Achieving Open Access by 2020: tracking universities’ progress and guidelines for the future
As stated in its Roadmap on Open Access to Research Publications (2016), “EUA aims to contribute to a publishing system that is simultaneously fair and transparent for stakeholders, in particular universities, research institutions, libraries, researchers, research funders, learned societies and commercial publishers”. The political momentum achieved in the areas of open access and open science in recent years has greatly contributed to European universities and the scientific system coming closer to a scenario of full open access to research publications by 2020. Despite these efforts, much remains to be achieved before full open access can be ubiquitous. Governments, National Rectors’ Conferences and university leaders at national level, together with stakeholders at European level, need to mobilise their institutions and come together in the development of guidelines and activities to support open access.
With the document Towards Full Open Access in 2020: aims and recommendations for university leaders and National Rectors’ Conferences, EUA calls for an open scholarly communication system grounded in the quality of the peer-review process, the preservation of authors and institutions’ ownership rights over research outcomes and open licences for the re-use of information, and an equitable cost-benefit ratio for both public institutions and publishers. A series of recommendations in different areas relevant to open access are outlined, including open access to research publications and research data management, institutional development of open access, the mobilisation of researchers, assessment systems, and negotiations of ‘big deals’ with publishers.
The aims and recommendations for university leaders and NRCs were guided by the results of the open access institutional survey, the work of the Expert Group on Science 2.0/Open Science and the dialogue with NRCs. Professor Jean-Pierre Finance, Chair of the Expert Group, noted that: “It is of the utmost importance that the university sector at large, particularly university leaders and NRCs, regain their scientific sovereignty in the publication process. Concerted efforts at institutional, national and European levels are essential to achieve full open access as swiftly as possible”.
The publication of these recommendations occurs in tandem with the release of the report Open Access in European universities: results from the 2015/2016 EUA institutional survey, which tracks the progress of institutions in the implementation of policies and practices in the area of open access. The survey conducted in 2015/2016 focused on open access to research publications and, for the first time, on open access to research data. It gathered responses from 169 institutions across 33 European countries, showing a relatively more consolidated progress on open access to research publications, but also an increasing awareness on open access to research data.
• Towards Full Open Access in 2020: aims and recommendations for university leaders and National Rectors’ Conferences
• Open Access in European universities: results from the 2015/2016 EUA institutional survey
• More information on EUA’s work on Science 2.0/Open Science
EUA delegation attends G7 University Summit in Udine, Italy (29-30 June 2017)
Under the heading “University Education for All. Actions for a sustainable future”, the event provided higher education actors from the G7 countries – university leaders, students and other organisations active in the field – with an opportunity to exchange views on a set of issues regarding the future of higher education at a global level.
EUA was represented by President Professor Rolf Tarrach (former President, University of Luxembourg), Vice-President Professor Paul Boyle (President and Vice-Chancellor, University of Leicester, UK), Board member Professor Jean Chambaz (President, University Pierre and Marie Curie, Paris, France), together with Secretary General Lesley Wilson. Former EUA Board Member Professor Stefano Palerari (former President, University of Bergamo, Italy) was also present; he contributed a position paper entitled ‘Analysing the policies to increase graduate population: Do tuition fees matter?’ as input to the ‘discussion table’ on universities and economic development.
Participants addressed the role of higher education in fostering sustainable development and making the concept of global citizenship a reality, the relationship between higher education, democracy and social mobility and aspects of universities’ contribution to social and economic development. More information on the event, including four ‘position papers’ on these topics can be found on the website of the Italian rectors’ conference.
EUA Vice-President Paul Boyle outlines improvements for FP9 at European Parliament hearing
The hearing was organised by the Parliament as part of a series of consultations with research and innovation stakeholders to start developing the future EU framework programme (FP9).
Paul Boyle underlined the added value of European research collaboration, showing the higher rating of research supported by Horizon 2020 in comparison to other national funding schemes. He highlighted the special characteristics of the programme, unique in the scale of funding it provides to international research consortia. Paul Boyle called for mission-driven research, a concept the European Commission is currently seeking to develop for FP9. He also stressed the need for strengthened scientific oversight in the evaluation of proposals.
In his intervention, Paul Boyle strongly echoed EUA’s concerns regarding the remaining level of administrative burden in the programme, underfunding of excellence and unsustainably low success rates. He advocated for simplification – a key element of which would be the acceptance, by the European Commission, of nationally recognised institutional accounting practices – and increased funding, including structural funds to boost research and innovation capacities of underrepresented countries and regions in Horizon 2020.
In a meeting where the Commission expressed the intention to move from a “reimbursement” to an “entitlement” logic, experimenting the use of lump-sums already in the final work programme (2018-2020) of Horizon 2020, caution was also expressed about potential impact on cost coverage for beneficiaries.
The European Commission will kick-start the official FP9 consultation process next Monday, with the release of the recommendations of the high level group on maximising the impact of EU research and innovation programmes, chaired by Pascal Lamy.
The EFFECT projects develops European principles for Learning & Teaching
The EU-funded EFFECT project support universities in these processes by facilitating discussions and cooperation at European level. It is currently developing a set of shared principles for institutional strategies for learning and teaching which addresses issues such as leadership support, collaboration with external stakeholders, learner-centred approaches and the nexus between education and research. The principles are designed as non-prescriptive and are based on a diversity of purpose, content and methods.
A focus group meeting organised at the Irish Universities Association on 27 and 28 June 2017, brought together EFFECT partners and institutional leadership for a first review of the draft principles. Once finalised, the Principles for Learning and Teaching, along with an institutional strategy support package, will be made available to all institutions. A first presentation and discussion of the principles is planned to take place at the 1st European Learning and Teaching Forum, 28-29 September in Paris (registrations are already open).
The European Forum for Enhanced Collaboration in Teaching (EFFECT) project is funded by the European Commission’s Erasmus+ Programme. Under EFFECT, EUA and its 11 partners from different European countries are working on an approach to support pedagogical staff enhancement and institutional strategies in higher education.
EQAF registration and call for contributions
Under the title ‘Responsible QA – committing to impact’, the Forum will focus on the need for quality assurance (QA), whether aiming at accountability or enhancement, to be carried out in a transparent and responsible manner. This means finding ways of responding to the needs and interests of internal and external stakeholders. EQAF 2017 will explore how this can be done in practice, examining issues such as communication, ethics and the concept of change in QA.
The deadline for the early-bird registration fee is 9 October 2017. 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. To register, please visit the EQAF website. Here you will find a preliminary programme and further information about the Forum. You can also stay up to date with the latest news by following @EQAF on Twitter.
The organisers are also seeking your input to the programme. If you would like to discuss your own research, policy initiatives and practical case examples at the Forum by presenting a paper or organising a workshop, you can submit a proposal until 24 July 2017. Full details of the call for contributions and submission forms are available on the Forum website. Contributions that are selected for EQAF will receive one reduced fee for attending the Forum. A selection of papers will also be published after the Forum in cooperation with the Journal of the European Higher Education Area.
EQAF has been co-organised by ENQA, ESU, EUA and EURASHE since 2006 and has become the largest annual gathering of the European higher education QA community. EQAF 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 foster networking 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.