On the 4th of July, EURASHE hosted its annual Summer Cocktails, bringing together the Brussels policy community in a vibrant networking event with food and live music.

One of the event’s highlights was the introduction of the new EURASHE Board, including President Hannes Raffaseder. The new Board members have a shared vision of advancing applied higher education and commitment to the 2023-2025 strategy.

 The event included a keynote speech by João Albuquerque, member of the European Parliament and shadow rapporteur for the European Year of Skills that began on 9th May. Mr. Albuquerque emphasised the rapid changes brought about by the digital and green transition and highlighted three main skills requiring attention: labour skills, digital skills, and social skills. He acknowledged the need for addressing labour shortages and matching labour market demands with skilled workers. However, he also stressed the need to provide wider access to digital skills to combat threats to democracy, such as fake news, election interference, and artificial intelligence. Furthermore, he underlined the importance of social skills in understanding the political system and relating to others in the workplace.

Joao Albuquerque spoke about the crucial role of higher education in providing training and skills development. He urged them to actively address societal challenges, promote inclusivity, and become drivers of innovation and development. He also emphasised the need to educate on critical thinking and social responsibility.

EURASHE Summer Cocktails marked a significant step in fostering collaboration and addressing the ever-evolving landscape of higher education. The event was a great opportunity to exchange ideas and initiatives that will shape the future of higher education in Europe.