European policy developments
The Council of the European Union published its conclusions on the global dimension of European higher education. The policy declaration puts focus on student and staff mobility, further internationalisation of curricula and the establishment of strategic partnerships and capacity building.
On 19 November Erasmus+ was approved by the European Parliament. The Erasmus+ budget will be € 14.7 billion for 2014-2020. This is a 40% funding increase in comparison with the previous programme. Erasmus+ consists of three key action areas:
- Learning mobility of individuals;
- Cooperation for innovation & exchange of good practices;
- Support for policy reform.
On 21 November Horizon 2020 was approved by the European Parliament, with a budget of nearly € 77 billion for 2014-2020. The framework consists of three pillars:
- Societal challenges (39% of the budget);
- Industrial leadership (22% of the budget);
- Excellent science (32% of the budget).
The European Commission launched HEInnovate: a new platform for higher education institutions to assess the entrepreneurial nature of their institution. The entrepreneurial nature can be examined in the following seven different areas:
- Leadership and Governance;
- Organisational Capacity, People and Incentives;
- Entrepreneurship development in teaching and learning;
- Pathways for entrepreneurs;
- University – business/external relationships for knowledge exchange;
- The Entrepreneurial University as an internationalised institution;
- Measuring the impact of the Entrepreneurial University.
On 25 November, the European Investment Bank (EIB) announced that higher education institutions and research institutes will be eligible for additional funding through the establishment of a € 385 million loan scheme.
A working group established by the Finnish Minister of Education and Science Krista proposes a national action plan to promote education exports. The group set a new goal to triple the number of foreign degree students at Finnish universities by 2025. Part of the plans involves the introduction of study fees to students who are non EU/EEA nationals and who study in degree programmes taught in English/other foreign languages. Furthermore, the working group proposed closer links between education export and development policy.
On 25 November the EU-Russia Year of Science 2014 was officially opened in Moscow. The year is dedicated to enhance joint science and technology cooperation between the EU and its member states on the one hand, and Russia on the other.
The European Commission has approved the installation of the European research institution EATRIS ERIC. The ERIC’s goal is to develop new medicines and therapies quicker and more efficiently. The EATRIS ERIC is located at VU Medical Centre in Amsterdam.
Norway has a new minister of Education and Research, Torbjørn Røe Isaksen.