Study on modernisation of higher education

13 December 2017

The European Parliament has published a study on modernisation of higher education which analyses policy developments since the European Commission’s 2011 agenda for the modernisation of Europe’s higher education systems and assesses developments towards the aims of the agenda. The study notes that cooperation between EU member states has significantly grown in recent years in the field of higher education, guided by objectives and targets set at the EU level. By addressing not only employment concerns but also exploring the contribution which higher education can make to tackling wider societal challenges, the 2017 communication offers a more integrated approach, but with higher expectations. The report further indicates that there is evidence of important developments in the priority areas set in the 2011 communication, however, challenges remain, and these require further concerted action – particularly with a view to supporting improved dialogue on teaching and teaching excellence, developing more sustainable funding models, and moving beyond seeing higher education institutions (HEIs) as utilitarian organisations.

The study recommends that the European Parliament’s Committee on Culture and Education focuses its follow-up work on the 2017 communication in five areas, which include: supporting dialogue on teaching enhancement, addressing the funding challenge, mainstreaming internationalisation in four priority areas, supporting a wider disciplinary focus, and working to ensure that HEIs, industry, and regional actors are on board.