Report from the EI Standing Committee on Higher Education and Research
The EI Standing Committee on Higher education and Research met in Oslo on September 26-28.
Participants focussed their work on the follow-up of the Bologna process, particularly the preparations for the EI Official Bologna seminar on mobility of staff and students, to be held on February 8-9, 2007.
In cooperation with the Council of Europe, a session was organised with the participation of Sjur Bergan, Head of the Higher Education and Research Division at the Council of Europe.
The question of the participation of EI as an Observer in the Council of Europe - Higher Education and Research Committee - was raised. Bergan indicated that he saw no reason to refuse EI this status, as it had already been granted to the European University Association (EUA), the National Union of Students in Europe (ESIB) and the European Association of Institutions in Higher Education (EURASHE). In order to proceed, EI will prepare a dossier demonstrating its pan-European scope and added value.
Discussions were also held around Higher Education and Research within the international context of the OECD, UNESCO and GATS.
A session was organised on EU-specific matters. Updates on the Bolkestein Directive, the EIT (European Institute of Technology), the EQF (EU Qualifications Framework), the EU Commission Communication on “Efficiency and Equity in European Education and Training Systems” were presented by Martin Romer.
Concerning research, participants discussed issues including the status of researchers and the financing of doctoral programmes, which will be the topic of one of the next Bologna seminars to be held in France in December. This seminar will be co-organised by the French government and the EUA.
The Committee adopted 4 statements to be presented to the EI Pan-European Structure decision bodies for consideration.
Finally, the Committee received a comprehensive dossier on a CD including a reader: this reader has been compiled for the participants, addressing and explaining a number of issues to be discussed during the HERSC meeting. This document with some others will also be useful for participants’ work and dissemination of information in their union.