Work programme of the Bologna Follow-Up Group 2007-2009
5th EUA Convention of European Higher Education Institutions
5th EUA Convention of European Higher Education Institutions on Facing Global Challenges: European strategies for Europe’s universities, 18-21 March 2009, Prague, Czech Republic
EUA’s 2009 Convention, hosted by Charles University Prague, takes place just before the formal launch of the European Higher Education Area in 2010 and at a time of reflection on the shape of the European Research Area in the next decade. It therefore presents a major opportunity for universities to contribute to the debate by outlining their common vision of how best to promote a coherent, transparent and attractive university sector in Europe.
Building on the 2007 Lisbon Declaration that underlines universities’ central task of “equipping Europe’s populations – young and old – to play their part within the Knowledge Society, in which economic, social and cultural development depend primarily on the creation and dissemination of knowledge and skills” the Convention thus offers university leaders the opportunity to identify common European policies and strategies that will support them in carrying out their threefold mission of teaching, research and service to society.
For universities to realise their potential they will increasingly have to link their core missions in higher education, research and innovation, not least in order to be able to respond to public demand for universities to contribute substantially to finding answers to global problems such as demography and aging of populations, sustainable development, renewable energies and climate change.
This requires open, modern and flexible universities, with a strong European dimension, characterised by true European mobility and European careers, as well as engagement at global level. As a sector, European universities need to be attractive to both European and international students that can contribute to, and benefit from, the rich and diversified European scientific and scholarly tradition.
Objectives and Output
As previously in Salamanca (2001), Graz (2003, Glasgow (2005) and Lisbon (2007), the 2009 EUA Convention gives universities the chance to influence the European policy agenda by setting markers for the future from a university perspective. The 2009 Convention comes at a particularly crucial moment for European higher education and research as the first phase of the Bologna process comes to a close and Europe has little time to reach the ambitious goals set by the EU’s Lisbon agenda for the 2010 deadline.
Specifically, the Convention is timed to take place:
- Just before the 2009 Bologna ministerial meeting that will map out the contours of the European Higher Education Area and define priorities for the Bologna Process in the decade to 2020, and
- When governments and stakeholders are being asked to comment on 5 Communications and/or Recommendations launched by the European Commission as a follow-up to the ERA Green paper consultation in 2007 that aim to shape the future development of the European Research Area beyond 2010.
The objective is to influence the priorities set for the Bologna process post 2010 and to ensure that the specific concerns of universities are properly taken into account in the conditions set for the further construction of the European Research Area. To do this, university leaders present at the Convention will be asked to contribute to identifying ‘10 theses’ for the future of European higher education and research as we look forward to 2020.
For each issue identified consideration will need to be given to the questions: Where are we now? Where do we want to get to? How do we get there? Reflection will also be needed to identify appropriate institutional, national and European level policies and strategies as responses in each case. This exercise shouldl enable universities to define the characteristics, and shape the future, of the European Higher Education and Research Areas.
The EUA Council will meet on Friday, 3 April 2008 to adopt the Prague Declaration which will then be transmitted to those present at the Bologna Ministerial meeting in Leuven/Louvain-la-Neuve, and to the European Commissioners responsible for higher education and research policy.