With more than thirty years of activity, EURASHE is the most representative organisation of Professional Higher Education (PHE) institutions/associations at policy level in Europe and “strives to support the development and transformation of European society through PHE”. This means an added responsibility to reach the common interests of its members and contribute to the sustainable development of the society, with real impact on people’s qualification, in the search for innovative solutions to problems, in contributing with PHE to a better and more inclusive society.
We are living through a historical period of transformations in our lives and the European HE, with the growing importance of flexibility and diversity, with all the main themes on the agenda, the twin transition (digital and green), the recovery and resilient facility, the new ERA agenda, the European Universities alliances, the regional engagement and the innovation ecosystems, the micro-credentials, etc., and, consequently, the growing importance of PHE.
When we talk about PHE and its fundamental role, we talk about diversity, with different pathways for students, various links with stakeholders, mainly regional, and close to the labour market, especially SME’s. We are talking about flexibility, associated with micro-credentials and upskilling and reskilling issues, learning in partnership with the companies and other organisations. We are talking about inclusion, particularly important in a “post COVID era”, bearing in mind that a significant part of our students come from disadvantaged social backgrounds. So, we have a specific potential to address innovation in all dimensions, innovation in education, innovation in research, applied or user-oriented research, innovation in the interconnection between education, research and the regions. We do believe that this interconnection, particularly between education and research, is our pathway and, as Commissioner Gabriel said, “education and research belong together”.
Being an active partner in the EEA, EHEA, ERA and other European structures, cooperating with stakeholders, particularly from the world of work and civic society, addressing the main issues of HE, debating and expressing the ideas and concerns of PHE institutions/associations, leading the process of transformation. This is what we expect from EURASHE.
We need to be present for that we need to be involved, we need to share tasks and responsibilities, we need to think ahead, and we need to face the challenges and take the opportunities.
And what can EURASHE expect from the new President? Hard-work, cooperation, sensibility, engagement, leadership, resilience, transparency, respect, accountability, responsibility and availability. We need to be faithful to the statutes and keep in mind the vision and mission statements and address all the significant issues related to PHE, knowing that PHE is more than ever a way and a solution to recover and transform. We are always trying to be helpful to the members, working for them and with them. This is his leitmotiv!
By Armando Pires, EURASHE President