Work programme 2015-2018
Higher Education Open Space
The Higher Education Open Space (HEOS) is a 3-day event that will address issues pertaining to the modernisation of the European Higher Education Area, with a particular emphasis on achieving the 20% mobility benchmark by 2020.
The 2015 Yerevan conference communiqué underlines the strategic importance of enhancing the quality and relevance of learning and teaching, fostering employability of graduates throughout their working lives and making our education systems more inclusive. The Higher Education Open Space (HEOS) 2015 will provide universities, students and stakeholder representatives an open, innovative and creative space for discussion on joint approaches to face these challenges. It also aims to contribute in a concrete way to the modernisation of higher education and to build alliances to reinforce the competitiveness and governance of European universities.
It will allow for policy discussions and practical working sessions through two main events:
- A conference on the 3rd of November on how to reach 20% of student mobility by 2020 while maintaining the quality of mobility flows.
- An Open Space on the 4th-5th of November addressing topical issues of universities, students and stakeholders in the field of the modernisation agenda.
The first edition of the Higher Education Open Space (HEOS) was held at the University of Luxembourg on the 3-5 November, bringing together academics, administrative staff and students interested in the challenges and opportunities brought about by reaching the European goal of 20% mobile students in 2020.
The participants learnt about a range of projects and solutions that are being developed and that are expected to have an enormous impact on European student mobility. This was followed by group debates on issues such as decreasing the social selectivity of exchange students and the role of higher education in the refugee crisis.
Many participants emphasised the political importance of reaching 20% of student mobility at a time where walls are being rebuilt in Europe, as pointed out by Prof. Éric Froment, former EUA President. Prof. Georg Winckler, President of the ERSTE Foundation, challenged EU institutions to consider promoting strategies that ensure future teachers have the skills required to work in multilingual and multicultural classrooms while Geraldine Hassler, from KPMG Luxembourg, documented the impact student mobility has on the development of transversal key competences from a HR recruitment perspective.
The conference was followed by two days of workshops focused on outlining new project ideas, training staff members and sharing best practices.