Cross-National Academic Perspectives
Edited By Marek Kwiek and Andrzej Kurkiewicz
Chapter 13: European Commission Staff Working Document:Supporting Growth and Jobs: an Agenda for the Modernisation of Europe's Higher Education Systems
Chapter 13 European Commission Staff Working Document: Supporting Growth and Jobs: an Agenda for the Modernisation of Europe's Higher Education Systems Introduction Higher education plays an essential role in Europe's collective well-being, creat- ing new knowledge, transmitting it to students and fostering innovation. Within Europe, national and regional governments are responsible for education and training systems and individual higher education institutions have considerable, albeit variable, autonomy in organising their own activities. However, many challenges facing higher education are similar across the EU and there are clear advantages in working together. The role of the European Commission is thus to support the efforts of public authorities and institutions themselves to modernise Europe's higher education systems to respond to today's social and economic challenges. Against this backdrop, the Commission's Communication on Supporting growth and jobs – an agenda for the modernisation of Europe's higher education systems presents an updated reform agenda for higher education in Europe to help focus European support, as well as action at national and institutional level. This Staff Working Paper provides background information and evidence to un- derpin the messages of the Communication, covering the following issues: 1. The key characteristics of higher education in today's Europe; 2. Evidence on the economic and social contribution of higher education 3. The changing student population; 4. The evolving skills requirements to which higher education needs to respond; 5. The ways higher education institutions contribute to innovation; 6. Funding and governance of higher education – at system and institutional level 7. The internationalisation...
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