EU leaders agree on future directions for Europe at Sibiu Summit

On 9 May, EU member state leaders met in Sibiu, Romania to agree on 10 commitments for the future of Europe just a few weeks ahead of the European elections. They also had a first discussion on their strategic agenda for 2019-2024 focusing on four key themes: protecting citizens and freedoms; developing Europe’s economic base; building a greener, fairer and more inclusive future, and promoting Europe’s interests and values in the world.
Links with issues of concern to universities mainly fall under key theme number two, which includes investments in education, research and innovation through the new generation of EU programmes such as Erasmus+ and Horizon Europe. It also foresees measures to embrace the digital transition through developing artificial intelligence, promoting access and the sharing of data and ensuring connectivity. Furthermore, sustainability takes on a more prominent role with actions towards sustainable energy, the preservation of the climate and the environment, as well as promoting inclusiveness. These are all areas where universities can make a significant contribution.
However, these are very broad directions reflecting the common ground found by heads of states and governments in the European Council, which they still have to formally adopt in their next meeting at the end of May. Then, this has to be combined with the priorities of the new European Commission and of the new European Parliament, which will have an important say on concrete initiatives brought forward during the next mandate from 2019 to 2024. For more information about the upcoming European elections, and the role of the Parliament for higher education and research polices, watch EUA’s recent webinar.
EUA and Science Europe have issued a joint statement on the need to combine efforts to develop and implement more accurate, transparent and responsible approaches to scholarly research assessment.
Data collected by EUA shows that a peak in merger and clustering activities involving universities occurred in the mid-2010s, with an average of nine such processes completed each year between 2005 and 2015.
EUA addresses Sustainable Development Goals in Asia-Europe dialogue on higher education

The 7th Asia-Europe Foundation Rectors’ Conference and Students’ Forum took place in Bucharest, Romania from 11 to 15 May. The conference focused on the key responsibility of universities in tackling the Sustainable Development Goals.
Following a call to conduct a study on so-called “Read & Publish” agreements with scientific publishers, EUA has selected Technopolis to carry out the work.