cooperation activities between the Union and the Latin American country, underlying the added value that third countries like Brazil bring to European research and innovation. According to him, the next European framework programme for R&I, Horizon Europe, will reiterate its commitment to be open for the cooperation with third countries. In particular, they will have the possibility to be associated to the different clusters of the programme, which entails contributing to the budget and having the same rights as EU Members States.

His presentation was followed by Rita Lecbychova, Head of Unit “International Cooperation I (Europe, Americas and thematic coherence)” of the European Commission who presented Horizon Europe programme and the new features which will be introduced by the next framework programme for R&I such as the European Innovation Council (EIC), Five Missions, Six clusters and New partnerships.

Success stories of international cooperation from the professional higher education and the private sectors

Francisco Cuervas from GHENOVA introduced participants to his company’s experience is participating in several international projects in the field of digital industry, ports energy and fuels and renewables. One of the successful example is the W2POWER project, funded by the H2020 programme, which led to the creation of a floating windmill off the Canary Islands shores. James Clarke, from EURASHE’s member Waterford Institute of Technology, presented the H2020-funded project “EUBrazil Cloud Forum”, which ran from May 2016 to July 2018. The objective of the project was enabling the European Union and Brazil to formulate a common strategy and approach for R&I in the field of cloud computing, aligned with the priorities of each region. Armando Pires, Vice-President of EURASHE and chair of EURASHE’s working group on Applied Research and Regional Development, presented different examples of international cooperation activities between Portuguese Universities of Applied Sciences (called Polytechnics) and Brazilian higher education institutions.

More and better internationalization for the future

The discussion was wrapped by Oscar Gomezo, a Spanish journalist who gave an interesting perspective on the current health crisis, outlining how the uncertain situation has given us the courage to accelerate processes that were halted before, to promote new projects and, most importantly, to grow the seeds of research and innovation in the future generation.

All the speakers agreed that after the COVID-19 crisis, Europe needs to continue to be open to the world. International cooperation in the field of research and innovation remains crucial to find a common response to global challenges. We therefore need to enhance international cooperation opportunities and organise them in a more strategic and focused way, based on common interests and mutual benefits, but always being guided by European principles and values.

The recording of the discussion is here. The report of the event is here.  

Contact:

Ms Dovile Sandaraite
Communications and European Affairs Manager, EURASHE
Phone: +32 (0)4 986 90 140
E-mail: dovile.sandaraite@eurashe.eu

Three new members join EURASHE

EURASHE welcomes three new member organisations University of Telecommunications and Posts (UTP) from Bulgaria and Neapolis University Pafos (NUP) from Cyprus as full members and Tashkent State University of Law (TSUL) from Uzbekistan as an affiliate member.

University of Telecommunications and Posts (UTP) is a successor of the State Telegraph School, founded in 1881. The development and modern education is a major priority of the University, so its focus today is the training of specialists in the field of telecommunications, information technology and management. More than 1100 students are taught in specialities like Telecommunication technologies, Wireless communications and broadcasting, Computer administration of software applications and Management and information technologies in telecommunications and post. 

Neapolis University Pafos (NUP) is a private University located in Pafos Cyprus and has been founded in 2010. At present the University comprises five Schools (Economics, Administration and Computer ScienceLawHealth SciencesArchitecture, Engineering, Land and Environmental SciencesSocial Sciences, Arts and Humanities), serving undergraduate and postgraduate studies in more than twenty Bachelor and Master Degrees.  For 2017, the seventh year in a row, Neapolis University has been ranked among the top 5 universities in Cyprus.

Tashkent State University of Law (TSUL) is the main higher educational and scientific institution for educating, training and retraining of lawyers in the Republic of Uzbekistan. The university comprises 12 specialized and 3 general-studies departments, a center of professional legal training and career development based on international standards, a specialized branch for training and retraining of legal personnel in the sphere of crime prevention, public security and Academic Lyceum. 

Currently, EURASHE has 65 members which represent more than 600 higher education institutions around the world.

Webinar “Internationalisation of Research and Innovation: where European and global experiences meet” | 23 June 2020 | 14:00 – 15:30 CEST | Zoom

Fostering international cooperation in research and innovation has been in the past years a strategic priority for the European Union. The cyclic occurrence of new global challenges, most recently the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the rising interest of emerging economies in strengthening their expenditure in R&I, are challenging the role of the Union as a major global player in the field. Strengthening the cooperation with their international partners is therefore crucial for European countries to tackle those challenges together and have access to new knowledge.

To this aim, Horizon 2020 is fully open to the participation of different actors from across the world, with many topics specifically targeting international cooperation. These opportunities have been particularly beneficial for European higher education institutions which, in the past years, have been able to bring to life many R&I projects together with their strategic partners from all over the world. Cooperation in research and innovation has been especially prolific between European and Latin American countries, with the publication on 16 April 2019 of the joint communication “European Union, Latin America and the Caribbean: joining forces for a common future” by the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and the European Commission.

Professional higher education – hereafter PHE – institutions, whose applied research activities play an important role in enhancing European competitiveness and innovation capacity, should be ready to take advantage of the opportunities offered by the exchanges with their strategic partners from outside Europe in the R&I field. This is particularly crucial in relation to the next EU framework programme for research and innovation, Horizon Europe, which will reiterate its commitment to international cooperation, extending the opportunities for the participation of third countries and offering intensified targeted actions for the creation of global research partnerships.

Against this background, the webinar will outline the existing opportunities and schemes for networking and access to EU funds, in particular under the forthcoming Horizon Europe, for international cooperation between PHE institutions and potential strategic partners from Latin American countries.

Participants of the event are encouraged to send their questions before the meeting or raise them during the debate in the Zoom chatbox.

The webinar is organized together with EURASHE member CEU Andalucía and will take place on 23 June 2020 from 14:00 to 15:30 (CEST) on Zoom.

Speakers of the event are:

  • Rita Lecbychova, Head of Unit “International Cooperation I (Europe, Americas and thematic coherence)”, European Commission
  • Alejandro Zurita, R&I Counsellor for Brazil, Delegation of the EU to Brazil
  • James Clarke, EU Strategic Liaison Manager, Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT)
  • Armando Pires, Advisor for International Affairs/Vice-President, CCISP/EURASHE
  • Francisco Cuervas, CEO, Ghenova
  • Oscar Gomezo, Journalist

The discussion will be moderated by Iskren Kirilov, Director for International Affairs, CEU Andalucía.

Register here!

PHE@Home Info Days | Workshop”Microcredentials in Higher Education: Enabling Future Flexible Learning Pathways“

Microcredentials, as an alternative higher-ed model have been growing for a while as a means of further enhancement of flexibility of learning and contribution to the concept of life-long learning (OECD, Education Working Paper No. 216, 2020; Dirk van Damme, 2018). Many agree, that the concept has emerged in response to the skills gap and have been used for quite some time, based on initiative of some universities, but also numerous private providers. In 2020, microcredentials are one of the key priorities of the European Commission’s yearly work plan with the expectancy of the draft paper of the expert group to be developed by June 2020 followed by a consultation and discussion in autumn 2020.

EURASHE, as a voice of professional higher education, is organising a workshop to discuss the importance of microcredentials in the disruptive times, how this model of learning can shape the whole higher education system and whether professional higher education institutions are ready to accept this new model of learning.

The participants of the event are encouraged to send their questions before the meeting or raise them during the debate in the Zoom chatbox.

The webinar will take place on 20 May 2020 from 13:00 to 14:30 (CEST) on Zoom.

Speakers of the event are:

  • Mr Anthony F. Camilleri, Knowledge Innovation Centre, Malta
  • Mr Alastair Creelman, Linnaeus University, Sweden
  • Mr Gearoid O’Suilleabhain, Cork Institute of Technology, Ireland

The discussion will be moderated by Dr. phil. Habil Ulf-Daniel Ehlers, Professor for Educational Management and Lifelong Learning, Duale Hochschule Baden-Württemberg Karlsruhe/ Vice President, EURASHE.

Register here!

 

PHE@HOME Info Days

PHE@Home Info Days is a part of the campaign which consists of the series of webinars on different topics, such as Future of skills, Work-based learning, Microcredentials, lessons learnt from COVID-19 and others.

The event will serve as a platform for a community discussion on the relevant issues, also it will provide an opportunity to discuss how the existing health crisis might affect the sector and what coordinated actions could be implemented in order to prevent any possible future harm. The webinars will take place in the same time framework as the postponed 30th Annual Conference but will not replace the event.

Check out the series of webinars here.

PHE@Home Info Days | Workshop “Smart E-quality @ Work Based learning“

Placements at PHE level provide opportunities to build up new skills and knowledge both on and off the job. When they are of high quality, apprenticeships/placements promote a smoother transition from school/PHE institution to work for young people, giving them a good start to their working careers. They do so by providing a good mix of basic competences and job-specific skills as well as valuable work experience. In addition, at apprenticeships/placements students are usually able to earn a wage, even if a small one, while studying. Quality apprenticeships/placements can also provide an attractive learning pathway for youth at risk of dropping out early from initial education. Employers also benefit as they get support to identify and train workers while adding to their productive capacity and can still form their future employees. A workshop ‘Smart E-quality @ Work-Based learning’ will discuss the following topics:

  • Easy apprenticeships for a small business-SAPS project;
  • Work-based learning quality standards with criteria and indicators (ApprenticeshipQ project);
  • How to manage apprenticeships more effectively: a presentation of the smart electronic system for Work-based learning (Apprenticetrack project);
  • Mentors at the companies: MentorTrain project’s support materials for SMEs;
  • Work-based learning Charter.

The participants of the event are encouraged to send their questions before the meeting or raise them during the debate in the Zoom chatbox.

The webinar will take place on 20 May 2020 from 10:00 to 11:30 (CEST) on Zoom.

Speaker:

Mrs Alicia-Leonor Sauli-Miklavčič, Head of Development SKUPNOST VSŠ/Board member of EURASHE

Register here!

 

PHE@HOME Info Days

PHE@Home Info Days is a part of the campaign which consists of the series of webinars on different topics, such as Future of skills, Work-based learning, Microcredentials, lessons learnt from COVID-19 and others.

The event will serve as a platform for a community discussion on the relevant issues, also it will provide an opportunity to discuss how the existing health crisis might affect the sector and what coordinated actions could be implemented in order to prevent any possible future harm. The webinars will take place in the same time framework as the postponed 30th Annual Conference but will not replace the event.

Check out the series of webinars here.

PHE RESPONSE TO COVID-19 | Cork Institute of Technology researcher helps to develop a key reagent in the COVID-19 testing process

Dr Brigid Lucey, from EURASHE member Cork Institute of Technology’s BioExplore Research Group and her colleague Dr. Martina Scallan in University College Cork led a collaborative effort with colleagues in Teagasc, CUH, UL and Eli Lilly to successfully develop an effective lysis buffer formula for a key component of the COVID-19 testing process. This is one of the integral parts of the Covid-19 test. The agent not only strips the virus to be analysed from the respiratory secretions in the test sample but it also renders the highly infectious viral agent safe in a laboratory environment. The formula can be mass produced in Ireland and can be made available to other countries worldwide. This will help to alleviate the global shortage of testing agents for the virus.

“The unstinting cooperation, positivity and generosity of all involved, with participants drawn from the public and private biopharma sectors as well as hospital laboratories and third level research facilities, has enabled a successful outcome which may benefit testing laboratories everywhere. We hope that these efforts can help all those working so tirelessly in the forefront of the battle to contain and overcome COVID-19” she said.

The Irish team will make the formula for their lysis buffer, together with its performance characteristics, available via Internet science sites to assist other countries worldwide battling the pandemic through exhaustive testing.

More information.

Check out more stories from the Irish PHE Community.

PHE@Home Info Days | Masterclass “Future Skills and Future Universities“

Research on Future Skills is one of the current hot topics in education, management and organizational research. In times of global networked organizations and steadily accelerating product cycles, the model of qualification for future jobs seems debatable. Can we really prepare graduates and employees for the future by the predominant model of knowledge acquisition? Do we already have adequate concepts for competence development in higher education and work environments?

The Masterclass led by Prof. Ulf-Daniel Ehlers, one of the key learning innovation experts in Europe, will introduce the latest developments of the skills for tomorrow‘s graduates and the strategies how to achieve them.

The participants of the event are encouraged to send their question before the meeting or raise them during the debate in the Zoom chatbox.

The webinar will take place on 19 May 2020 from 13:00 to 14:30 (CEST) on Zoom.

Speaker:

Dr. phil. Habil Ulf-Daniel Ehlers, Professor for Educational Management and Lifelong Learning, Duale Hochschule Baden-Württemberg Karlsruhe/ Vice President, EURASHE

Register here!

 

PHE@HOME Info Days

PHE@Home Info Days is a part of the campaign which consists of the series of webinars on different topics, such as Future of skills, Work-based learning, Microcredentials, lessons learnt from COVID-19 and others.

The event will serve as a platform for a community discussion on the relevant issues, also it will provide an opportunity to discuss how the existing health crisis might affect the sector and what coordinated actions could be implemented in order to prevent any possible future harm. The webinars will take place in the same time framework as the postponed 30th Annual Conference but will not replace the event.

Check out the series of webinars here.

PHE@Home Info Days | Discussion “PHE in the time of Coronavirus: threats and opportunities“

COVID-19 outbreak has dramatically shaken the global professional higher education sector creating a lot of challenges for teachers, students and institutions’ leadership. The existing health crisis keeps on revolutionizing online learning, assessment and application processes on a daily basis and has questioned how the applied research may be conducted in the times of uncertainty.

In response to that, EURASHE is organising an online debate aiming to share the best practices from the members, understand what are the common threats for the PHE institutions and how to see opportunities in the times of uncertainty.

The webinar will take place on 19 May 2020 from 15:00 to 16:30 (CEST) on Zoom.

The speakers of the debate will touch upon the following issues:

  • Online learning: will we stick to that?
  • Students’ assessment and newcomers;
  • Cooperation with the world of work and students’ placements;
  • Financial challenges and the role of the Governments;
  • International students and mobility: how to act in a more insular world?
  • Post Coronavirus reality: what does it mean for the professional higher education sector? Where lays the biggest threats and opportunities?

The participants of the event are encouraged to send their questions before the meeting or raise them during the debate in the Zoom chatbox.

Speakers of the event are:

  • Mrs Barbara BROOIJMANS, Director of International Relations, Haute École Ephec (EPHEC), Belgium
  • Mr Mihnea Costoiu, Rector, University POLITEHNICA of Bucharest, Romania
  • Mrs Vanessa Debiais-Sainton, Head of the Unit, European Commission
  • Dr. Devanshu Patel, President, Parul University, India
  • Dr. Joseph Ryan, CEO, Technological Higher Education Association (THEA), Ireland

The discussion will be moderated by Stéphane Lauwick, President of EURASHE.

Register here!

 

PHE@HOME Info Days

PHE@Home Info Days is a part of the campaign which consists of the series of webinars on different topics, such as Future of skills, Work-based learning, Microcredentials, lessons learnt from COVID-19 and others.

The event will serve as a platform for a community discussion on the relevant issues, also it will provide an opportunity to discuss how the existing health crisis might affect the sector and what coordinated actions could be implemented in order to prevent any possible future harm. The webinars will take place in the same time framework as the postponed 30th Annual Conference but will not replace the event.

Check out the series of webinars here.

#PHEresponse to COVID-19 | Interview with Ph.D. Petri Lempinen, Executive director of Rectors’ Conference of Finnish Universities of Applied Sciences

Arene is the Rectors’ Conference of Finnish Universities of Applied Sciences whose main goal is to protect the common interests of 24 Universities of Applied Sciences in Finland. We interviewed Ph.D. Petri Lempinen, the Executive director of the Rectors’ Conference in order to understand how the COVID-19 outbreak affected one of the most advanced education systems in Europe.

 

1.What measures have been taken in your country? Tell me how the higher education institutions handled a lockdown in the first days.

On the 13th of March, a Rectors’ meeting took place where we evaluated an existing situation in the country and decided that we need to take measures and start preparations to stop all the education activities. Later, the following Monday, the Government decided that all the education institutions should go on distance learning, all the schools and campuses should be closed, including RDI campuses. Currently, we can use a few laboratories and facilities if it is necessary to ensure that students who are about to graduate can finish the studies. Also, a critical RDI can continue, for instance, animal testing.

 

2. What was the biggest challenge for your members in the first days of the announced lockdown? How ARENE supported its members in that time?

Since we took a decision earlier than the government, it gave us a little bit of time for a preparation to work in a different mode. Also, the fact that we have an ongoing national development project which aims to develop a virtual campus was quite helpful in this period. Finally, 98 percent of the staff members have laptops so they are ready to switch to teleworking or smart working any time.

Talking about challenges, it mostly affected a healthcare sector because our students were not able to use simulation rooms.  Our organization has been very active throughout this period for its members and served as a platform of the exchange of information. Besides that, we organized periodical Rectors’ meetings, have a WhatsApp group where we exchange certain issues or good practices on the daily basis.

 

3. This period for UAS is particularly important due to the ongoing entrance exams. Did COVID-19 affect students’ selection procedures in the country?

Talking about foreign language study programs, international students have been prevented from participating in entrance examinations in Finland due to the closed borders. Therefore, it has been decided instead of entrance examinations to rely on applicants’ school performance and selection assignments.

When it comes to Finish/Swedish language study programs, UAS took a decision that the second joint universities of applied sciences entrance examinations this spring will be organised online. There were 92 000 applicants to the UAS by the end of the application period on 1 April. 75 000 of those sought admission in the joint application examinations.

The decision to organise the examinations online was taken in order to protect the health of applicants, staff and their families. There are no projections for the progress of the Corona pandemic and we are therefore unable to predict a safe future date for the entrance exam.

At the moment we expect to start without a delay, but when it comes to the international students we are not sure whether we will have any of them.

 

4. Part of your members’ studies are happening in the workplace. How are you dealing with that – postponing the placements?

The traineeships depend on the employers and the nature of their activities. One of our biggest sector-social and healthcare cancelled almost all the traineeships. At the same time they hired students who have finished 2/3 of their studies to fight the pandemic.

In other sectors, a lot of companies temporarily terminated their activities. At the moment there are around 400 000 thousand people who are temporarily out of work and this economic shock may crucially affect the whole labor market. So naturally, if there are no activities in the companies, there are no possibilities to have traineeships too.

It is quite probable that some students will face delays in graduation too. It is very difficult to find an alternative for the traineeships because we cannot use the campuses. But once they are open, we can organize some kind of the alternative traineeships, for instance in engineering, in the sector of culture, which was highly affected by the pandemic. At the same time, we need teachers to do so and the summer holidays are approaching.

5. Did universities receive any financial support from the government?

Universities have not received additional funding due to COVID-19 outbreak or restriction measures ordered by the government. Due to the labor market effects of the virus the Finnish government is planning to increase funding of continuous learning to provide learning opportunities for those who lose their jobs.

There is flexibility in using a student grant. But since the labor market is very much affected, students most probably will not be able to have summer jobs, and, therefore, it may affect their income and ability to sustain themselves throughout the year.

 

6. Are you aware of any social problems that students may face? i.e. online learning could be a challenge to socially underprivileged groups.

We have noticed that not all the students are ready to fully participate in the online learning. For those who had problems in learning before the crisis, this situation has not been helpful.

At the level of Rector’s conference we noted various risks, but universities are dealing with them individually, with the support of the Students’ Union.

 

7. What are your members’ expectation on the European Union?

Higher education in Finland is publicly funded, so we are not depended on the students’ tuition fees and, therefore, a risk to the system could be moderate.

Speaking about the European level, we believe that the structural funds, Horizon and Erasmus programs should be first finished before evaluating what support the European higher education system needs further. Currently, the expectations are related to economic and employment policies rather than education on the European level.

 

8. A lot of businesses are changing their activity models and concentrating to the industry related to tackling pandemic. Have you heard about any early business-university collaborations in this field?

Around 20 UAS opened up their services to support the ones who currently lost their jobs with skills learning and development. How useful it will be, it is still difficult to say. Other universities are offering to companies free services to write applications in order to receive money from government economic support programs. Our UAS also supported social healthcare sector by providing various materials and equipment to the hospitals.

 

9. What may be future arrangements and lessons from the current crisis? Do you think it will change a professional higher education sector?

I think that the crisis has shown that digital solutions are feasible and it will be used much more in the future. What we see nowadays, for instance online tools that we use for learning or hold the meetings are still quite primitive and are based on the idea to replicate the same things that we do in the campuses. In Finland we have an approach that this is not about the tools, but more about how do we use and analyse all the data that comes from the learning, and how we could use it to better identify learning and labour market needs.

In my view, when we will learn how to use different mobile applications and apply the same technological, psychological techniques that we use in the computer games, we can change the way how the learning environments could look like.

Our members expect that most of the future investment of the learning environments will be digital and not anymore on the campuses. It doesn’t mean that campuses will extinct, but there will be a much bigger variety of how we learn and work.

 

10. Would you like to add something:

Moral support and an ability to unite are very important in the times when nobody knows what it is coming. I think that our organisation was very helpful from the beginning by supporting its members and providing a platform of communications. 

#PHEresponse to COVID-19 | Interview with Dr. Jon Altuna Iraola, Academic Vice-Rector of Mondragon University in the Basque Country

Spain has been one of the most affected countries in Europe by the COVID-19 outbreak. Together with Dr. Altuna Iraola, Academic Vice-Rector of our member Mondragon University from the Basque Country, we discussed the impact of the lockdown on the different aspects of academic life and the University’s response to the challenge raised by the pandemic.

1. What is the current situation in your country and which measures were adopted by the government to stop the spread of COVID-19?

The situation is changing every now and then, but Spain is in a “State of alarm” from 14 March 2020. The Basque government, together with the Spanish government, initially closed all schools and universities and approved social distancing measures, which were quite strict compared to other countries. There is no possibility, for instance, to go out and do physical exercise, and for a couple of weeks all non-essential economic activity was prohibited.

2. Did Mondragon University take any precautionary measures before the government’s announcement of the lockdown?

There was no sign of the dimension of the outbreak in Spain until the end of February, but once it started, we knew it was just a matter of weeks for the virus to reach us too. For us, it was very important to coordinate our actions with the Basque Government and other universities in the region. Also, we have always waited for the health authorities to give us instructions on what had to be done to ensure the safety of our students and staff.

3. What is the general mood of your staff and students at the moment?

In the beginning, there was a very positive mood, both among students and among our staff. We knew that we had to overcome this situation and that we had to adapt ourselves to it very quickly. Then, during the following weeks, you could feel that the mood was getting tenser. The learning process was very intense and the students were feeling like they wanted to go back to face-to-face education, because they were missing the personal contact with their peers and partners. I think that the Easter holidays have been really good for them to take a breath and try to cope with what was coming up.

Meanwhile, jointly with the other Basque universities and the Basque Government, we decided to finish this academic year in remote learning.

4. You introduced the topic of remote learning, let’s dive into it deeper. How did the switch to online learning go? Do you have any good practices to share with our members?

Some of our faculties were experienced in remote learning, with 25% of their activities already taking place online, but some of them have never done that. To ensure a smooth switch to online learning, we decided to combine synchronous and asynchronous instructions in each course. Also, every morning a meeting is organised between the students and a tutor, who helps them make a recap of the schedule of the week and checks how they are doing. I believe this system works very well.

5. What about students’ assessments?

Assessments are probably a big issue for many universities, but for us it was a quite natural process. We already had in place a continuous assessment system and we don’t have to rely only on final exams. We already had many evidences on the students’ learning process and what we are doing now is just continuing to capture this variety of assessments. I believe people forget that the learning process it’s not only about summative assessment or marking, but it’s also about formative assessment. However, since the learning and teaching methodologies have been adapted to remote learning, this necessarily requires assessments also to be adapted to this new scenario.  

6. Mondragon University has a strong commitment to applied research jointly with the world of work. Has this been interrupted by the current situation?

Most research projects that we already had in place haven’t been affected that much. Our Ph.D. students were able to maintain parts of their research activities from home, even though some of them haven’t been able to carry out lab experiments or conduct research with equipment while strict confinement measures are in place. The transfer of knowledge with companies has been affected because companies had to stop all their activities, including the ones in collaboration with our university. In the next months, we will also probably see a bigger impact on the work of Ph.D. students with industry.

7. You talked about Mondragon University’s special relationship with the world of work and I know that you collaborate with more than 250 companies and institutions that offer students practical trainings. How are you dealing with placements? Are students able to continue?

Our policy on placements has been focused on establishing a conversation with the companies and on determining in which placements conditions were met so that the students could continue their work. We haven’t adopted a general rule, because we faced a different variety of situations. Some companies have decided that the students could continue their placements in remote mode from their houses. In other cases, like placements in secondary and vocational training schools, they had to be suspended. However, some of our students in this field have found creative ways to reshape and refocus their placements, offering, for example, their support to schools in the transition from face-to-face to online learning.

We expect that a high percentage of work-based learning activities might be recovered by the end of May. An important number of them will continue in remote mode and others will take place physically in the workplace if the necessary health and security conditions are met. For us, being a cooperative university strongly tied to the world of work, it is important to listen to the companies and organisations we work with, rather than take the decisions unilaterally.

8. Are you aware of any social problems that students may face? I.e. online learning could be a challenge to socially underprivileged groups.

All our students have a laptop – this has been a policy at our university. For those students who were not able to purchase one, we already had a financial support scheme that allows them to do so. Our faculties have also created online platforms where our students and staff could easily solve the issues related to e-learning together with our IT experts. Also, we have opened a university Open EdX platform, where trainings on synchronous e-learning, online assessments and so on, are available.

What we noticed is that there is an increasing problem related to many students’ families that are temporarily unemployed and unable to pay the fees. Since we already had in place a financial scheme to support families in financial difficulties, we decided to reshape it and adapt it to the current situation.

9. Has there been any engagement of the university and its students in supporting the local community? What do you think could be the role of Mondragon University in helping to overcome the crisis?

At the very beginning of the crisis, there was a call from the local governments inviting young people to volunteer for the civil service and we promoted this initiative among our students. The 3D printing facilities of our Faculty of Engineering are also producing quite an important number of face masks, which are delivered to local hospitals and supermarkets.

As for what might be the role of Mondragon University in overcoming this crisis, our first commitment is to send a reassuring message and invite our students and staff to follow the security measures, as much as we can. We need to be an example to society and we need to commit our students to engage much more with their community.

10. What do you think it’s the impact that the Coronavirus crisis will have on professional higher education?

We work closely with many businesses and companies that were strongly affected by the crisis and were forced to suspend their activities. For this reason, the impact of this crisis might be harder on professional higher education than on conventional research-based education. Managing the vast amount of students in placements and their different situations is also something that research-based universities don’t need to handle that much. Our activities are strongly oriented towards businesses and companies and they inevitably suffer when the economy is suffering. So I believe that the impact of the Coronavirus crisis will be higher on professional higher education in this sense.

11. Do you see this health crisis as an impulse for change in our sector?

That’s for sure; nothing will be the same in the higher education field after the COVID-19 crisis. I think that those institutions who do not take this as an opportunity to undergo digital transformation, will suffer a lot in the future years. We need to make new proposals in our educational model that are more flexible and adaptable for students. I also think that we need to give more importance to the personal development of students, balancing it with their professional development. It’s true that we need to offer our students the best training opportunities, but if we want them to be able to face this kind of situation in society in the future, we need them to be much more flexible, critical, cooperative and resilient.

11. Would you like to add something?

I believe this crisis will impact students’ mobility in every sense. From the very beginning, we have been monitoring the spread of the virus and we took the decision to bring all our students outside Europe back home. That was a complicated decision that we had to take based on student’s health coverage in order to guarantee their health and safety. But it’s true that mobility will be affected more than anything else and I think we should start taking into account what will happen to our international programmes in the near future.

PHE RESPONSE TO COVID-19 | P.PORTO combats isolation with unprecedented program

EURASHE member, the Polytechnic of Porto, through its Office for Academic and Professional Integration (GIAP), created an initiative to tackle the rising cases of anxiety and depression due to prolonged isolation.

Aware of the unprecedented situation, the ActivAmente program of the Polytechnic of Porto seeks to minimize and respond to mental health issues in times of COVID-19. “The program consists of the development of different tips and activities, to be performed regularly, always in the logic of mental health”, explains Paulo Santos, Pro-President of P.PORTO and promoter of this initiative.

In particular, the ActivAmente program proposes recommendations to stay active while staying at home, through online classes and suggestions for sports activities to be carried out twice a day.

“The institution must respond to the needs of its community,” says the Pro-President, “this is a difficult period, but it is our duty to create conditions that combat isolation, prevent and help extreme cases and encourage physical activity. we are adapting to today’s reality, with the resources we have available”.

More information here.

Coronavirus Global Response: EU launches pledging effort

The European Union is joining forces with global partners to kick-start a pledging effort – the Coronavirus Global Response – starting on 4 May 2020. The World Health Organization (WHO) and global health organisations have launched a joint call for action to develop fast and equitable access to safe, quality, effective and affordable diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines against coronavirus.

To raise funds in support of this endeavor, the European Union and its partners will organise a worldwide pledging marathon. Countries and organisations around the world are invited to pledge to help reach the target of €7.5 billion in initial funding.

European Commission President von der Leyen said: “We need to bring the world, its leaders and people together against coronavirus. In just 10 days, we will launch a global pledging effort. A real marathon. Because beating coronavirus requires a global response and sustained actions on many fronts. We need to develop a vaccine, to produce it and deploy it to every corner of the world. And we need to make it available at affordable prices.”

Find out more about the effort and how to get involved here.

Disinformation: how to recognise and tackle Covid-19 myths

The outbreak of the coronavirus has led to disinformation that hampers efforts to contain the pandemic. Read on to find out what you can do.

From the original claim that the virus spread through bat-soup, to heated reports of EU countries fighting each other for dwindling supplies of medical equipment, these claims are everywhere.

The World Health Organization (WHO) said false claims “are spreading faster than the virus” and has already termed it an “infodemic of planetary proportions”. Major online platforms are already acting to limit their reach.

How can you recognise disinformation and how can you help stop it from spreading? What is the EU doing about it? Find the answers here.

#PHEresponse to COVID-19| Interview with Dr Joseph Ryan, the CEO of The Technological Higher Education Association (THEA) in Ireland

The second interview of our recently launched campaign #PHEresponse to COVID-19 is devoted to Ireland and Irish higher education system, and their challenges in the times of crisis.

We interviewed Dr Joseph Ryan, the CEO of our member, The Technological Higher Education Association (THEA), Ireland, who gave us an overview of how the sector has been addressing the main challenges caused by Coronavirus.

 

1.What measures have been taken in your country to stop the spread of Coronavirus?

Unlike some other European countries, we don’t use the term lockdown, but the government has introduced progressive restrictions and encouraged everyone to work at home and to allow movement only for urgent supplies or medical needs. In principle, we can shop, but most of the retailers are closed down. Police has recently been active on the streets and constantly check whether a person has a valid reason to be travelling.

 

2. What is the general mood of your members at the moment?

On the national level, I think that everyone in the country is confident in the advice and leadership. We are a bit like Danes, in times like this, we tend to comply with what we are asked to do if it is explained adequately. On the other hand, the government is aware that you can’t effectively imprison the whole population for too long.

At the institutional level, people were preparing in advance and have been extraordinarily innovative so far. For example, the community has shown that they can do online delivery in a whole variety of different ways.

 

3. You mentioned that people have great trust in national leadership. Could you tell us how the government has been supporting Ireland’s higher education sector in relation to the crisis?

Right after our Prime minister’s (Taoiseach) statement on COVID-19 on 12 of March, there was instituted a high-level government coordination group which has been looking at the issues related to post-secondary education and led by the Department of Education and Skills. This effectively is an interim governance oversight for the whole system.  The group included all our agencies, universities’ association, and ourselves – THEA. It doesn’t include the higher education providers directly; we speak on their behalf. Also, there are a series of dedicated working groups who look at the particular themes, i.e. there are operational teams working on the delivery, assessment, students’ care and aid to civil powers and especially the health service.  Those high-level groups meet every day and so far proved to be very helpful in managing the system.

Also, the government has been good in providing money and supports to students with a particular focus on equity and ensuring fair treatment for those with a disadvantaged background.

 

4. Let’s talk about institutions’ challenge to quickly switch to remote studies. Could you tell me what model of “online learning” your members mostly chose (real-time, combination ort etc)?

We have seen some very good practices implemented by our members: individual or peer to peer learning, live time classes, a combination of online activities. Our Learning and Teaching community of practice have excellent courses online, there are a lot of already existing digital resources, and some of the journals took an initiative to grant free access to the public. So there is a whole range of approaches which we haven’t had time to document, but once we will get through the crisis, there will be a lot of reflection on what did and what didn’t work.

 

5. In your opinion, how the current crisis will affect the length of the studies, graduation, date and the entrance of new students?

This topic has been one of the biggest debates that we had in the first week of the close down. We made a national commitment to complete and graduate this year in a timely fashion in order to start next year as close as possible on time. There are many complicated factors in that, for example, students with particular needs and how we can support them through the completion of the year. Secondly, there are real difficulties with some lab-based and practical-based programmes, especially in such as the practice-based arts.

The situation has also an impact on our State examinations. There is a question whether and when we can run them. If they are deferred or late, it means that the access to higher education is potentially delayed. At the moment, we are modelling a slightly different academic year for 2021, even if we start as late as November. In our modelling, we can give a full service to students, once we have a number of teaching weeks before Christmas. However, if we are forced through the crisis to delay the commencement of the next academic year to January, it gives us some serious additional and particular challenges.

 

6. Part of your members’ studies is happening in the workplace. How your members are dealing with that – postponing the placements? How do you see the continuity of applied research?

When our Prime minister announced the first closure, one of the first challenges centred on the students who are on placements and research students who have worked in the labs. Luckily, we managed to complete the vast majority of this stage before a further range of restrictions on the 27th of March. If we look into the future, it is very uncertain. Of course, some of the placements can be managed online, and some by proxy, but not everything.  And we may face supplementing some material in the workplace through next year.  

If we look at the research, we have students that are on the grants. Therefore, we have to act very quickly that they would be protected and the grants would be extended.  We are working closely with the government and the funding agencies in this.  

 

7. Are you aware of any social problems that students may face? i.e. online learning could be a challenge to socially underprivileged groups.

In Ireland, we have a fairly good integrated system but we don’t have an equal reach for the network capacity throughout the country. So we engaged with the major telecom companies to explore how they can help us in order to make sure that there is a dedicated focus on supporting students in their learning process. In terms of devices, not every household has sufficient devices. Here again, we liaised with big corporations to get additional devices that we can give out to certain students.

In terms of the particular support, institutions are dealing with students on a one to one basis.

 

8. Let’s talk about the post-crisis higher education world. How COVID-19 will affect professional higher education sector, in your opinion? Do you think that our sector will need to reconsider its modus operandi after the crisis? On another hand, do you see this health crisis as an impulse for a change?

My sense is that the world will never be the same again. I think that we will have a new model of blended learning in the future which we will need to concretely implement.  This experience has somewhat perversely shown that we have the confidence and capacity to deliver well remotely.  

If we look from the broader perspective, at the moment it is anticipated that some 25 per cent of our population may face unemployment as a result of this public health pandemic. And although we are moving towards economic hibernation, we still need to keep the link with companies, with employees, and give them public support hoping we can rescue as much activity as we can. I am afraid that this year we are likely to have graduates who will not have the same employment opportunities as their peers from previous years have enjoyed. Finally, there is a great fear that the countries will become more insular and here European cohesion becomes hugely important.

On the good side, I feel that the professional higher education sector has a key role in rebooting the economy. In my opinion, it won’t be just going back to business as normal but the market will become very particularly skills-focused because we will deal with different needs than the ones we had a few months ago. And professional higher education sector is well placed to address that.

 

9. Would you like something to add:

What we learn is that in times of crisis clear communication is crucial. People need to hear one consistent message that is informed and can be understandable to everyone. We work on that cohesively every day.  

European Commission presents the first ERAvsCORONA’ action plan

On 26 March 2020, the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen and the President of the European Council, Charles Michel stated that “Europe stands ready to set up an international online pledging event to ensure adequate funding to develop and deploy a vaccine against COVID-19.” During an informal videoconference of 7 April 2020, Ministers responsible for research and innovation supported the first 10 priority actions of the first ERAvsCorona Action Plan which resulted from dialogues between the Commission services and the national ministries.1 It covers first short-term coordinated actions only. It sets out key measures the Commission services and the Member States are activating now to coordinate, share and jointly increase support for research & innovation, in line with the objectives and tools of the European Research Area.

10 priority actions for coordinated research and innovation actions:

  1. Coordination of R&I funding against the Coronavirus
  2. Extending and supporting large EU wide clinical trials for clinical management of Coronavirus patients
  3. New funding for innovative and rapid health-related approaches to respond to coronavirus and deliver quick results relevant to society and a higher level of preparedness of health systems
  4. Increasing support to innovative companies
  5. Creating opportunities for other funding sources to contribute to R&I actions on Coronavirus
  6. Establish a one-stop shop for Coronavirus R&I funding
  7. Establish an ad-hoc High Level R&I Task Force on the Coronavirus
  8. Access to Research Infrastructures
  9. Research data sharing platform
  10. Pan-EU Hackathon to mobilise European innovators and civil society (click the link to find out more)

Read the full document here.

#PHEresponse to COVID-19| Interview with Arend Hardorff, the Dean of the Hotelschool The Hague

EURASHE in response to COVID-19 decided to interview a few of its members to better understand how is the situation in their respective country, what challenges faces their institution or the sector and how the current health crisis could affect professional higher education in the future.

The hospitality sector is one of the most affected by the authority’s measures to prevent the Coronavirus outbreak. Last week we sat down and had an online chat with the Dean of the Hotelschool The Hague in the Netherlands, Mr Arend Hardorff to understand how their school and the sector is doing today.

 

1. What measures have been taken in the Netherlands in relation to COVID-19? 

In the Netherlands, we are under the so-called ‘intelligent’ lockdown. It means that shops are open (not only grocery shops), but people are asked to restrict themselves, not to group with more than three people and no events can take place. People are allowed to go to work but are advised to work from home. Myself and the Hotelschool The Hague staff and students are working from home from already four weeks.

 

2. The spread of the COVID19 and the implemented measures of social distancing affected single citizens and families. For the communities like a university, it’s a particularly challenging measure as institutions tend to gather and unite people rather than keep them apart. What is the general mood in your university at the moment?

If we look to our community of students and staff, there are people who are directly affected by the virus – they were sick but recovering or have family members who got sick. Luckily, nobody died but there is a general feeling that the virus is really close to us.

Another issue is a re-orientation of our activities – switching to distance learning. For a hospitality school, it’s all about human interaction and, of course, training students the right skills to work in this sector, meaning rightly assess people, react to situations. In that sense, a lot could go online but it’s never the same experience when students in our hotel and restaurants have their guests and can interact with them. In some extent, you can simulate these type of situations but never entirely.

 

3. Let’s talk about your switch to remote studies. What type of online learning you are using? How are you planning to hold students’ assessment?

Four weeks ago we had hardly anything online, our digital learning environment served only to complement physical classrooms. After the Government’s decision, we were in the 6th week of the third block of our academic year and we had 2 more weeks of teaching left that had to be converted into online. So, the School was closed in the very last weeks before students had to hand in assignments and learn for the exams. 

Since all the universities in the Netherlands took a decision themselves and decided to stay closed until 1 June, we know that also the last block of our studies, starting 28 April will also be largely online.  

When it comes to the assignments, oral exams and presentations take places online, even the graduation exams. What we did with sit-down exams that are normally held in campus, was to ask course teams to develop alternatives to them. Of course, every alternative takes more time than a sit-down exam but we are trying to ensure more time for students to take them and also more time to teachers to grade them.

 

4. Part of your studies is happening in the workplace. It is field-specific, for hospitality this meant substantial close down and decline. How are you dealing with that – postponing, cancelling the placements? 

In some sense we were lucky because the February intake going on placement  from February to July is usually smaller than the August intake.  This semester we had 185 students going on placements, 160 out of them were cancelled for various reasons-some hotels closed due to a small number or no guests, other students had to take a quick decision because their home countries’ borders were about to close and the question was can whether they can go to stay with their families.

From our side what we are trying to do in this situation is to make sure that everyone can finish their placements within the given period, replacing them with written assignments or other online activities.

 

5. How did this health crisis affect your students and staff? 

From the student’s point of view, we are lucky because everyone here owns a laptop, but slow or interrupted internet connection sometimes is a problem, especially connecting on various online communications platforms in big groups or doing online assessments. In order to help our students, we created more exams opportunities. Another issue is a stress factor-some students’ families are hit by Coronavirus and they are not able to handle the stress so we ask our teachers to be more flexible-our goal is to encourage students to keep on studying.

The situation is also stressful for the staff members, especially the ones who have children or have to share a small apartment and are also expected to teach at the same time. Some of my colleagues feel emotional and physical stress, so we encourage them to put education-to students first and let other things go. We also try to make them understand that we do not expect them to work 8 hours per day efficiently, but rather asking to concentrate on our priority-giving online classes.

 

6. Do you think the current situation will affect the length of an academic year? Are you planning to postpone the start of the newcomers?

The biggest goal of the universities in the Netherlands is to prevent any delay in studies, so we have to provide an alternative that gives an opportunity to keep on studying and graduate on time. It is also related to the financial reason, the longer you study, the more debts you build up. 

What we also feel that we are a part of the whole education pipeline: i.e. secondary schools’ students finish and want to go to higher education institutions, the same as for bachelor students who want to get their Master degree. Ourselves, we expect to be open in August.  Currently, we are holding online selection procedures, organising online recruitment days and are expecting to welcome new students on time.

 

7. Have you been in contact with your partners-companies and hotels? What is their view of the situation?

Except for Italy, all other EU countries are in a similar part of the curve at the moment and most of the hotels were closed 3-4 weeks ago. We keep contact with our partners but at the same time, we understand that they deal with major challenges at the moment. Hospitality industry has been hit harder than education, so in this sense, we are in a more comfortable situation than the companies we educate for. 

 

8. How, in your opinion, the COVID19 will affect the hospitality sector in general? Do you see it as an opportunity or rather a challenge which could cause a long term lasting damage?

We have already seen a lot of digitalization happening in the hotels before: automatic check-in, booking procedures and similar repetitive activities. This model was very often used as a solution for cheaper hotels to cut off staff costs. I think it will accelerate even further after this crisis too: not meeting staff in the hotel might mean not only lower costs but also hygienic, safe and secure environment. In that sense, I could see a change and the way how it will be presented.

 

9. Has there been any engagement of the school, students in assisting the community in tackling a pandemic? Do you have any examples?

In a broader sense, our students can go and work for example in one of the biggest hospital’s in Amsterdam Call center where they can provide people with information on the phone and this could be an alternative of their placement if they wish to do so, or take any other initiative in their community if it corresponds to their learning objectives. But we also see, that our students take initiatives to do something extra-curricular, so as an institution we are happy to provide them with the platform for communications and serve as a knowledge center.

I.e. one our student is doing research on which way the hospitality sector in Spain is helping out the hospitals to outsource a part of the activities which should normally take place in the hospitals and move them into the hotels, so that the hospitals can create more space for the intensive care patients.

 

10. How will COVID-19 affect professional higher education sector, in your opinion? Do you think our sector will need to reconsider its modus operandi after the crisis? 

On one hand, we sense how our students appreciate an opportunity to be on the campus-the studying starts in the classroom but community gatherings, building relations and having a social life continues beyond it.

But in some part of the studies, we can see that digital means are more effective i.e. if I teach a class of 60 students, for some of them I will be too fast, for others-too slow. So we see that students, as well as the staff, appreciate the extra features of digital learning. What we expect is that once we are back, we will use more often a hybrid learning model. i.e. we have students who have certain studying disabilities such as dyscalculia or dyslexia and physically there are limits of what you can cater to the individual needs, while if you have online materials available is much easier to create a sort of the menu in a combination of what can be physically available and what you can do digitally.

 

11. Would you like to add something?

I’ve worked at the Hotelschool The Hague for more than 1,5 years and I really enjoy it, and it is such a strange feeling that I cannot experience now everything what our school is about-nice smells coming from our restaurants, having a friendly chat at the reception, interacting with staff and students. At the same time, I see a lot of positivity and appreciation towards each other and a lot of people feel closer to each other than they normally are. 

 

PHE RESPONSE TO COVID-19 | Mondragon Team Acadamy teams up with companies, foundations and NGOs to mobilize young people against Coronavirus

Mondragon Team Academy, an organization made by students and team-entrepreneurs communities born in 2007 within the Faculty of Business Studies of EURASHE’s member Mondragon University, has teamed up with other entities promoting social innovation to launch Creating for Humanity, a platform which aims to encourage a mass mobilization of young people in search of effective and rapid solutions to the Coronavirus crisis.

The platform unifies the three types of active calls in support of young innovators (Ideas, Solutions and Start-ups) with the common motto of #YouthInCharge, because it is time for young people to lead as a team the solutions that society needs.

Ideas in Action (#IdeasForHumanity)
 
Aimed at innovators between 9 and 18 years old, it aims to centralize the proposals of groups of students, schools or families that work together to face challenges in their environment.
Part of this group are the calls promoted by Ashoka and Danone (Feeding the Change), Ashoka and Fundación Telefónica (STEAM Challenge and Radical Curiosity. Fuller Educational Challenge), and Fundación ‘La Caixa’ through Educaixa and IrsiCaixa through the Living Health Lab (Coronavirus Community LAB).
 
Solutions (#SolutionsForHumanity)
 
Call for projects already started by social innovators of legal age, although still in a pilot phase.
Here stands out the example of the Covida app, founded by MTA-LEINN social entrepreneurs, which connects the needs of single or vulnerable people with volunteers willing to help them with their purchases, providing them with the food, medicine or other materials they may need during confinement.
Part of this group are the calls led by Bridge for Billions (The Leap) and Fundación ‘La Caixa’ through EduCaixa and IrsiCaixa with Living Lab de Salud (Coronavirus Community LAB).
 
Start-Ups (# Start-upsForHumanity)
 
Calls for start-ups or small social companies with the potential to grow and multiply the positive effects of their work in the fight against COVID-19.
The two calls for Ship2B (Tech4Health, Tech4Social and DKV Impacta) can be found here.
           
All the information is available at www.creatingforhumanity.org where families, schools, young entrepreneurs and start-ups can join this “massive call to action” for the good of humanity.

More information here.

PHE RESPONSE TO COVID-19 | Helping those in need with Van Buren Voor Buren (VBVB)

The Professional Higher Education community is showing a great commitment to face the challenges produced by the recent COVID-19 outbreak.

This time it was Frederik Sieler, a third-year student of EURASHE’s member Hotelschool The Hague campus Amsterdam, to take action and support his community, creating the website Van Buren Voor Buren (VBVB) and helping those who are in need of assistance.

“I’ve been studying at Hotelschool The Hague Amsterdam campus for 3 years now. During that time, I have learned to appreciate and become part of this amazing city and community. In light of the coronavirus outbreak, sitting at home and not being able to help, bothered me. Therefore I recently launched a website to connect those who are willing to help and those that are in need of support.” said Frederik, who in little time was able to gather together more than 30 volunteers to help him with his initiative.

“I believe that if we work together we can overcome anything, even if it is a pandemic! Every small act can and will have a huge impact (sometimes it might not be immediately visible, like staying at home, washing your hands or social distancing, but it is worth it). The current situation can be very overwhelming, especially, since it is extremely difficult to fathom the extensive impact a pandemic has on all aspects of life. Taking action and supporting each other is essential in overcoming this crisis.”, added the student.

Visit the website here.

More information here.

PHE RESPONSE TO COVID-19 | The first batch of protective shields is on the way to Lithuanian health care institutions

EURASHE member, Vilniaus Kolegija/ University of Applied Sciences and its Faculty of Electronics and Informatics together with the School of Robotics and UAB “CGTrader”, are in a hurry to help Lithuanian medical staff. Specialists will try to reduce the lack of face shields.

With the immense need for protective equipment against the virus that caused the global pandemic, the representatives of the Faculty of Electronics and Informatics of Vilniaus Kolegija/ University of Applied Sciences : Vytautas Netikša, Tomas Kasperavičius and Paulius Šakalys joined the action organised by the Robotics School in the course of which  the frames for protective face shields are being prepared.  The sequence of the device preparation is as follows: plastic sheets provided by the initiative coordinator UAB “CGTrader” are being joined with the frames printed at the Faculty. We are delighted that the first batch of thirty protective shields will reach our medical staff already today.

Although we are living in a state of unprecedented uncertainty, right now, the implementation of such a socially responsible activity is becoming increasingly important and necessary.

More information here.

EQAF 2020 Call for Contributions

The EQAF Programme Committee is inviting proposals for paper presentations, workshops and discussion starters at the 2020 European Quality Assurance Forum (EQAF), hosted by Aalto University from 12 to 14 November 2020.

EQAF is organised annually by EURASHE , ENQA, ESU, and EUA regularly attracts over 400 participants from the higher education quality assurance (QA) community from Europe and beyond. This year’s Forum will focus on the theme of ‘Flexible higher education: implications for QA’ and will explore if QA is fit for higher education dynamic and flexible environment and how it could better support higher education institutions in this transition and encourage them make the most of it. 

During the Forum, paper sessions, world café discussions and workshops will provide space for more in-depth exchange about research, policy initiatives and practical case examples related to the Forum theme and more generally about current developments in QA.

The call for contributions welcomes submissions from QA practitioners in higher education institutions and quality assurance agencies, students, and researchers in the field. For more information, please consult the event page. The deadline to submit contributions is 27 July 2020.

Further information about EQAF 2020 including the programme and registration information will become available in the early summer on the event page. For updates, follow @EQAF and #EQAF on Twitter and/or join the LinkedIn group ‘European Quality Assurance Forum (EQAF)’.

In case of questions, please contact eqaf@eua.eu.

EHEA Ministerial Conference postponed to November 2020

Due to the COVID-19 pandemia and its implications at national and international level, the EHEA Ministerial Conference will take place on 19-20 November 2020 in Rome, Italy (La Nuvola Conference Centre).

The format of the event would remain the same, with the Ministerial Conference starting on the morning of Thursday, 19 November, and continuing the next morning. The Bologna Global Policy Forum would take place on Thursday afternoon, and the Global Summit on Higher Education on the afternoon of the 20th and on Saturday 21.

More information and updates here.

COVID-19 outbreak: European Commission extends the deadlines for various programmes’ calls

Due to the coronavirus outbreak, the European Commission decided to extend the deadlines for submission of projects’ applications.

Also watch the latest European Commission’s response and the measures to be taken against the COVID19 spread in Europe: http://bit.ly/3daCQSs

EURASHE postpones the 30th Annual Conference

Dear colleagues,
We regret to inform you that in order to avoid any possible health risk regarding the COVID 19 outbreak, EURASHE Board decided to 
postpone our 30th Annual Conference which should have taken place 20-21 May, 2020 in Plovdiv, Bulgaria and co-hosted together with University of Agribusiness and Rural Development (UARD).

We will inform you about the new Annual Conference’s date this year as soon as the situation stabilises.

EURASHE apologises for any inconvenience that this may cause.

 

Job opportunity: UASiMAP project is looking for two external experts

EURASHE project ‘Mapping Regional Engagement Activities of European Universities of Applied Sciences’ (hereafter-UASiMAP) is searching for external experts who could participate in the analysis and development work of the project and add to the consortium expertise with their European knowledge throughout the Project work packages (WP) 1, 2 and 4.

UASiMAP project aims to develop a self-reflection tool which will measure UAS local engagement and development of their further strategies. The project will also promote and communicate higher education institutions’ contribution to society and regional community, based on the experience and insights of key stakeholders from across the whole European Union. The project will also collect a several good practices of successful UAS engagement on the local level.

In order to bring different perspectives and expertise in the expert team, we are looking for two experts from:

  • Professional Higher Education Institutions and their third mission (EHEA/ERA);
  • Regional development policy, including smart specialization (OECD, EC/JRC policies).

Experts will be selected through an open call for applications. Selected experts will receive a gross honorarium for their work, as well as coverage of travel and subsistence costs to the Expert meetings according to the project plan.

Experts interested in applying should send a CV together with a cover letter, indicating their experience in line with this call by the 1st of March 2020 to vaidotas.viliunas@eurashe.eu.

More information and conditions are here.  

 

 

New EURASHE project UASiMAP will measure the impact of Universities of Applied Sciences in the European regions

Last week EURASHE launched a new Erasmus+ Key Action 3 project ‘Mapping Regional Engagement Activities of European Universities of Applied Sciences’ (hereafter-UASiMAP) which will map and further support the regional engagement activities of European professional higher education institutions, in particular Universities of Applied Sciences (UAS).

A three years project aims to develop a self-reflection tool which will measure UAS local engagement and development of their further strategies. The project will also promote and communicate higher education institutions’ contribution to society and regional community, based on the experience and insights of key stakeholders from across the whole European Union. The project will also collect a several good practices of successful UAS engagement on the local level.

The project will benefit from the experience and conclusion of other similar initiatives and projects such as HEInnovate and U-Multirank.

The project partners are the Flemish Council of Universities of Applied sciences and Arts (Belgium), Technological Higher Education Association (Ireland), Portuguese Polytechnics Coordinating Council (Portugal), the Hungarian Rectors’ Conference (Hungary), the Estonians Rectors’ Conference of UAS (Estonia), Centre for Higher Education Studies (the Czech Republic), and Augentes (Italy). EURASHE is the coordinator of the project.

Contact:

Ms Dovile Sandaraite
Communications and European Affairs Manager, EURASHE
Phone: +32 (0)4 986 90 140
E-mail: dovile.sandaraite@eurashe.eu

 

EURASHE community discussed the impact of Universities of applied sciences on the regions

On 13 February EURASHE organised a Roundtable ‘Regional engagement of Universities of Applied Sciences: concept and impact’ which gathered professional higher education experts and policymakers to discuss the importance of the Universities of Applied Sciences (hereafter – UAS) in the European regions. The event was hosted by the Portuguese Permanent Representation to the EU.

The Roundtable was launched with the welcome speech by Ambassador Pedro Lourtie who emphasised the importance of UAS in fostering European competitiveness and innovation. His welcome was followed by Michal Karpíšek, EURASHE Secretary General who presented EURASHE activities and recently launched project ‘UASiMAP’ on mapping regional engagement activities on European UAS.

John Edwards, Project leader at Joint Research Centre (European Commission) gave an overview of the ongoing project Higher Education for Smart Specialisation (HESS project) which focuses on how higher education and Higher education institutions (hereafter-HEIs) can contribute to the successful implementation of Smart Specialisation Strategies (hereafter-S3). He also shared with participants the main results from the JRC Science for Policy report on Regional Innovation Impact Assessment Framework for universities (2018).

Andrea-Rosalinde Hofer from the Directorate for Education and Skills at the OECD presented results of the Benchmarking Higher Education System Performance (2019). According to the findings, HEIs take different approaches to engagement depending on their missions, locations and other factors and there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to engagement.

Ninoslav Šćukanec Schmidt, Executive Director, Institute for the Development of Education in Croatia, presented the results from TEFCE project  which aims to develop innovative and feasible policy tools at the university and European level for supporting, monitoring and assessing the community engagement of HEIs. He also presented a Community engagement toolbox which allows for HEIs to demonstrate the value for communities, brings attention to good practices and serves as a basis for the improvement in community engagement activities.

Peter Baur, from DG Education and Culture (EAC) presented the European Commission and the OECD initiative HEInnovate which serves as a self-assessment tool for HEIs who wish to explore their innovative potential. A tool measuring higher education institutions’ impact on the regions which will be developed during EURASHE project ‘UASiMAP’ will be integrated under the HEInnovate platform as well.

The outcome of the Roundtable will feed into ongoing ‘UASiMAP’ project activities and developments.

Moments from the event are here.

Contact:

Ms Dovile Sandaraite
Communications and European Affairs Manager, EURASHE
Phone: +32 (0)4 986 90 140
E-mail: dovile.sandaraite@eurashe.eu

Parul University in India and Mondragon University in the Basque Country became members of EURASHE

This month EURASHE welcomes two new member organisations Parul University from India and Mondragon University from the Basque Country. 

Parul University offers more than 160 different undergraduate, postgraduate and doctoral degree programmes through 34 institutions across 21 wide-ranging Faculties such as Medicine, Engineering, Pharmacy, Homoeopathy, Ayurved, Management, Law, Fine Arts, Design, Arts, Commerce and others. The University also attracts to study a number of foreign nationals. Currently, there are about 1200 international students from 49 countries pursuing full-time degree programmes in the University. 

Mondragon University was created in 1997 by the association of three educational cooperatives, with the guarantee of an extensive career and experience in the world of education, which nowadays constitute the University’s two Faculties and School: Faculty of Engineering, Faculty of Business Studies and Faculty of Humanities and Education Sciences. The University’s teaching model involves a system of relationships which, with the educational system as the central theme, aims to involve the companies and institutions in the area, in order to guarantee social accessibility, the combination of work and study, the development of research and the provision of Continuing Education.

Currently, EURASHE has 62 members which represent more than 600 higher education institutions around the world.

Become a host of EURASHE Annual Conference in 2021

EURASHE organises its Annual Conferences since 1991 with the purpose to consider the state of the art and relevance of professional higher education in the EHEA and beyond, address upcoming trends, challenges and opportunities, provide a platform for mutual learning and exchange of experience

Now we are looking for an Association of Higher Education institutions or an Institution of Higher Education to host the 31st EURASHE Annual Conference, which is scheduled to take place in spring 2021.

Why host the 31st EURASHE Annual Conference?

  1. Expand the reach of your Association or Institution. A successful conference could be an excellent opportunity to showcase your organisation to others, gather attention on social and traditional media. EURASHE always makes an agreement with media partners which cover the Annual event (interviews/articles of top speakers) in the press and launches a social media campaign prior to the Conference, organise live social media actions and ensure the post-Conference communications.
  2. Get access to influence makers. Our Annual Conferences always attract top leaders from the EU institutions, national and international policymakers, business representatives. EURASHE is always willing to introduce and facilitate networking between a hosting institution and relevant stakeholders by organising bilateral meetings before or during the Conference.
  3. Establish a leadership. Hosting EURASHE Annual Conference will establish your organisation as a driver of new ideas and ensure cooperation opportunities at the national and international level. This will also provide long-term value to your community and will help to raise your association’s or institution’s profile and credibility.
  4. New Ideas. The foundation of any good conference is an excellent programme. According to EURASHE29 Annual Conference’s survey results, almost 70% of respondents believe that they will use the information obtained through the Conference very significantly or significantly.
  5. Opportunity to present your city and culture. EURASHE Annual Conferences always include a social programme which is an outstanding opportunity for a hosting organisation to organise study visits, city tours and present the culture and the history of the city or country.

Conditions and requirements here. Full members are encouraged to submit their proposal to host the 31st EURASHE Annual Conference to michal.karpisek@eurashe.eu no later than 24th April 2020. EURASHE will select a hosting institution based on the motivation and value of the proposal.

For more information, please contact EURASHE Secretariat: dovile.sandaraite@eurashe.eu.  

Seven open positions at EURASHE Board

EURASHE invites its full members to nominate candidates for the election of seven Board members.

The Board member is expected to represent EURASHE within the given mandate and actively contribute to the policy agenda in general as well within the Working groups. Therefore, indication of preference to follow one or more topics within the EURASHE strategy (Fulfilling the PHE mission in the changing world by quality; Relevant & flexible learning for digital society; Addressing local needs through regional engagement; Bringing innovation and development through user-oriented research) might be given within the motivation letter.

Candidates are requested to submit the following documents:

  1. A vision statement on the strategy for EURASHE in the coming 2 years;
  2. A motivation letter indicating the willingness to accept the nomination and to assume the office;
  3. A CV with a photo;
  4. A letter of endorsement signed by the full member’s legal representative.

Candidacies should be submitted by 24 April 2020 to Michal Karpíšek, Secretary General, at michal.karpisek@eurashe.eu.

The Board members will be elected at the General Assembly on 19 May 2020 in Bulgaria for mandates of 2 years.

More information about the positions, application criteria and procedures of the election is here

Save the date for UAS4EUROPE 2020 Croissant Event

January 2020 – EURASHE, together with its partners from UAS4EUROPE, invites you to the Croissant Event “UAS4EUROPE: UAS go for Horizon Europe!” which will take place on 24 March 2020 at the Permanent Representation of Austria to the EU in Brussels, Belgium.

The event will be opened with a speech by Mr Wolfgang Burtscher from the European Commission, who will give his views on the role of European Universities of Applied Sciences (UAS) within the Horizon Europe programme. In the following panel, representatives of the current Croatian presidency and the future German presidency of the Council of the European Union will address their plans and ideas regarding Horizon Europe and the involvement of UAS. The second panel will bring together stakeholders to exchange views on the added value of UAS.

Registration for the event will open soon.

About UAS4EUROPE 

UAS4EUROPE is a joint initiative of EURASHEUASnetswissuniversitiesHochschule Bayern e.V., the Austrian FHK, Vereniging Hogescholen, and Danske Professionshøjskoler and is committed to a strong position and increased visibility of UAS in the European research landscape. For more information on UAS4EUROPE’s activities, please visit our website: www.uas4europe.eu. 

Please direct inquiries to:

UAS4EUROPE
E-mail: info@uas4europe.eu

EURASHE 30th Annual Conference: Call for contributions is open

November 2019 – EURASHE has launched a call for contributions for its 30th Annual Conference “Professional Higher Education and sustainable development: creating a change that endures”. The conference is organized together with EURASHE’s member the University of Agribusiness and Rural Development (UARD) and will take place on 20-21 May 2020 in Plovdiv, Bulgaria.

The concept of sustainable development, which is fundamental for the European Union, is based on a large holistic approach to a whole range of interlinked global challenges. The Union, represented by the European Commission has been instrumental for the preparation of Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development, adopted by the United Nations in 2015. In 2017 Member States reached the new European Consensus on Development “Our world, our future, our dignity” which set up the framework for the EU response to Agenda 2030. The suitable development will be also in the heart of the political agenda for the next European Commission (2019-2024). The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) plot out a route on how to overcome the challenges we face, and to improve our habitat, our economy and our lives. They will shape all EU internal and external policies and steer the implementation of the next seven-year EU budget.

We expect contributions from practitioners from higher education institutions and relevant stakeholders from the field, including companies, students, national authorities, civil society organisations, NGOs, quality assurance agencies and other organisations, which would correspond to one of the following pillars: 

  1. PEOPLE: Global demographic growth and demographic shifts, combined with economic, social and environmental changes, offer opportunities for and pose serious challenges to sustainable development. This includes responding adequately to the educational needs of young people, supporting inclusive lifelong learning and equitable quality education to all, tackling discriminations and inequalities, with special attention to those who are in disadvantaged or vulnerable situations.
  2. PLANET: Protecting the environment, managing natural resources and tackling climate change. This includes a transition from a linear to a circular bio-economy; sustainability from farm to fork, making innovative, healthy and environment-friendly food production one of our key European trademarks; future-proof energy, buildings and mobility.
  3. PROSPERITY: Creating decent jobs for inclusive and sustainable growth. This includes equipping students with the right set of competencies (knowledge, skills and attitudes) for the fast-changing labour markets, encouraging entrepreneurship, strengthening interaction with the world of work, turning results of research into new marketable products and services.
  4. PEACE: Peaceful and inclusive societies, democracy, effective and accountable institutions, rule of law and human rights for all. This includes the development of civic and democratic competences, the role of culture as an enabler for social inclusion, civil empowerment and conflict prevention, the promotion of intercultural dialogue, cooperation and cultural diversity.
  5. PARTNERSHIP(S): Joining forces for making greater and faster progress: This includes the whole range of relations and interactions of PHE institutions with external stakeholders, public and private, in particular policymakers and businesses (industry and SMEs), at regional, national and international level.

We welcome three types of contributions:

  • Breakout sessions
  • Good practice examples
  • Brilliant failures

Presenting at EURASHE’s Annual conference allows to reach a wide audience and will give you visibility prior to and during the Conference. In addition, one reduced fee will be provided per contribution.

Contributions have to be submitted exclusively online on EURASHE website. The deadline for submission is Friday 31 January, 2020 at 12.00 pm (noon) CET Brussels-time.

More information about the Conference and the Call for contributions here.

EURASHE calls for more diversity in the upcoming European Universities’ Initiative Call

November, Brussels-In view of the forthcoming opening of the second Call of European Universities’ Initiative, EURASHE released a Statement on the participation of Universities of Applied Sciences (hereafter – UAS) within the aforementioned European Commission’s Initiative.

EURASHE’ expresses its commitment to further support the Initiative and also invites the European Commission to take into account the specificities of UAS and other PHE institutions that have emerged on the occasion of the first call, in particular:

  • Take a full advantage of the diversity of European higher education
  • Consider all higher education qualification levels, while taking into account the limits of national regulations for UAS and other PHE institutions in this aspect
  • Take into account the difficulties the UAS may face regarding the requested students’ participation and engagement in the Alliances due to the shorter period of time students spend in UAS in comparison with traditional universities
  • Clarify the doubts about the sustainability of the Alliances and the realisation of the common long-term strategies beyond the funding period
  • Consider the specific profile of UAS students that could impact the desirable mobility.

Besides that, EURASHE calls on the respective national, regional and local authorities to consider providing a suitable financial and logistic support to UAS and other smaller institutions for the preparation of the Alliances’ proposals and for helping ensure their sustainability after the end of the EU funding. We also invite the competent authorities to identify and remove, within the respective national and regional regulations, existing barriers for the implementation of the European Universities initiative, in particular in relation with the mobility of students and teacher, and the completion of the European Education Area.

EURASHE organised a series events, private online consultations, information sessions for the PHE representatives on the European Universities Initiative including a practical workshop ‘European Universities Initiative and Universities of Applied Sciences (UAS): reflections for future success’ in Brussels, 29th EURASHE Annual Conference in Budapest, UAS Leadership Forum 2018 (October), EURASHE Summer cocktail 2018 and others.

Read the full Statement here.  

European Universities Initiative

EURASHE considers that the European Universities initiative will change radically the higher education system in Europe by boosting the establishment of a genuine European Education Area. The European Universities alliances will increase the mobility of students and staff, foster the quality, inclusiveness and competitiveness of our Higher Education institutions, including their research and innovation capacities. This initiative is also essential to strengthen the European identity, based on a strong commitment to the European values and principles. More information on the Initiative here.

Contact:

Ms Dovile Sandaraite
Communications and Events officer, EURASHE
Phone: +32 (0)4 986 90 140
E-mail: dovile.sandaraite@eurashe.eu

European Universities Initiative and Universities of Applied Sciences (UAS): reflections for future success

On 11 October EURASHE invited more than fifty participants, Universities of Applied Sciences (hereafter – UAS) representatives and other relevant stakeholders to discuss the opportunities and challenges for UAS in view of the second European Universities’ call. The workshop was hosted by the Lithuanian Permanent Representation to the EU.

The workshop was launched with the welcome speech by the Ambassador-at-Large Simonas Šatūnas which emphasised the importance for Lithuanian UAS to actively participate at the European Universities initiative. His welcome was followed by Vanessa Debiais-Sainton, Head of Unit in the European Commission, who strongly encouraged all participants to apply, highlighting the openness of the European Universities’ initiative to all kinds of higher education institutions and the strong political support it benefits from, beyond the current EU budget. She invited UAS to be creative and ambitious in their proposals and ensured that their specificities will be taken into account during the evaluation process. 

Elena Tegovska, Team leader in the European Commission, presented the results from the first call, which led to the selection of 17 European Universities’ alliances, with the participation of 114 universities from 24 Member States. She pointed out the main success factors, namely, the relevance and level of ambition of the Alliance’s common long-term vision, the transformational impact of the proposals, their contribution to the achievement of the European Education Area (geographical balance), the consistency between strategy and work plan activities, and high involvement of students and staff at all level. 

Thomas Feige, Edinburg Napier University coordinator for the Urban Research Education and Knowledge Alliance (U!REKA), provided valuable information and practical tips and tricks for the preparation of the proposals. He viewed that, even when the proposal is not selected, the time and resources devoted to its preparation are largely compensated by the enriching professional and personal experience for all partners involved. 

Michal Karpíšek, EURASHE Secretary General, presented EURASHE activities and role, as a facilitator for the European Universities initiative. He reiterated EURASHE support to UAS and other professional Higher Education Institutions for the constitution of new European Universities alliances.

The outcome of the workshop will be brought to the attention of the European Commission on the occasion of the forthcoming European Universities Initiative event “Building the Universities of the future”, which will be held in Brussels on 7 November 2019.

 

European Universities Initiative

EURASHE considers that the European Universities initiative will change radically the higher education system in Europe by boosting the establishment of a genuine European Education Area. The European Universities alliances will increase the mobility of students and staff, foster the quality, inclusiveness and competitiveness of our Higher Education institutions, including their research and innovation capacities. This initiative is also essential to strengthen the European identity, based on a strong commitment to the European values and principles.

 

Contact:

Ms Dovile Sandaraite
Communications and Events officer, EURASHE
Phone: +32 (0)4 986 90 140
E-mail: dovile.sandaraite@eurashe.eu

Leaders of UAS discussed “Civic and democratic values and competencies in disruptive times”

On 10 October EURASHE invited Universities of Applied Sciences (hereafter UAS) leaders to gather for the 6th UAS Leadership Forum on “Social inclusion and civic and democratic values and competences in disruptive times” in Brussels, Belgium.

The 6th UAS Leadership Forum was devoted to the specific role and challenges for UAS in the promotion of civic and democratic values and social inclusion, within and outside the universities. Special attention was paid to the institutional capacities and constraints, the specific competencies needed for the teachers and the personnel of the universities, the necessary adaptations of the curricula in the light of the Council of Europe’s Reference Framework of Competences for Democratic Culture, and the students’ participation. 

Guest speakers of the Forum were Dr. Hilligje van’t Land, Secretary General of the International Association of Universities, Sebastian Berger, Vice President of the European Students’ Union, Klaas Vansteenhuyse, Head Education and Student services of UC Leuven-Limburg, and Manûshân Nesari, Team lead of Student Services, UC Leuven-Limburg. 

Please, find photos from the event here.

 

About the UAS Leadership Forum

The UAS Leadership Forum brings together Presidents, Rectors, Vice-Rectors, General Directors of European universities and colleges, and high-level members and representatives of other institutional and non-institutional organisations. Launched two years ago, this initiative has already proved to be very successful and largely appreciated by our community. Restricted to 25-30 participants, it provides for a more informal exchange of views and ideas following the Chatham House’s rules. 

 

Contact:

Ms Dovile Sandaraite
Communications and Events officer, EURASHE
Phone: +32 (0)4 986 90 140
E-mail: dovile.sandaraite@eurashe.eu

Nijolė Zinkevičienė appointed as a new EURASHE Board member

On 10 October, General Assembly members elected Nijolė Zinkevičienė, Vice Rector for Research and Partnerships at Vilniaus kolegija /University of Applied Sciences, as a new EURASHE Board member. Mrs Zinkevičienė will replace a former Board member Alan Sherry who resigned earlier this year.

Mr Zinkevičienė has been an active member of the professional higher education sector and EURASHE activities. Within the organisation she is a member of EURASHE Research and Innovation working group and UASnet Steering Committee which is a part of EURASHE co-founded network UAS4Europe.

EURASHE Board is an executive body of the organisation and consists of the President, Vice Presidents and six Board members.

Workshop on how to enhance Work-based Learning and Entrepreneurship in Higher Education took place in Brussels 

EURASHE together with its WEXHE project partners European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education (ENQA), the University Industry Innovation Network (UIIN), and University of Groningen organised a one day workshop ‘Enhancing Work-based Learning and Entrepreneurship in Higher Education’ on 9 October in Brussels, Belgium. The goal of the workshop was to share and discuss key issues related to further development and support of work-based learning and development of entrepreneurial competences within higher education – the concept, role of various stakeholders, key principles, role of leaders, active role of students and world of work.

The first presenter Robert Wagenaar from the University of Groningen gave an overview of the WEXHE project, and how it addresses a need to develop relevant skills and competences of students in order to make them to be prepared for the labour market and society. EURASHE Secretary General Michal Karpíšek, emphasised organisation’s role in addressing policy development of work-based learning and our activities in paying a crucial role in opening flexible learning provisions within the higher education. His presentation was followed by Dr Thomas Baaken practical example from the FH Munster University of Applied Sciences on developing hands-on entrepreneurial skills of students by offering an opportunity to solve companies’ problems and, therefore, to apply academic knowledge in real professional situations.

The second part of the workshop was devoted to the small-scale discussions on the work based learning policy, quality assurance and entrepreneurship.

The event gathered around 45 participants representing higher education, businesses sectors and students.

Presentations of the event are here.

Photos of the event are here.

 

More about the project

WEXHE project responds to the concerns expressed by stakeholders on the shortcomings in the labour market orientation of HE, focussing on the balance between practical and theoretical learning in HE and to mismatches between the skills sets of graduates and the skills they require during early careers. Integrating Entrepreneurship and Work Experience into Higher Education (WEXHE), enterprises, associations and universities – all having a leading role in networks covering the relationship between the world of work and higher education,- come together to identify and analyse current provision of work experience and entrepreneurship in HE in 7 different European countries, generating 54 case studies of good practice.

About EURASHE

EURASHE  is the European Association of Institutions in Higher Education that offer professionally orientated programmes and are engaged in applied research within the Bologna cycles. We represent more than 600 universities of applied sciences and university colleges, national and sectorial associations of higher education institutions, and other individual institutions, such as universities.

Contact:

Mrs Dovile Sandaraite

E-mail: dovile.sandaraite@eurashe.eu

Communications and Events officer, EURASHE

Two new members join EURASHE

This month EURASHE welcomes two new member organisations St. Pölten University of Applied Sciences from Austria and the European Leadership University (ELU) from the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.

With more than 3,200 students, the St. Pölten University of Applied Sciences is a key player in the Austrian higher education sector and one of the most important employers in the region. The university distinguishes itself through its future-oriented and steadily growing number of study programmes, a strong interdisciplinary collaboration and its research focus. 

European Leadership University (ELU) is a fully accredited and recognised New Generation University which aims to bridge the skills gap in the tech field through a unique educational model that helps young professionals to get the most wanted, job-ready skills through professional degree programmes. 

Currently, EURASHE has 64 members which represent more than 650 higher education institutions around the world.

EURASHE Peer Learning Activity on Short Cycle Higher Education took place in Porto

September, 2019 Porto, Portugal – EURASHE together with its member Council of Portuguese Polytechnics, the Polytechnic Institute of Porto, and the Portugal Ministry of Higher Education and Science invited  professional higher education practitioners, world or work representatives as well as students to participate at the Peer learning activity on short-cycle higher education (SCHE) on 19-20 September in Porto, Portugal.

The two-day event was opened by the speech of Secretary of State of Science, Technology and Higher Education of Portugal João Sobrinho Teixeira who emphasised the importance of short-cycle education and its relevance to the people. The speech was followed by the presentation of EURASHE Secretary General Michal Karpíšek and an overview of this type of education in Portugal and in Europe presented by João Queiroz, the Director-General for Higher Education in Portugal and Jean-Philippe Restoueix, the expert of Council of Europe.

The second day of the event provided with an in-depth knowledge of the role of short-cycle higher education from the institutional and businesses point of view in Portugal. The presentations were followed by the experience of the Student of Instituto Politécnico de Setúbal  João Pinto who is a part of the Deloitte programme ‘Bright Start’ which gives to students a real opportunity to get practical knowledge within the country during the period of studies.

The last part of the event included response and reflections of international experts as well as group discussions which allowed the event’s participants to have an interactive discussion on the focus and profile of SCHE, quality assurance and institutional experience and methods of learning.

The event gathered around 60 participants from Portugal and around Europe.

 

About the EURASHE Peer Learning Activity event

The first Reversed Peer Learning activity took place in 2018 in Warsaw, Poland and discussed Learning & Teaching in Professional Higher Education as well as related issues such as future challenges of the labour market, digitalisation and digital transformation of PHE institutions and other.

Please read the report from the event in Warsaw here.

 

About EURASHE

EURASHE  is the European Association of Institutions in Higher Education that offers professionally orientated programmes and is engaged in applied research within the Bologna cycles. We represent more than 600 universities of applied sciences and university colleges, national and sectorial associations of higher education institutions, and other individual institutions, such as universities.

 

Contact:

Mrs Dovile Sandaraite

E-mail: dovile.sandaraite@eurashe.eu

Communications and Events officer, EURASHE

Practitioners and leaders from Professional Higher Education institutions met to discuss quality culture and role of leadership

September, 2019 The Hague – Quality Assurance practitioners as well as leaders from Professional Higher Education institutions gathered together for the second EURASHE Quality Assurance Community of Practice event, which took place on 12 September in The Hague, The Netherlands.

The event, organised together with EURASHE member Hotelschool The Hague, focused on the development of high-quality culture, the role of leaders and people engagement. Mr Joep C. de Jong, founder of training and consultancy company JLS International BV (JLS), opened the day with the keynote speech “How do we engage everybody to be a quality leader? A matter of storytelling!”, emphasizing that all the aspects of the value chain should be taken into account when undergoing institutional change – data, information, knowledge, experience, wisdom, wholeness. His presentation was followed by the second keynote speaker EURASHE QA expert Mr Lucien Bollaert who shared his vision and reflections on the themes of quality assurance, new leadership and quality culture.

Both keynote speeches facilitated to set the context for the workshop sessions, which also drew input from the case study presented by Hotelschool The Hague. Participants had the opportunity to discuss and exchange ideas and experiences with relations to the proposed themes of “People and Culture” (what is the role of leadership in achieving a quality culture? How to steer high-quality performance of individuals and teams? What are the characteristics of a quality educator?) and “Processes and Tools needed for Quality Culture”.

The event gathered around 30 participants from the Netherlands and around the Europe.

About the EURASHE Community of Practice event

The EURASHE Community of Practice was launched in 2018 as a platform for quality management practitioners and leaders from (professional) higher education institutions with an objective to provide opportunity for mutual learning, exchange of views and experience regarding the driving principles, various approaches to quality assurance and building quality culture, as well as very concrete tools and instruments related to quality of various aspects of professional higher education.

About EURASHE

EURASHE  is the European Association of Institutions in Higher Education that offer professionally orientated programmes and are engaged in applied research within the Bologna cycles. We represent more than 600 universities of applied sciences and university colleges, national and sectorial associations of higher education institutions, and other individual institutions, such as universities.

Contact:

Mrs Dovile Sandaraite

E-mail: dovile.sandaraite@eurashe.eu

Communications and Events officer, EURASHE

 

International Business College Mitrovica joins EURASHE

International Business College Mitrovica (IBC-M) from Kosovo became an affiliate member of EURASHE.

IBC-M’s aim is to build students into professionals with the skills to make a difference in their workplace and communities. The college focuses on the quality of education, its application to practice, and the integration of international best practice in all areas.

IBC-M developed three high-quality English-language academic programmes in partnership with higher education institutions in Denmark: Lillebaelt Academy of Professional Higher EducationTietgen Business College, and University College Lillebaelt. 

Currently, EURASHE has 63 members which represent more than 650 higher education institutions around the world.

Open positions at EURASHE Board and Committee for Strategic Advice

EURASHE announces a call to complete the rest of the mandate of resigned Board member Alan Sherry and seeks nominations of experts for its Committee for Strategic Advice (CSA).

  • Board member

EURASHE full members are invited to nominate candidate for the election of a Board member. Candidate is requested to submit the following documents: 

  • A vision statement on the strategy for EURASHE in the coming 2 years;
  • A motivation letter indicating the willingness to accept the nomination and to assume the office;
  • A CV with a photo;
  • A letter of endorsement signed by the full member’s legal representative.

The Board member is expected to act as described within EURASHE Statutes, represent EURASHE and contribute to the policy agenda as well within the Working groups. Therefore, to follow one or more topics within the EURASHE strategy (Mission and Role of PHE; Relevant & Flexible Teaching & Learning; Strengthening Regional Engagement; Engagement in Applied Research & Innovation; Promoting PHE Quality) which should be indicated within the motivation letter.

  • Committee for Strategic Advice experts and representatives

The role of the CSA is to enhance and deepen EURASHE’s interaction and communication with stakeholders, map and understand external challenges and opportunities and build a more solid basis for EURASHE long-term strategies and priorities, as well as to contribute to relevant European policies.

The CSA is composed of representatives of stakeholders from the world of work, other stakeholders of professional higher education and EURASHE members.

EURASHE invites its members, as well as other stakeholders to nominate candidates. The current CSA members are invited to consider their further engagement, as well.

The candidates or nominated experts are invited to submit:

  • A curriculum vitae of the concerned person
  • Identification of the proposed position within the CSA (see the various stakeholders’ profiles)
  • A brief note reflecting possible contribution and motivation for joining the CSA.

The deadline to send applications for positions opened in both of the EURASHE structures: 30 September 2019.

More information about the positions, application criteria and procedures of the elections of the Board member is here, experts for Committee for Strategic Advice here.

Professional Higher Education Institutions seek for stronger interaction with businesses in Europe

June, 2019 Brussels – The Professional Higher Education (PHE) institutions have a sound track record of successful interaction with businesses, which is particularly relevant and impactful at the regional level. On one side, it helps to fight youth unemployment, on the other, it reinvigorates the innovation ecosystems in EU’s cities and regions and boosts economic growth by bringing the results of applied research to the market in the form of new products and services. On the 13th of June EURASHE organised a Workshop which gathered higher education and businesses communities to discuss how to optimise the interaction between PHEIs and businesses (industry and SMEs), in terms of research and innovation activities and learning provisions, including work-based learning and up-skilling, in a way that both parties are mutually taking full advantage of the existing and forthcoming  EU funding opportunities.

EURASHE Workshop “Professional Higher Education institutions and businesses: stronger interaction for greater impact in Europe” marks the end of the series of events on the Future of education which took place in the last quarter of this year. Stephane Lauwick, President of EURASHE in his welcome speech shared with participants the findings from the 29th Annual Conference which took the last month in Budapest. The conclusions of the two days Conference suggest that the Professional Higher Education institutions blur the frontiers between education and research and develop holistic approaches, interacting with a large spectrum of institutions and private stakeholders. By doing so, they become not only more efficient at teaching and fostering innovation, but also allowing the future young professionals to better understand the world around them. This is particularly relevant considering the rapidly-changing labour markets whereby new jobs demanding new skills appear every month.

Businesses seek better conditions for creating more jobs

The introduction was followed by the keynote speeches of representatives from the European Commission and businesses. Mrs Victoria Petrova presented European Commission’s ongoing economic policies in relation to future skills development and employment, she also addressed a need to create suitable legal and economic conditions which would help businesses to generate new job opportunities in Europe. The presentation was followed by the voices of the private sector – Altran and AquaFilSlo which introduced their businesses models, current interactions and future expectations from the professional higher education institutions. Brussels based association Feani provided the views and challenges of the engineering sector.

More openness for better PHEIs and businesses collaboration

As a natural follow up of sectors’ expectations from each other, EURASHE announced its willingness to open its structures-the Committee for a Strategic Advice and Working groups – to businesses and its representatives. From now on all the private sector representatives can apply to attend EURASHE meetings and, therefore, receive the most updated findings in the field of Lifelong learning, Quality assurance, Research and Innovation.

Being a part of the Committee for a Strategic Advice businesses’ representatives will give an opportunity to contribute to the development of EURASHE structures, set and improve organisational priorities and activities.

The event was followed by the annual EURASHE Summer networking cocktail hosted by Erasmushogeschool Brussels.

Please find photos of the Workshop.

Presentation of the European Commission’s representative is here.

About EURASHE

EURASHE  is the European Association of Institutions in Higher Education that offer professionally orientated programmes and are engaged in applied research within the Bologna cycles. We represent more than 600 universities of applied sciences and university colleges, national and sectorial associations of higher education institutions, and other individual institutions, such as universities.

Contact:

Mrs Dovile Sandaraite

E-mail: dovile.sandaraite@eurashe.eu

Communications and Events officer, EURASHE

EURASHE RDI Working group met to discuss the role of PHE institutions in Smart Specialisation and the strategic planning of Horizon Europe

EURASHE Working Group on Research, Development and Innovation hold a last meeting before the summer break on 14 of June 2019. For the first time, it was attended also by representatives of the industry and SMEs, following the decision of the Board to open EURASHE’s working groups to the businesses and its representatives.

Mrs Eskarne Arregui-Pabollet (Joint Research Centre, European Commission) discussed with the group members the role of the Professional Higher Education institutions in the design and implementation of Smart Specialisation strategies and new opportunities in developing skills and enhancing growth and competitiveness at regional level under the next the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) 2021-2027.

The presentation was followed by the group discussion on its contribution to the strategic planning process for Horizon Europe, the next European framework programme for Research and Innovation. Furthermore, it has been decided to create a virtual platform for exchange of information related to research, innovation and regional development which will also include information about research groups, experts and peer-reviewers and encourage more efficient exchange of information about the sector’s developments.

 

Contact:

Mr Iskren Kirilov
E-mail: iskren.kirilov@eurashe.eu
Policy Advisor, EURASHE

Stéphane Lauwick and Ulf-Daniel Ehlers re-elected as President and Vice-President of EURASHE

EURASHE’s General Assembly re-elected Mr Stéphane Lauwick and Mr Ulf-Daniel Ehlers as President and Vice-President for a mandate of 2 years, on the eve of the 29th Annual Conference held in Budapest, Hungary.

Mr Stéphane Lauwick

Stéphane Lauwick joined the University of Le Havre (France) in 1993 as a professeur agrégé. After heading the Electrical Engineering Department of the University Institute of Technology (IUT) of that university, he is now the director of the Institute, an institution that enrolls some 2500 students and delivers 26 awards. He has been member of the EURASHE Board since 2012.

Mr Ulf-Daniel Ehlers

Prof. Dr. phil.habil. Ulf-Daniel Ehlers is the Vice-President of the Baden-Württemberg Cooperative State University (DHBW) in Stuttgart (Germany) and responsible for Quality and Academic Affairs in the Board of the university. He has been appointed Professor for Educational Management and Lifelong Learning at the same university. In 2016 he has been elected to the Board of EURASHE and subsequently appointed Vice-President of EURASHE. 

Two new members join EURASHE

This month EURASHE welcomes two new member organisations University for Digital Technologies in Medicine and Dentistry (DTMD) from Luxembourg and University POLITEHNICA of Bucharest from Romania.

The DTMD University is an international network of university institutes, academic teaching practices, professors and medical specialists renowned throughout Europe as well as international professional associations. As a private university under Luxembourg law, it is operated and coordinated by a private Luxembourg body (www.dtmd.eu). The aim of DTMD is to offer postgraduate continuing education master courses in medicine and dentistry as well as special education and continuing education certificates for dental technicians. In addition, the DTMD University is intensively involved in the further training of nursing staff for mobile and stationary care.

The University POLITEHNICA of Bucharest is the oldest and most prestigious engineering school in Romania, with a tradition of 200 years made possible by the efforts of some of the greatest Romanian professors, its specificity relies in creating knowledge through research and technological innovation, as well as through its implementation by means of education and professional training at a European level. UPB research activities are amongst the top priorities of the university with two of the newest and most important research hubs in the region – The Research Center for Advanced Materials, Products, and Processes – CAMPUS and the Research Center for Intelligent Products, Processes and Services – PRECIS.

 

Currently, EURASHE has 63 members which represent more than 650 higher education institutions around the world.

Speech by Stéphane Lauwick, President of EURASHE at the Annual Conference addressing the Future of Education and Civic and democratic values

Sincere welcome from EURASHE:

Thanks to our hosts the Hungarian Rectors conference

EURASHE is
More than 600 members, universities of applied sciences and university colleges
individual HEIs and rector conferences. It represents Applied science, Research and
Education within the EHEA, Bologna Process

Vision

EURASHE strives to support the development and transformation of European
society through professional higher education.

Mission

EURASHE’s mission is to strengthen the impact of innovative, high quality
professional higher education and related user-oriented research in Europe by
representing professional higher education institutions and facilitating their multistakeholder
cooperation and dialogue.

New learning

The new world 4.0 is upon us. Modern technology has started to upend the world as
we know it. We are seeing the consequences. Many citizens in Europe and elsewhere
are afraid: they see large quantities of the lesser qualified job positions being lost to
the 4.0 revolution. At the same time so many come to us for help from countries
beyond our borders
Academic like us are stunned by the end of truth, by the events in America or closer
to our shores in Britain…

Everyday in our classrooms and lecture theatres, we realise that our students are
different. They do not learn like we would expect them to, they surprise us by a
mixture of self-assuredness and inability to come to terms with the realities of
modern competition. We find it difficult to relate to their attitude to learning.

In fact, this world, our New World, needs new education systems. Systems that
enable every European citizen to find their way, invent their own learning pathways,
define their own goals, in short, construct their own personal excellence. Clearly this
is not happening now, or it is not happening fast enough. Our structures are too
rigid, we think in silos; the skills mismatch is still the same as it was 20 years ago…
In fact, at EURASHE we strongly believe Professional Higher Education can, must and
will redress inequalities and contribute to the creation of opportunities for people of
all ages, social and economic groups. Our future is clear: We engage our members
to be agents of change, agents of opportunities, just like we must train our students
to become agents of change, agents of opportunities.
We need more support — however, at EURASHE we engage our members in thinking
the onus is on us. If we want our students to reach their own excellence, it’s up to
us.

Civic and democratic values

Indeed, at EURASHE, we know that our mission is not just to equip learners with
knowledge, understanding and skills, or even competences for the labour market; our
mission is about transforming the learner into a citizen ready and eager to participate
actively in society. Our vision is that the role of UAS here in Europe is to effect a
transformation of society.
We assert that better Education, more Education is the only way to promote the values
we all share in this room: democratic participation, the promotion of human rights,
the rule of law. This is the reason why we chose to be associated with the promotion
of the election for the EP this Spring.
We claim that our brand of HE, more than any other, finds its roots in the promotion
of diversity. Diversity of cultures, diversity of origins, diversity of pathways and, also,
diversity of abilities.
There you are: Transformation, Participation and Diversity are three key words for our
future, 3 words EURASHE is passionate about.

HE is about research.

We believe for example that including initiation to research and

educating the inquisitive mind of students from day One of their learning progress will
promote self-questioning, the realisation that we all depend on each other.
You see, UAS define their training and research endeavours within their regional
ecosystems. They use their autonomy to be creative, involve their stakeholders, to
respond to the varied demands of all operators. This is how institutions become not
only more efficient at training students and fostering innovation but also at allowing
its students to better understand the world around them, And promoting dialogue with
various operators and institutions means understanding different realities, different
men and women.
The projects led by our students and staff may sometimes be small, yet by including
a constellation of diverse stakeholders, large and small, a wide range of stakeholders
involved at state, regional and local levels, they enable learning and develop the social
skills that are essential to our students. Mostly we need to be promoters and agents
of social cohesion.
At EURASHE we have witnessed, and indeed analysed, that frontiers are getting
blurred. World class research can address regional issues; a master programme,
dare I say a Professional Doctoral programme in a UAS can also address
fundamental issues and produce women and men able to become world-class
leaders. How you can reconcile small and large, local and regional: How you blur the
frontiers between education and research, and within research how you integrate the
regional and the fundamental: ultimately, how you develop a holistic approach to
issues, how you equip every student with tools to comprehend and build a better
world, this quest is the future of HE. This is the very reason why I am happy today
of being the guest of the Hungarian Rectors conference, a conference that breaks
barriers in gathering both academic universities and the applied sciences.

New skills

The key question remains: our jobs are changing in ways no-one can anticipate. Crises
and (r)evolutions happen without teachers, trainers or researchers being able to
prepare our students. Any business owner will tell you he or she doesn’t know what
skills and competences they will need in 3 to 5 years’ time. Yet it takes exactly 3 to 5
years to train a young professional.
Employers have increasingly been demanding transferable skills of our students, the
ability to work in a team, creative thinking and problem solving; they’ve also asked
HEI to provide new skills to retrain their staff. UAS have been reasonably good at
providing these; yet the pace of change is increasing: new jobs demanding new skills
appear every month.
This conference rests on the belief that we can hope to comprehend the framework
for the future of education in our next 10 years at least by reflecting on the following
questions: How can you anticipate what you don’t know? how can you expect the
unexpected? Mostly: how can you steer your life, be it personal or professional, in
times of uncertainty and yet find the relevant answers for you and society?
This conference dares to suggest that Relevance in times of Uncertainty are the bywords
that will guide us in the coming decade. In the coming two days, I am sure you
will find a wealth of ideas, best practices to bring back home to your own institutions
and practices.
Thank you.

Stéphane Lauwick,

President of EURASHE, 16 May 2019

EURASHE Afternoon Debate at the European Parliament: Higher education institutions are the agents of change and opportunities 

April, 2019 Brussels – Higher education institutions face a wide range of challenges and opportunities, most significant associated with shifting perspectives of knowledge itself and the changing role and responsibility of the universities in the society. At the same time a series of worrying phenomena like anti-refugees movements, increasing power of far-right parties, widely spread fake news remind the importance of education in preparing citizens of the future. On the 29th of April EURASHE gathered together higher education community at the Afternoon Debate “Higher Education in Europe: Play to Win” to discuss these emerging issues and search for the possible answers of what should be a future role of higher education in Europe.

The Debate, which was organized in collaboration with European Parliament Campaign #ThisTimeImVoting addressed a diverse role of Higher education. The first keynote speaker, Stephane Lauwick, President of EURASHE reminded that higher education plays an essential role in the promotion of the core values of the European Union such as democratic participation, the promotion of human rights, the rule of law. He said: ’We know that our higher education mission is not just to equip learners with knowledge, understanding and skills, or even competences for the labour market; our mission is about transforming the learner into a citizen ready and eager to participate actively in society. We claim that our brand of Higher education, more than any other, finds its roots in the promotion of diversity and being the agents of change.

New learning

The new world 4.0 is upon us. Modern technology has started to upend the world as we know it. Many citizens in Europe and elsewhere are afraid: they see large quantities of the lesser qualified job positions being lost to the 4.0 revolution. We need a higher education strategy that creates democratic and inclusive society and embraces technology at the same time, according to Prof. Dr. Ulf-Daniel Ehlers, Professor, Duale Hochschule Baden-Württemberg, Karlsruhe.

‘Future learners need to choose a mission, not a major. In today’s society knowledge itself does not lead to indisciplinary problem solving but requires a good set of competences and flexibility to apply it’, – he added.

How to organise higher education better?

The keynote speeches were followed by a debate on the future of higher education in Europe moderated by Higher education expert Mr Peter van der Hijden. The discussion invited students’, businesses’ and higher education institutions’ representatives to elaborate on what are the skills needed in future and how to organise higher education better.

The panel participants agreed that higher education institutions play a crucial role in helping students to combine theoretical knowledge with practical experience and the future skills should be the ones which help us to transfer from one job to another.

Please find the photos of the Debate.

Presentations of the event are here and here

Event report here

About EURASHE

EURASHE  is the European Association of Institutions in Higher Education that offer professionally orientated programmes and are engaged in applied research within the Bologna cycles. We represent more than 600 universities of applied sciences and university colleges, national and sectorial associations of higher education institutions, and other individual institutions, such as universities.

Contact:

Mrs Dovile Sandaraite

E-mail: dovile.sandaraite@eurashe.eu

Communications and Events officer, EURASHE

UAS4Europe Conference 2019: what are the future scenarios for applied research in Europe?

Brussels – What are the opportunities offered by current and future European research and innovation programmes for universities of applied sciences (UAS) in Europe? How can they successfully participate? More than 170 participants from 20 European countries came to Brussels on April 2, 2019 for the conference “Beyond Horizons. The Future of Applied Research in Europe” to receive answers to these questions and search opportunities for new partnerships. The conference was organised by EURASHE co-founded European network of universities of applied sciences UAS4Europe, in cooperation with the Bavarian Research Alliance (BayFOR).

Universities of applied sciences (UAS) work in close collaboration with industry and SMEs and making a valuable contribution to job creation and economic growth, especially at regional level. However, there is still a lot of to do when it comes to catching up to do when it comes to benefit from EU research and innovation funds.

The second UAS4Europe Conference in Brussels focused on current and future EU funding opportunities. It was also an occasion to set up new collaborations and exchange good practices on research and innovation activities.

Jean-David Malo, Director of DG RTD on `Open Innovation and Open Science’, highlighted the importance of UAS as the drivers of innovations. He said: ‘Now, more than ever it’s the time to UAS to play an important role in turning European research into impact through the EU programmes’.

UAS representatives and scientists had the opportunity to present their work and concrete project ideas in person. “Blind Brain Dates” was an occasion to create new working contacts and identify potential research topics of common interest. The presentations of posters from all around Europe and exchange of best practices were highly appreciated by the participants.

Challenges and opportunities for UAS

The afternoon session was followed by a debate on the future of applied science in Europe. Mr Bernd Sibler, Bavaria’s State Minister of Science and the Arts, representatives of the European Commission (DG RTD and DG REGIO), members of the European Parliament and representatives of UAS4EUROPE, Stéphane Lauwick, President of EURASHE and Luciana Vaccaro, the Board Member of Innosuisse discussed concrete measures to create better framework conditions for participation of UAS in future EU funding programmes and addressed the importance of the future skills.

‘Technological and digital development as well as the changing nature of the very essential of what is learning and studying lead to the need of different types of skills, and UAS are very well placed to respond to this need’- highlighted Stéphane Lauwick, President of EURASHE.

This was the second biannual Conference organised by UAS4EUROPE since its creation in 2016.

About UAS4EUROPE

UAS4EUROPE is a joint initiative of EURASHE, UASnet, swissuniversities, Hochschule Bayern e.V. and the Austrian FHK and is committed to a strong position and increased visibility of UAS in the European research landscape. For more information on UAS4EUROPE’s activities, please visit our website: www.uas4europe.eu. Please direct inquiries to:  

UAS4Europe
E-mail: info@uas4europe.eu

Contact:

Ms Dovile Sandaraite

Communications and Events officer, EURASHE

Phone: +32 (0)4 986 90 140
E-mail: dovile.sandaraite@eurashe.eu

Egas Moniz Higher Education School joins EURASHE as a Full Member

EURASHE members’ community is getting bigger – Egas Moniz Higher Education School from Caparica, Portugal became 63rd member of the organisation.

Egas Moniz, CRL is a reference in Health education in Portugal. The two institutions of the School, IUEM and ESSEM, currently have about 2 500 students and over 400 faculty members and can offer undergraduate, master’s and PhD degrees and other postgraduate courses in the health area. The mission of the institution: “dedicated to the advancement of knowledge, learning and education of students, at the service of the health improvement of global society in the 21st century”.

Currently, EURASHE has 63 members which represent more than 650 higher education institutions around the world. Last year EURASHE joined three new members from Germany, Kosovo and the Netherlands.

New EURASHE Member-HU University of Applied Sciences Utrecht

At its Board meeting on the 20th of February, EURASHE welcomes a new member organisation HU University of Applied Sciences Utrecht.

HU University of Applied Sciences Utrecht provides education for students and professionals aged 17-67. Currently, around 35,000 students, spread over 22 locations in Utrecht and Amersfoort, attend the programmes and courses. HU works in close cooperation with companies, institutions, educational partners and local and regional governments.

“We are glad to welcome our new full member from the Netherlands, and we are looking forward to implementing different activities together in the field of higher education and applied research’, – says Michal Karpíšek, Secretary General of EURASHE.

Currently, EURASHE has 62 members which represent more than 650 higher education institutions around the world. Last year EURASHE joined three new members from Germany, Kosovo and the Netherlands.

EURASHE invites members to contribute to UAS4EUROPE Conference 2019

EURASHE invites its members to submit contributions for the UAS4EUROPE ConferenceBeyond Horizons. The future of applied research in Europe”, which will take place on 2 April 2019 in Brussels, hosted by the Representation of the Free State of Bavaria to the European Union.

This year’s UAS4EUROPE Conference will be a privileged occasion to discuss the role that Universities of Applied Sciences (UAS) have and should have in Europe and what we have to expect in the near future in the field of applied research.

As a founding member of UAS4EUROPE, EURASHE encourages you to contribute to the programme, by submitting two types of proposals:

  1. Best Practices presentations: Brilliance and Brilliant Failures. Read how to apply here. Deadline: 12 March, 2019
  2. Poster-presentations. Read how to apply here. Deadline: 15 March, 2019

 You can find the preliminary programme as well as additional information and guidelines on how to draft your presentation here.

The selection of the presentations will be done by the UAS4EUROPE Organisation Committee. The authors of the selected contributions will receive an email no later than Friday 18 March.

If you are interested in taking part in the Conference, please register here.

If you have any questions contact us at dovile.sandaraite@eurashe.eu

About UAS4EUROPE

UAS4EUROPE is a networking platform founded by EURASHE in collaboration with UASnet, Swissuniversities, Hochschule Bayern e.V, and the Austrian Fachhochschul-Konferenz (FHK) to promote the voice of the Universities of Applied Sciences (UAS) in Europe for applied research and innovation. UAS4EUROPE has a representative role to reach out to the European institutions and European stakeholder organizations.

EURASHE invites its members to nominate candidates for the upcoming Board Election

EURASHE invites its full members to nominate the candidates for the election of two new Board members. The election will take place during the upcoming General Assembly on the 15th  May 2019 in Budapest, Hungary, one day before the 29th Annual Conference.

The newly elected members will take over Stéphane Lauwick and Ulf-Daniel Ehlers’ positions for a mandate of 2 years.

The nominated candidates shall submit the following documents:

  1. A vision statement on the strategy for EURASHE in the coming 2 years;
  2. A motivation letter indicating the willingness to accept the nomination and to assume the office;
  3. A CV with a photo;
  4. A letter of endorsement signed by the full member’s legal representative.

The Board member is expected to represent EURASHE within the given mandate and actively contribute to the policy agenda as well within the Working groups. Therefore, indication of preference to follow one or more topics within the EURASHE strategy might be indicated within the motivation letter.

Immediately after the election of the new Board members, the full Board will convene and seek the candidacy within its members for the positions of President and  Vice-President. The General Assembly will then elect, from the candidates, the President and the Vice-President of EURASHE, for a 2-year mandate.

Applications should be submitted by Tuesday 23 April 2019 to Michal Karpíšek, Secretary General, at michal.karpisek@eurashe.eu.

 

EURASHE invites to the Reversed Peer Learning Activity on Learning & Teaching in Warsaw

EURASHE together with the Conference of Rectors of State Schools of Higher Vocational Education in Poland (KRePUZ) are inviting to the Reversed Peer Learning Activity: Learning & Teaching in Professional Higher Education (PHE) which will take place on the 8th of March in Warsaw, Poland.

The event will reflect the Polish national policy debate on learning and teaching agenda within professional higher education with emphasis on the following issues:

  • Future challenges of the labour market
  • Digitalisation and digital transformation of PHE institutions
  • Integration of academic and profession-oriented elements into programmes of PHE, learning outcomes and transversal skills and competences
  • Learning methodology supporting professional character, work-based learning elements and links between students’ learning and research activities

The event will also provide a space for a mutual sharing of views within the small groups on the aforementioned topics.

The event is free of charge. 

Background paper.

Event programme.  

Presentions.

Event report. 

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

A reversed peer-learning approach allows EURASHE to support its members’ discussions on role and various aspects of mission of PHE, on Bologna process and their reflection in national policies. It builds upon a national report with key issues and concerns. The concept is based on a national background document indicating key issues within the specific area selected by the hosting organisation (most likely the national association of institutes of professional higher education), their reflection from the view of international experts and workshop discussions among the local and international participants.

Expected scope of the event is about 30 participants bringing together representatives of professional higher education from the country and abroad.

EURASHE President Stéphane Lauwick: UAS Should Strongly Promote Their Own Way Of Serving Their Communities

On 29 January, the University of Bragança in Portugal with the support of EURASHE member Portuguese Polytechnics Coordinating Council held a Symposium on “Internationalisation and Competitiveness of the Polytechnic Higher Education System” which gathered national participants to discuss the policies of internationalisation and competitiveness of the Polytechnic Higher Education system at the teaching, research and international strategic levels.

EURASHE President, Stéphane Lauwick took part in the roundtable debate and addressed the challenges and opportunities that Universities of applied sciences (UAS) face in their role in the regions.

He said: EURASHE has given a lot of thought to globalisation and to the issues of Learning&Teaching and Research 4.0 in the past years. Our members’ experience shows that in order to be relevant today and be able to compete in an international environment, UAS have first of all to know their strengths very well and not compete with excellent universities, and instead promote their own way of serving their communities. He added: ‘The more we reflect on how to address the challenges of the time, the more we realize we have to put the Human at the centre of our endeavours. And that means concentrating on the relationships, the links between UAS and their stakeholders. It also means to be agile in responding to their fast changing environments: including students in research activities from the Day One, linking their Learning to their Research, finally, switching from a purely disciplinary approach to a competence-based approach when designing courses.

Mr Lauwick also stressed the importance of being inventive and creating knowledge transfer centres, finding alliances with other actors in the production and the use of knowledge.

The Symposium took part in the context of important events regarding UAS in Portugal: in 2019 Portuguese Polytechnics celebrate 40 years of existence. Also, recently enacted national legislation recognized the capacity of Polytechnics to award students with PhD degree as recommended by the OECD report ‘Review of the Tertiary Education, Research and Innovation System in Portugal’.

Portuguese Polytechnics Coordinating Council has been a EURASHE member since 2005.

#EURASHE29: Call for contributions extended until 22 February

The Call for contributions for the upcoming 29th EURASHEAnnual Conference ‘Future Students. Future Universities. Future Jobs. Professional Higher Education in the changing world.’ has been extended until the 22nd of February 2019, 12.00 pm (noon) CET Brussels-time.
 
EURASHE invites the entire community of professional higher education, European businesses, public institutions and European students’ representatives to attend the event and share their experience on the key topics of the Conference:
  • Future Students
  • Future Universities
  • Future World of Work
The Conference will take place in Budapest (Hungary) on 16-17 May 2019 and will be hosted by the Hungarian Rectors’ Conference (MRK) with the support of the Ministry of Human Capacities and the Ministry for Innovation and Technology of Hungary.
 
Contributions should be submitted exclusively online.
 
Have a look at the moments of our last Annual Conference in Tallinn here.
 
 

New project and survey on equity, diversity and inclusion. Deadline: 15 February

EURASHE partners the European University Association (EUA) and the European Universities’ Continuing Education Network (EUCEN), supported by the European Students’ Union (ESU), are launching a new project on “Strategies towards Equity, Diversity and Inclusion at Universities” (INVITED). The first milestone is an online survey to higher education institutions open until 15 February 2019.

EURASHE members can access the survey here.

Background

As our societies change and become more diverse, universities are asked to be more open and inclusive. In Europe, increased migration has contributed to more cultural diversity – and more awareness on the topic. Social diversity and inequality are hotly debated in the wake of the economic crisis, ongoing globalisation and accelerated labour market changes. At the same time, gender equality continues to be an issue in several areas. Also, universities need to find ways to enable participation of people from various backgrounds, including those that are traditionally less represented in higher education. Politically the topic is gaining importance with ministers reiterating their commitment at the 2018 Bologna Ministerial Conference in Paris to strengthen the social dimension of higher education and further national strategies.

The project

Against the backdrop of these developments, the INVITED project aims at supporting universities in developing and implementing institutional level strategies towards equity, diversity and inclusion. Furthermore, it seeks to facilitate a dialogue between relevant stakeholders at system level with a view to ensuring appropriate regulatory and funding frameworks that enable universities to fulfil their social responsibility.

How to get involved

In the next couple of years, there will be a number of opportunities for university leaders, managers and practitioners to become involved in project activities such as the survey and follow-up interviews, European level peer learning seminars and system level policy dialogue events. The project outcomes should inspire them in their own work at institutional level and provide input at policy level to the Bologna Ministerial Conference in Rome in 2020.

Further information on the project is available via its webpage.

The survey to higher education institutions is open for responses until 15 February 2019. A pdf version for a better overview is available. Responses can only be submitted using the online form.

Apprenticeships: a smart way to implement Knowledge Management

The 2015 version of ISO 9001 Quality management systems (ISO, 2015) brought into the table a new clause with requirements regarding Knowledge Management, as this is nowadays considered a cornerstone of an organization’s ability to meet customer requirements and continuously improve customer satisfaction, thus assuring business sustainability in the long term. These knowledge management requirements are also shared by other ISO management system standards, including the recently published ISO 21001 Educational organizations management system (ISO, 2018), where the new requirements make even more sense – after all it’s the educational institutions that are expected, by the society at large, to be on the base of the timely development of relevant knowledge (through research) and of its transfer into the market (through their study programmes).

However, in a fast-pacing changing world, most companies struggle to keep their organizational knowledge updated, as that requires subjecting their staff to continuous life-long-learning without jeopardizing their efficiency. The right balance between keeping the staff on their work places and sending them to train is not easy to achieve and is particularly challenging for SMEs, considering their short workforce and the accumulation of jobs and expertise per employee. Furthermore, and on the other side of the equation, lie the educational institutions, who also struggle to keep up with the (constantly changing) market needs in terms of the skills their students are expected to master when entering the world of work.

But what if there was a way to overcome all these challenges, by allowing the continuous development of a company’s staff without having to apart them from their jobs and while assuring educational institutions updated information regarding market needs? There is: Apprenticeships.  And it’s a win-win game for everyone involved – business market, educational institutions, students and, consequently, the society at large,

So, how does it work?

By creating well-planned placements for apprentices, an SME can address internal skills’ gaps, assure the continuous development of their staff and prepare sustainably for the future. Apprentices bring fresh knowledge regarding the latest technical and scientific developments and, while being mentored to solve real problems in a real company, they put this knowledge into practice and transfer it to the staff. This results in better products and services, improved brand image and increased profits – and therefore, also in increased competitiveness and long-term sustainability for the organization.

By partnering with SMEs and offering work-based learning programmes, educational institutions create a direct communication channel with the business market which will allow a continuous flow of relevant and timely information regarding skills needs, which can be used to feed their research priorities and curricula development.

Apprenticeships are, therefore, one of the smartest ways of implementing effective and efficient organizational knowledge management – both for companies providing apprenticeship placements and for the education institutions providing the apprentices. And with the added bonus of resulting in less skills mismatch and less out-of-school unemployment in our societies.

So, what are you waiting for? Find out more about apprenticeships at www.learntowork.eu and get your company smarter today!

Boosting your company with Apprenticeships

Numerous studies by various European organizations highlight that small business are unable to find the employees they need to fill open positions, limiting opportunities for growth while raising costs. At the same time, Europe as a whole still suffers from relatively high unemployment – a phenomenon known as the skills gap. This means that the skills which the population currently hold, are not necessarily the skills employers need.

Solving this problem requires an approach made up of three pillars. First, educational institutions need to offer courses which teach the skills needed by the labour market. Second, areas where such skill-gaps exist need to be made attractive, so that students actually want to study and follow these subjects, and finally employers need to do their part to help students better prepare for the labour market.

For small and medium enterprises, one of the easiest way to contribute to lessening this skills gap is by offering apprenticeships, whereby they agree to host students for short periods of training within their company, giving students the chance to learn much-needed practical skills. While apprenticeships are clearly of value to students, they are also extremely valuable to your company. Research shows that apprenticeships boost profitability, boost employability and boost company image.

Profitability is boosted because apprentices add to your labour force, allowing your company to increase output, but also because they bring with them new techniques, skills and ideas which can allow you to improve quality.

Employability is boosted because apprenticeships improve your recruitment. Rather than issue a job call, and assess candidates based on CVs of dubious utility, apprenticeships give you the opportunity to test out graduates’ skills at the workplace and see whether they are a good fit for your company culture. Studies show that employees who join companies after apprenticeships remain longer with the company, get promoted faster and tend to be more efficient than people recruited through other means.

Finally, apprenticeships boost your company’s image by showing your commitment to growing your economic sector, helping young people and supporting local communities. Since apprentices also gain a lot out of their first job experience and your mentorship, they also tend to make great brand ambassadors for your product.

So, what are you waiting for? Find out more about apprenticeships at www.learntowork.eu and boost your company today!

EURASHE contributes to the selection of new members of the Ukrainian Accreditation Council

Last week 22 new members of the National Accreditation Council (hereafter-Council) were selected in Ukraine. The newly formed Council marks the achievement of the Selection Committee work which was also comprised of E4 members-EURASHE, EUA, ENQA, and ESU.

The importance of the Selection Committee is considered to be significant since the former Accreditation Council had lost its credibility in the public eye and higher education sector due to its lack of transparency, integrity, and honesty. The current Selection Committee had a responsibility to set higher selection standards and nominate 23 members of the Council who fully meet the position’s requirements. One remaining place is planned to be filled in the upcoming months.

‘We learned that before anybody could have been accredited, even higher education providers offering services at the railway station. Therefore, our responsibility was not only to nominate candidates who are credible and eligible for the position but also bring back transparency and public belief in the mission and activities of the Council itself, – shares her impressions Assoc. Prof. Patricia Georgieva, representative of EURASHE.

Newly elected members of the Accreditation Council still has to be appointed by the Council of Ministers of Ukraine and undergo special training on quality assurance. The Selection Committee is appointed for the period until 2020.

Background information

National Accreditation Council is the primary body making the accreditation decisions, setting accreditation methodology and nominating evaluation committees and review experts.

EURASHE publishes a statement on the future of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT)

In view of the forthcoming revision of the Regulation establishing the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) and the adoption of its Strategic Innovation Agenda for the period 2021 – 2027, EURASHE expresses its support to the EIT’s efforts to integrate the knowledge triangle of higher education, research and innovation and, thus, to reinforce the Union’s innovation capacity and address societal challenges. Although certain progress has been made since the creation of the EIT, much more needs to be done to bring more concrete results and tangible benefits in the future.

In this context, the EURASHE calls for more and better opportunities for involvement of Universities of Applied Sciences (UAS) in the existing and forthcoming Knowledge and Innovation Communities (KICs). This call is motivated by the proven capacity the UAS have to connect with the real economy, in particular the SMEs, and the society. The close cooperation between UAS and companies is not only evident in their applied RTI-profile, but also in the profile of their researchers. Besides their specific scientific competences they also have the necessary practical experience in the respective professional fields, and the ability to adopt the entrepreneurial perspective and to convey this perspective to their students. In many places new business centres and SMEs’ incubators have been established, as well as office facilities and other services for students finding new businesses.

The EIT’s support and attention to the UAS will, therefore, have a multiplier effect on all components of the knowledge triangle. EURASHE is at the disposal of the EIT and the European Commission to facilitate the participation and the engagement of the UAS in the EIT’s activities, which at present are underrepresented.

Read the full statement here.

If you have any questions please contact us: iskren.kirilov@eurashe.eu 

EURASHE hosted a study visit for representatives from Asian universities

Last week EURASHE hosted a study visit organised by the TACTIC project in Brussels. Participants from various universities in Cambodia, Mongolia and Vietnam had an opportunity to learn better about the strategic management and activities’ planning of universities.

In the first part of the visit, participants received an overview of the activities of Brussels based organisations’ EURASHE and European Student Union and had an opportunity to learn about the Bologna Process and Paris Communiqué  which were presented by Michal Karpisek, Secretary General of EURASHE.

In the following days, participants met with representatives from Thomas More University in Mechelen and learnt about practical university’s experience of the implementation of a merger. Participants also visited UC Leuven Limburg University of Applied Sciences in Leuven where they had a chance to better understand the strategic priorities of the institution.

This was the last project event within the TACTIC project. More about the project and it’s priorities you can learn here.

Have a look at the moments of the Study visit:

29th EURASHE Annual Conference: Call for contributions is open

EURASHE has launched a call for contributions for its 29th Annual Conference ‘Future Students. Future Universities. Future Jobs. Professional Higher Education in the changing world.’ The conference will take place in Budapest (Hungary) on 16-17 May 2019 and will be hosted by the Hungarian Rectors’ Conference (MRK) with the support of the Ministry of Human Capacities of Hungary.

We invite universities of applied sciences’ leaders, the entire community of professional higher education, European businesses, public institutions and European students’ representatives to attend the Annual Conference to share their experience and learn about trends, models and inspiring practices.

We welcome to submit two types of contributions:

  • Breakout sessions: Each interactive parallel breakout session would be attended by about 30 participants. The breakout sessions should be organised in an interactive way as workshops to encourage discussions between the participants. The structure can e.g. include an overview, followed by group discussions. We expect to accept about 8 proposals for this year’s conference. The length of the proposal: 90 minutes.
  • Good practice examples: 2-3 brief examples of good practice will be presented together within blocks parallel to breakout sessions. The length of the proposal: 30 minutes.

Presenting at EURASHE’s Annual conference allows to reach a wide audience and will give you visibility prior to and during the Conference. In addition, one reduced fee will be provided per contribution.

Contributions have to be submitted exclusively online on EURASHE website. The deadline for submission is Thursday 31 January, 2019 at 12.00 pm (noon) CET Brussels-time.

More information about the Conference and the Call for contributions here.

Apprenticeships at SMEs: How to work with a Professional Higher Education Institution (PHEI)

Embracing the apprenticeship culture and starting an apprenticeship scheme in a company is not difficult. However, it might not be very intuitive for an SME who has never done it before, so below are a few hints.

Focus on your needs

When you think of apprenticeships, you probably think of a way to help students acquiring skills by practising their theoretical knowledge. And that is true. However, it is only one aspect of it. Another being the knowledge they bring into you company and transfer into your staff. So, focus on that: What knowledge and skill gaps does your company face? What updated – or brand new – knowledge could benefit your business – both immediately and in the near future? Write it down in a list and reflect on it: in which department of your company would you integrate a person with each skill and knowledge you identified as needed/useful? What tasks – or challenges – would you give them? Write it down. This will give you an idea of the apprenticeship placements you can open.

Identify potential partners

Potential partners are educational organizations that can provide apprentices that match the apprenticeship placements you open. Look at your list of knowledge and skill gaps: In which kind of educational organization are these knowledge and skills taught? Which education level and technical/scientific area? In which study programmes? Write them down. Now think of the closer educational organizations and identify the ones that offer those programmes – as these are your potential partners. You might want to check their study programmes curricula to be sure they include the subjects you want. You can enlarge the geographic scope of the search as needed, as many apprentices are willing to relocate. If you face difficulties to find educational organizations, you can contact their national regulatory body or association and they will help you. You can also browse the Learn2Work database of educational organizations to find potential partners (www.learntowork.eu).

Get in touch and negotiate

Select the most suitable partners and contact them. Keep in mind both the interlocutor and the momentum are important. Browse their website – if they have a dedicated department to deal with apprenticeships, that will be your contact. If not, check if there is a department that seems to be dealing with communication and partnerships with the world of work. Another approach is to contact directly the Director/Coordinator of the study programme or the Lecturers of the subjects you’re interested in. You can contact them any time, but the best is to do it at the end of a given school year, so they can consider your placements when planning the subsequent year. Ask for a meeting, introduce your company – it might be a good idea to invite them to visit your facilities – and present the knowledge and skill needs you have identified. Discuss openly any concerns you have and how to address them. During the negotiations, be firm regarding your needs, but also flexible and open-minded to new ideas, as sometimes a potential partner might have a different proposal of knowledge and skills to offer you, which you have not thought about yet, but that can truly benefit your company.

So, what are you waiting for? Find out more about apprenticeships at www.learntowork.eu and start your apprenticeship scheme today.

EURASHE project on apprenticeships will help to find new talents easier

Numerous studies show that small businesses are unable to find suitable employees limiting their opportunities for a growth while raising costs. At the same time, Professional higher institutions (hereafter-PHE) not always think of Small and Medium enterprises (hereafter-SMEs) as potential partners to send their students for placements. Finally, Europe still suffers from relatively high unemployment – a phenomenon known as the skills gap. This means that the skills which the population currently hold are not necessarily the skills employers need.

Learntowork.eu is an initiative of the SAPS project funded by the Erasmus+ Support for Policy Reform programme, realised in a collaboration among 10 members from different countries around Europe, including EURASHE. The aims of the project are twofold: to systemise the apprenticeship practices between PHEIs and SMEs, and re-shape the image of apprenticeship for SME with a multi-lingual promotional campaign.

 ‘We are very happy being involved in this project because apprenticeships are playing an increasingly important role for both – higher education institutions and the world of work and it is important that the right structures are in place to ensure that they equip people with the right skills.  During a period of 2 years of the project our organisation was also enriched with a knowledge and good examples on implementation of apprenticeships programmes that we are successfully adapting in other our projects like Mentortrain, SAT, SPRINT and ApprenticeshipQ’, – highlights Michal Karpíšek, Secretary General of EURASHE.

The project develops supportive materials for SMEs, while at the same time improving the procedures of PHE institutions go make them more open to apprenticeships One the examples, Apprenticeship Quality Toolkit which provides a hands-on, easy-to-use management tool for PHEIs and SMEs, to ensure the quality of the apprenticeships and a beneficial cooperation for all. The Toolkit follows a quality management system style approach and works in two directions: inside-in, by structuring the organisational processes for successful collaboration for apprenticeships delivery, and inside out, as a quality assurance tool for transparency.

Find out more about apprenticeships at www.learntowork.eu and boost your company or create apprenticeship scheme today.

For further information, please contact:

Ms. Dovile Sandaraite

Email: dovile.sandaraite@eurashe.eu

www.learntowork.eu

 

BECOME A HOST OF THE 30TH EURASHE ANNUAL CONFERENCE

EURASHE organises its Annual Conferences since 1991 with the purpose to consider the state of the art and relevance of professional higher education in the EHEA and beyond, address upcoming trends, challenges and opportunities, provide a platform for mutual learning and exchange of experience

Now we are looking for an Association of Higher Education institutions or an Institution of Higher Education to host the 30th EURASHE Annual Conference, which is scheduled to take place in spring 2020.

Why host 30th EURASHE Annual Conference?

  1. Expand the reach of your Association or Institution. A successful conference could be an excellent opportunity to showcase your organisation to others, gather attention on social and traditional media. EURASHE always makes an agreement with media partners which cover the Annual event (interviews/articles of top speakers) in the press and launches a social media campaign prior to the Conference, organise live social media actions and ensure the post-Conference communications.
  2. Get access to influence makers. Our Annual Conferences always attract top leaders from the EU institutions, national and international policymakers, business representatives. EURASHE is always willing to introduce and facilitate networking between a hosting institution and relevant stakeholders by organising bilateral meetings before or during the Conference.
  3. Establish a leadership. Hosting EURASHE Annual Conference will establish your organisation as a driver of new ideas and ensure cooperation opportunities at the national and international level. This will also provide long-term value to your community and will help to raise your association’s or institution’s profile and credibility.
  4. New Ideas. The foundation of any good conference is an excellent programme. According to EURASHE28 Annual Conference’s survey results, almost 88% of respondents believe that they will use the information obtained through the Conference very significantly or significantly.
  5. Opportunity to present your city and culture. EURASHE Annual Conferences always include a social programme which is an outstanding opportunity for a hosting organisation to organise study visits, city tours and present the culture and the history of the city or country.

Conditions and requirements here. For more information, please contact EURASHE Secretariat: dovile.sandaraite@eurashe.eu.  

EURASHE Annual QA Community of Practice Event Took Place in Eisenstadt

This week EURASHE invited Quality assurance practitioners to the Annual QA Community of Practice Event in Eisenstadt, Austria. Participants had an opportunity not only listen to the inspiring presentations on the future and importance of Quality assurance in higher education but also put theory into the practice by taking part in group workshops.

The first part of the event was opened by EURASHE Secretary General Michal Karpíšek and Georg Pehm, the CEO UAS Burgenland. The introduction session was followed by a presentation about UAS Burgenland and its quality management system and continued with Trends and challenges for PHE as regards QA by EURASHE expert Lucien Bollaert. The second part of the event participants discussed practical cases of QA in work-based learning and stakeholders’ engagement.

‘The interest in the event proves to us that these type of practical activities on Quality assurance are very awaited. The evaluation’s results show that more than 70 per cent of participants considered the event useful and an added value to the community development and for us, it’s a sign that we should try to gather together QA community more often’, – says Michal Karpíšek, Secretary General of EURASHE.

You can access the event’s presentations here. If you would like to be informed about the future QA Community of Practice events, please contact us via e-mail dovile.sandaraite@eurashe.eu

EURASHE welcomes two new Affiliate members

At its Board meeting on September 14, EURASHE welcomed two new affiliate member organisations: Wült Institute of Business and Technology in Berlin, Germany and University of Applied Sciences in Ferizaj, Kosovo.

The Wült Institute of Business & Technology strives to change and improve lives through higher education by enabling students to maximise their professional and personal potential. The institute’s faculties of Business and Technology provides student-centred support services that are personal, responsive and geared toward assisting students in achieving their educational goals. Caring, highly trained faculty and staff create innovative online educational programs with challenging curriculums that focus on affordable, quality instruction and promote life-long learning and success. Though Wült is firmly rooted in the European Union with an administrative office in Berlin and strategic business units in Malta and Estonia, the Institute has a global student body in more than 40 countries around the world.

University of Applied Sciences in Ferizaj (UASF), as the only applied science provider of the higher education public institution, was established on July 2015 by the Parliament of the Republic of Kosovo following a 40-year tradition of professional and applied science education as Faculty of Applied Sciences in Ferizaj, part of University of Prishtina. UASF is accredited by the Kosovo Accreditation Agency with an institutional accreditation as a University of Applied Sciences in Ferizaj. UAS indicates its mission to provide quality education, prepare qualified professionals and educated and responsible citizens, to develop a professional career and lead a productive life.

“I am glad to welcome our two new affiliate members from Germany and Kosovo, and look forward to fruitful cooperation in implementing different activities in the field of higher education’, – says Michal Karpíšek, Secretary General of EURASHE.

Currently, EURASHE has 61 members which represent more than 650 higher education institutions around the world. Last year EURASHE joined five new members from Hungary, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Pakistan and Armenia.

 

 

EURASHE invited Universities of Applied Sciences leaders to gather for the 4th time

Last week EURASHE invited Universities of Applied Sciences (hereafter-UAS) leaders to gather at the 4th UAS Leadership Forum in Brussels. This time, top UAS representatives had an opportunity to exchange views on various aspects on benchmarking higher education system, mission and role of UAS and practical issues of translating these into the EC driven European universities network initiative.

The first presentation by Gabriele Marconi, representative of OECD covered preliminary findings from the ongoing project on ‘Benchmarking higher education system’. UAS leaders had an exclusive opportunity to get first insights into the in-depth analysis of the HE systems performance with a focus on UAS role, its main strengths and challenges, conclusions how and why some higher education systems perform better in some areas than others. The presentation was followed by University college Absalon report containing conclusions on mapping a position and concept of Universities of Applied Sciences in the institutional landscape of higher education in the Netherlands, Germany, Norway, Sweden and Finland.

The second part of the Forum was devoted to the developing European university networks concept and Universities of Applied Sciences role within the initiative. Irene Hermans, a Head of Strategy Department of UC Leuven Limburg shared their practical experience in building a partnership for the upcoming European Commission’s ‘pilot’ call. Presentations were followed by informal discussions facilitated by the former EURASHE Secretary General Johan Cloet.

‘It’s essential for leaders of Universities of Applied Sciences to gather together and exchange views on current topics, discuss and search decisions together, finally – to network, which is crucial for building a strong UAS Leadership. For EURASHE the Forum is also a great opportunity better understand the needs of the community, and we are happy having served as a platform of exchange for the fourth time’, – says Michal Karpíšek, Secretary General of EURASHE.

EURASHE launched the UAS Leadership Forum to strengthen cooperation with the top leaders of universities of applied sciences in 2017. The purpose of the Forum is to mobilise community support within and beyond the higher education and to bring together presidents, rectors, vice-rectors, general directors of European universities of applied sciences and policy makers providing an excellent opportunity for informal discussions, influence on policies and networking.

Please get in touch with us if you would like to find out more about the UAS Leadership Forum, have any questions or suggestions.

Ms Dovile Sandaraite

Email: dovile.sandaraite@eurashe.eu

More information:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JBenzXEi6Y0

EURASHE project seeks to promote innovative teaching methods in Israel

All too often, institutions of higher education invest in research at the expense of teaching excellence. Nevertheless, Higher educational institutions (hereafter – HEIs) need to invest in promoting innovative teaching that will meet the needs of today’s diverse students and enable them to address the challenges of a rapidly changing world.  Ideally, students should have a meaningful, relevant, engaging learning experience that challenges their preconceptions, encourages critical thinking, and equips them to initiate change in their communities.

TeachEx is an Erasmus+ Capacity Building project designed to promote and implement innovative teaching methods and approaches Israel. HEIs of Israel currently are witnessing major changes and challenges, which are rooted in economic, socio-technological environments that are part of the transition from an industrial to an information society with new societal demands. The importance of TEACHEX is its goal of retraining academic staff. However, the project targets not only faculty members, but also the students who will benefit from innovative teaching and learning and thus contribute to society at large. Another important formation which builds upon previous projects is the provision of tools towards the internationalization of education, like the use of learning outcome, comparable programs using ECTS, use of DS and etc. The project also attempts to develop a digital portfolio for teachers and create a tool for their self performance and their evaluation as part of the quality assurance system.

Over the course of the three-year project, TeachEx developed and enhanced Centers of Teaching Excellence in each of the partner institutions. In addition, training modules were developed on the following topics: project-based learning; diversity and accessible instruction; mobile learning; the lecturer as a producer of digital content; and design thinking for a meaningful learning. The project also facilitated an intensive “Train the Trainers” workshop which gave faculty tools and ideas to take back to their home institutions to use in training other faculty members.

The ultimate goal of TeachEx is to make sustainable long-term change in teaching which will benefit students and faculty. TeachEx aims to transform the way institutions of higher education approach teaching, so that students receive the excellent teaching that is so crucial to their education.

Please get in touch with us if you would like to find out more about the project, have any questions or suggestions.

Ms. Dovile Sandaraite

Email: dovile.sandaraite@eurashe.eu

www.teachex.eu/ or www.eurashe.eu

 

Background information:

EURASHE is a partner TeachEx  together with Israeli higher educational institutions (IDC Herzliya as coordinator, Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design, Oranim Academic College of Education, Beit Berl College, Gordon College of Education, and Ben Gurion University of the Negev), as well as the National Union of Israeli Students, which provides a reflection on teaching methods from the student perspective. In addition, five European higher educational institutions (University College Cork, Jagiellonian University, Glasgow Caledonian University, University of Groningen, and University of Nicosia), and the European Students’ Union are partners in the project, providing their expertise and experience.

We are hiring a Policy Officer on Research, Innovation and Regional Engagement

We are looking for a Policy Officer on Research, Innovation and Regional Engagement to join our small and dynamic team in the centre of Brussels with a preferred start from 1 October 2018 the latest.

The Policy Officer will develop in close cooperation with the Secretary General EURASHE policies, projects and activities regarding applied research, innovation and regional engagement of universities of applied sciences (UAS) including other institutions of professional higher education and promote these towards European institutions, partners and stakeholders.

Requirements and conditions are here.

Interested candidates should submit the following documents in English addressed to Michal Karpíšek, Secretary General of EURASHE at eurashe@eurashe.eu by 18 September 2018, mentioning “EURASHE Policy Officer” in your email’s subject line:
– a CV max 2 pages
– a cover letter addressing:
o candidate’s motivation;
o key issues showing the relevant experience and candidate’s views regarding the agenda;
o including current salary and/or rough salary expectations
o date of possible start

If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact us by e-mail to eurashe@eurashe.eu

EURASHE is looking for Communications and Events Assistant (5 months paid internship)

We are looking for a Communications and Events Assistant (5 months paid internship) for a full-time position (38 hours/week) to join our Secretariat as soon as possible.

We look for a creative thinker who is passionate about communications, social media, developing various events and keen to contribute to the success of our Association.

The Communications and Events Officer assistant (intern) will closely cooperate with and under the responsibility of the Communications and Events Officer and relevant policy officers within a relatively small, active team on a variety of tasks. The job requires a fair amount of flexibility, creativity, autonomy and a positive attitude to tasks.

Requirements and conditions are here.

Please send your application in English (1-page cover letter, 2 pages CV max. indicating a possible start date) addressed to Michal Karpíšek, Secretary General of EURASHE, by e-mail to Dovile.Sandaraite@eurashe.eu with a subject line “Application – Communications and Events assistant” by 19 of October 2018 (5 p.m. CET).

Early applications are encouraged, as we will go through them as they come and can contact suitable candidates before the application deadline.

If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact us by e-mail to Dovile.Sandaraite@eurashe.eu

EQAF 2018: registration and call for contributions are open

Registration is now open for the 2018 European Quality Assurance Forum (EQAF), which will take place on 15-17 November 2018 in Vienna, hosted by WU (Vienna University of Economics and Business) and AQ Austria.

EQAF is the largest annual gathering of the European higher education quality assurance (QA) community. This year’s Forum will explore how institutions and QA agencies can build QA systems that encompass a broad range of activities, including learning and teaching, research, governance and administration, and service to society.

Registration information, the preliminary programme and practical information are now available on the EQAF website. The programme will be updated throughout the summer and you can stay up to date with the latest news by following @EQAF on Twitter. The deadline for the early-bird registration fee is 1 October 2018. After this date, late registration fees will apply. However, we encourage you to register as soon as possible as capacity is limited and registrations will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis.

There is also an opportunity to contribute to the programme yourself by presenting a paper or delivering a workshop during the Forum. The call for contributions is open until 24 July 2018. It is an excellent occasion to share and discuss your own experiences with colleagues from across Europe. For each selected contribution, one author or facilitator will receive a reduced fee to attend the Forum. Further information is available on the EQAF website.  

About EQAF

EQAF has been co-organised by  EURASHE ENQA, ESU and EUA since 2006. The Forum aims to bridge national boundaries by facilitating a Europe-wide discussion on current trends and forthcoming developments in research, policy and practice. EQAF provides a unique opportunity to share experiences and network with a wide range of stakeholders, including representatives from higher education institutions and QA agencies, students, researchers and policy makers from across Europe and beyond.

EURASHES presents a policy statement for the EHEA Ministerial Conference in Paris

 
EURASHE presents a policy statement for the The European Higher Education Area (hereafter – EHEA) Ministerial Conference which will be held in Paris on the 24-25 of May. EURASHE’s policy paper includes recommendations to ministers to release the full potential of professional higher education and, therefore, to:
  • Support Regional Engagement
  • Promote life-long learning
  • Recognise short-cycle Higher Education
  • Support innovation in learning and teaching
  • Recognise the role of learning and teaching
  • Respect and promote diversity within Higher Education

Besides that, EURASHE invites the other stakeholders to engage into more constructive dialogue and joint action in order to build a joint vision which enables Europe to progress on transforming higher education institutions into meeting 21st Century challenges and stakeholder expectations. Within this context EURASHE commits to the mapping and promotion of policy developments, identification of relevant instruments, as well as sharing experience and good practices at systemic and institutional levels. 

READ THE FULL STATEMENT here

About

The European Higher Education Area includes 48 countries, stakeholders, the European association of universities, the representatives of higher education institutions, the representatives of teachers and staff, the European Commission, the Council of Europe, the representatives of employers.

EURASHE invites to ‘Summer cocktail event’

EURASHE invites all the members of Professional higher education community to the ‘Summer cocktail event’ which will take place on the 13th of June at Erasmus university of Applied Sciences.

This EURASHE event will provide an overview of trends and developments in European higher education that should create a basis for further discussion on challenges, further priorities and initiatives. EURASHE President Stephane Lauwick will share a summary of key issues coming from the Paris ministerial conference including EURASHE statement, David Crosier (EURYDICE) will present data on Bologna process reforms. Therefore, besides that, attention will be given to research agenda, European university networks and findings from BEEHiVES project. Discussion will be followed by a summer drink and opportunity to network and exchange views on further issues.

Programme: here   

When: 15.30; 13 June, 2018

Where: Erasmushogeschool Brussels,  Rue des Six Jetons 70, 1000 Brussels

Registration: here

 

WE ARE HIRING: Financial and Administrative officer, Project Officer

We are looking for a Financial and Administrative officer and a Project Officer to join our dynamic Secretariat.

If you wish to apply for a Financial and Administrative officer’s position apply via online form until 8 April 2018. Requirements and conditions are here

If you wish to apply for a Project officer’s position apply via online form until 12 April 2018. Requirements and conditions are here

 

If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contacts us eurashe@eurashe.eu or +32 2 211 10 04 

A Bachelor is a Bachelor: EURASHE releases a statement on Recognition of Qualifications

 

EURASHE (European Association of Institutions in Higher Education) released its position on the recognition of qualifications.  The statement responds to the EU’s public consultation on promoting the mutual recognition of qualifications and study periods abroad. This should serve for further EC recommendations within the discussion on European Education Area.

EURASHE holds the view that each level of the three-tier system including the Short Cycle Higher Education has a generic quality and value, irrespective the ‘status’ of the institution and the type of student. Therefore, the Association’s Statement includes 4 main arguments for further, effective implementation of instruments for easier recognition and enhancement of mobility of students and graduates within Europe.

  1. Automatic recognition. Countries which share common features should agree on mutual recognition of degrees and qualifications within the coming years in support of learning mobility and ultimately professional mobility. Yet the vision of automatic recognition across EHEA should be followed further.

 

  1. Alignment of access and admission procedures, also on the institutional level. There should be no distinction in principle between an academic and professionally orientated qualification as regards recognition: ‘A Bachelor is a Bachelor’.

 

  1. Cross-national cooperation and (international) mobility. There should be the full implementation of existing tools and instruments within the Bologna process at all levels as the main task for enhanced mobility and recognition. Also, we call for an enhanced support for capacity development and shared learning at institutional level.

 

  1. Full recognition of the ‘Short Cycle Qualification’. There should be a full adoption of the short cycle qualification as a specific, stand-alone qualification level within the Qualification Framework of EHEA and its recognition for the transfer to further levels.

EURASHE stresses that the concept of recognition is one of the key principles for students’ mobility within the European Higher Education Area (EHEA), graduates and labour force within EU. Smooth and easy recognition of qualifications, academic achievements and other learning make a part of the desired vision driving developments within the Bologna process.

Please find the full statement here

Additional information:

EURASHE is the European Association of Institutions in Higher Education that offer professionally orientated programmes and are engaged in applied research within the Bologna cycles. EURASHE represents universities of applied sciences (UAS) and university colleges; other members of EURASHE are national and sectorial associations of higher education institutions, and other individual institutions, such as universities

SAPS presents a new tool to ensure apprenticeships’ quality

SAPS (Supporting Apprenticeships between Professional Higher Education & Small and Medium Enterprises) after a set of national workshops and partner meetings developed the Apprenticeship Quality Toolkit which provide a hands-on, easy-to-use management tool for PHEIs and SMEs, to ensure the quality of the apprenticeships and a beneficial cooperation for all. The Toolkit follows a quality management system style approach and works in two directions: inside-in, by structuring the organisational processes for successful collaboration for apprenticeships delivery, and inside out, as a quality assurance tool for transparency.

SAPS is an ongoing three year Erasmus+ funded project, realised in collaboration among 10 members from different countries with EURASHE as a coordinating institution. The aims of the project are twofold: develop the resources that can help structure the apprenticeship practices between PHEIs and SMEs, and re-shape the image of apprenticeship for SME with a multi-lingual promotional campaign.

You can find the Apprenticeship Quality Toolkit here.

Register for EQUIP Breakfast event and webinar

EURASHE together with other project partners invite to the final event of ‘Enhancing quality through innovative policy & practice (EQUIP)’ project on the 27th of February, 2018. The final project conference aims to gather about 100 participants to present the outcomes of the project activities.

The event will focus on the presentation of effective and innovative ways to use the revised ‘Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in the European Higher Education Area (ESG)’ for all stakeholders of higher education (hereafter – HE) as a tool for the long-term quality enhancement in the European HE area. During the event it will also be presented the EQUIP Study and policy recommendations emerging from the project activities.

More practical side of the project will be present the following day during the webinar. The online session will include a presentation of the project results and topics like institutional responsibility and communicating about Quality Assurance. During the webinar, participants will also have the opportunity to contribute to the discussion and ask questions.

More information about the project: http://www.equip-project.eu/about/

 

EQUIP Breakfast event:

Tuesday 27 February 2018, from 8:30 to 10:30, Fondation Universitaire, Rue d’Egmont 11, 1000 Brussels

Registration: http://www.equip-project.eu/activities/breakfast-meeting/

 

EQUIP webinar:

Wednesday 28 February 2018, at 14.00-15.00 CET.

Registration: http://www.equip-project.eu/activities/final-webinar/

Early bird fee for EURASHE Annual Conference until 30 November

EURASHE will organise its 28th Annual Conference ‘Partnerships for a Digital Future – Strategic role of professional higher education for society‘ in Tallinn (Estonia) on 19-20 April 2018. 

The Annual Conference will be a two-day event hosted by the Estonian Rectors’ Conference of Universities of Applied Sciences (RKRN) with the support of the Ministry of Education and Research. The first day of the conference will focus more on the HE educational policies and academic issues and the second day will focus on the relevant policies and expectations from and partnerships with the businesses. 

It is aimed at universities of applied sciences’ leaders, the entire community of professional higher education, European businesses and public institutions and European students’ representatives to share their experience and learn about trends, models and inspiring practices.

More information on the 28th EURASHE Annual Conference: www.eurashe.eu/tallinn

The call for contributions is open here, deadline for contributions is 15 January 2018.

You can register for the event here

Call for contributions and registrations for EURASHE 28th Annual Conference opened!

EURASHE has launched a call for contributions and opened the registrations for its 28th Annual Conference titled ‘Partnerships for a Digital Future Strategic role of professional higher education for society‘. The conference will take place in Tallinn (Estonia) on 19-20 April 2018.
We invite universities of applied sciences’ leaders, the entire community of professional higher education, European businesses, public institutions and European students’ representatives to attend the Annual Conference to share their experience and learn about trends, models and inspiring practices.

The deadline to submit your contribution is is Monday 15 January, 2018 at 12.00 pm (noon) CET Brussels-time. All the details on the conference, and on the call for contributions are available on the conference page here.

You can register for the Annual Conference here. Members will benefit from a reduced fee, as well as group registrations from the same organisation.

More on 28th Annual Conference  Contribute to the Call  Register for the 28th Annual Conference

UAS4EUROPE position paper on the 9th Framework Programme for Research and Innovation (FP9)

The voice of Universities of Applied Sciences for FP9

UAS4EUROPE has today published its position paper on the upcoming 9th Framework Programme for Research and Innovation (FP9).

UAS4EUROPE has the following recommendations for the European Commission in order to create an optimal successor programme of Horizon 2020:

  • Include Smart Partnerships for Regional Impact (SPFRI), which foster the collaboration between, universities of applied sciences, universities, RTOs, companies, regions and other public and private stakeholders with strong added value on the basis of excellence.
  • An increase of the budget to EUR120 billion for seven years
  • Keep the three-pillar-structure
  • Ensure better integration of Social Sciences, Humanities and the Arts (SSHA) and simultaneously the inclusion of broader themes relevant to UAS, such as social work and artistic research and design
  • Address problems and challenges with achieving genuine synergies with Structural Funds
  • Focus on all forms of innovation, from incremental to disruptive and breakthrough innovation
  • Make FP9 as simple as possible
  • Ensure a truly ‘open to the world’ FP9

Next to these recommendations, the position paper responds to the Lamy report. UAS4EUROPE supports the reoport in e.g. underlining the applications for the benefit of all (App), which is very much at the core DNA of UAS.

Although the FP9 public consultation is only expected at the beginning of next year, UAS4EUROPE believes it is vital to communicate these recommendations as early as possible, in order for the European Commission to be able to design an optimal FP9 programme together with the research and innovation community.

UAS4EUROPE is a joint initiative from EURASHEUASnetswissuniversitiesHochschule Bayern e.V. (supported by the Bavarian Research Alliance) and the Austrian FHK to promote the voice of Universities of Applied Sciences (UAS) in Europe in the field of applied research and innovation.

You can download the position paper here

 

New speakers added to RDI seminar in Porto on 16-17 November, early bird fee ends on 15 September!

New speakers added to the EURASHE seminar ‘Smart solutions for the regions: UAS applied R&I increasing regional cooperation‘, organised in Porto (Portugal) on 16-17 November.

Early bird fee is available until 15 September! More information and registrations here
Register now to reserve your place in the seminar!

More information and seminar programme on the event website

 

 

 

 

 

Save the date: 16-17 November 2017, Applied R&I seminar registrations opening soon!

EURASHE will organise a two day seminar in Porto (Portugal) on 16-17 November. It will be organised in cooperation with Instituto Superior de Contabilidade e Administracao do Porto (ISCAP) and the Portuguese Polytechnics Coordinating Council (CCISP). The seminar continues the series of seminars EURASHE has previously organised on the topic of applied R&I.

The aim of the seminar is to present the current issues and new challenges within the regional cooperation between the higher education institutions and both the regional authorities and organisations and the regional businesses.

More information and speakers will be added to the event website soon.

Save the days in your calendar and follow the updates on the EURASHE website. We look forward to seeing you in Porto in November! 

 

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EURASHE Networking event materials published

EURASHE organised a networking event on Modernisation of higher education on the Erasmushogeschool Brussel campus in Brussels on 16 June 2017. The networking event was followed by the EURASHE Summer cocktails on the campus rooftop terrace. 

The presentation materials of the networking event have now been published.

You can find the networking event presentations on the event website here