20 octobre 2012

Empowering Students For A More Sustainable University

GUNi LogoBy Valentin Tappeser. In this article, Valentin Tappeser from Maastricht University presents the Maastricht University Green Office, a student-led department that develops sustainability projects by students, staff and faculty, as a successful example of how empowering students can be a productive and major stride to help shape and transform universities in their voyage towards sustainability and innovation.
When the world’s governments were meeting at Rio+20 this June to discuss the future of sustainable development, among the various issues addressed in the overwhelming plethora of side events, the role of higher education in sustainability was a fairly prominent concern.  The World Symposium on Sustainable Development at Universities, the launch of the Higher Education Initiative for Rio+20, as well as a number of other events and fora on the issue brought together some of the leading decision-makers, movers and shakers in the field. While much progress has been made since 1992 in transforming universities to become drivers of societal change through research and education, as well as to become organizational role models for wider society in terms of sustainability, a certain structural conservatism of these often century old institutions and the still pervasive obliviousness and ignorance towards the issue on the side of many administrators, faculty members, staff and students, leaves most institutions far from where they probably could and should be.
While some educators and administrators have been veritable champions, driving the transformation of their institutions towards modes of operation more adept to the challenges, normative and material imperatives of sustainable development, it is oftentimes the students problematizing engrained practices and shortcomings regarding sustainability. It is also students who, less burdened by the treadmill of academic production and the pressures it creates, come up with alternatives and drive initiatives for change. Yet, and this is something that struck me again in Rio, the discourse in education for sustainable development and sustainability in higher education debates seems to largely ignore this fact. While the importance and engagement of students is deemed highly important as such, they are mostly framed as objects to be changed, to be made aware and to be shaped rather than being seen as the active agents of change that they frequently are.
This situation, likely stemming from the inherent hierarchy of student-teacher relationships and the notion that knowledge and wisdom is brought from faculty to students, and not the other way round, so I argue, significantly impedes the potential for institutional transformation towards sustainable development in the higher education sector and society at large. In altering this discourse and empowering students to shape and transform their institutions, not just on the level of a recycling initiative or a poster campaign but by actually integrating them deeply into the governance process, universities can make a major step towards fulfilling sustainability imperatives, drive innovation and truly become learning organizations themselves.
At Maastricht University (UM), possibly because of a lack of promising alternatives, but also due to a very student-centered institutional philosophy, the bold endorsementof a student initiative by university management produced astonishing successes in an institution that until then could hardly be considered as a first mover in the field of sustainability.  A handful of students, including myself, after polishing a sort of vision we created in consultation with a number of key stakeholders, approached the management team with the proposal to launch Maastricht University Green Office, astudent-run sustainability department that drives and supports sustainability projects by students, staff and faculty. That was in 2010, and the surprise I had when, some two weeks after our proposal presentation, I got a phone call from my vice-president saying that we should go through with this, transforms into astonishment mixed with a sense of pride, when l look at what has happened since.  Two years into its existence, the Green Office is a fully functional department run by 8 part-time student employees, dozens of volunteers and the university’s environmental consultant.It serves as an incubator and catalyser, connecting disparate actors and knowledges. It develops and monitors the university’s sustainability policy, and through close links with top-management, the research and student communities, it initiates, drives and supports projects in education, research, operations and the broader community.  Backed by its own supervisory board with representatives and experts from academia, politics, management and private enterprise, the Green Office has started to transform not only the way the university operates, but also the institution’s self-understanding and the mind-set of its members. From an institution that, despite the existence of an internationally recognized sustainability research institute, had a very low profile in terms of sustainability for the organization as a whole, UM is turning into one of the most innovative and sustainable universities in the country and beyond, recently acknowledged by the Sustainabul Award 2012, recognizing it as the university with the most transparent and sustainable policies in the Netherlands, as well as the International Sustainable Campus Network’s and oikos International’s Student Leadership Award for the Green Office.
The experience in Maastricht shows that students can be effective change-agents if they are given the chance. As institutional entrepreneurs, they are able to drive processes of institutional transformation, to innovate and to challenge the status quo. Their inclusion and active empowerment makes sense not only from a sustainability governance perspective, which stresses the importance of inclusion, transparency and multi-stakeholder processes in decision-making, as well as a university governance perspective stressing the need for student participation, but also from an innovation and institutional theory perspective. Students are not as deeply embedded in the institutional logics of their host universities as faculty and administrators are. Thus, where staff and management are unable to envision alternatives to the way things are done currently, students have the ability to critically assess and innovate institutional structures towards more sustainable organizations. If they are given the support and the power to develop and implement their ideas, universities have the chance to transform themselves, while the students gain valuable experience and skills along the way.
Naturally, if it was that easy to integrate students into the organizational structures of the university, it would be a much more pervasive phenomenon. Students’ increasingly short presence at their institutions, interrupted by exchange semesters, internships and the likes, make it difficult to for them to meaningfully engage in usually rather complex and slow decision-making or project implementation procedures. It takes time to learn how things work, to get to know the relevant stakeholders inside and outside the university, and to build the expertise, trust and leverage to successfully implement projects. In the case of the Green Office in Maastricht, it seems that while learning curves cannot be steepened unlimitedly, the institutionalization of a highly competitive hiring process ensuring a balance between experienced and aspiring project coordinators in the student team, good relationship management with outside stakeholders, a large pool of volunteers, as well as a tailored, bi-weekly training programme with experts from inside and outside the institution, continuity problems could be sufficiently tamed. In fact, with the third generation of students working at the Green Office now, it continues to grow and expand its leverage and impact on the institution. Having implemented significant energy-efficiency measures throughout the institution, a baseline analysis and a binding sustainability policy with wide-ranging measures in research, education, operations and community for the next three years, it is currently coordinating the development of a long-range, multi-stakeholder visioning and roadmap process to set sustainability targets for 2030.
In that sense, it might be cautiously suggested that the Green Office has turned the continuity problem associated with student engagement in university sustainability governance into an asset, as management backing and good transition management maintain and increase the power and centrality of the Green Office in the institution over time, while revolving student generations within that structure maintain the critical consciousness necessary to keep innovation processes alive(Tappeser & Meyer, 2012). As I have argued elsewhere (Ibid.), in theoretical terms, it may thus be an interesting approach to solve the problem of embedded agency as it is discussed in organizational studies literature(Meyerson & Tompkins, 2007) on institutional entrepreneurship.
The experience drawn from Maastricht, and the realization that by enabling effective student participation universities can seriously improve education and research for sustainable development as well as their own operations in environmental, social and also economic terms has led us, four founding members of the Green Office, to promote this concept to other universities as well as to further develop the theoretical understanding of institutional change processes towards sustainability. We therefore created Green Office Europe, promoting the creation of Green Offices and assisting universities in the process. A foundation set-up in May in Maastricht with the aim to establish a network, promote and undertake research, is now being complemented by a consulting firm based in Berlin, assisting in the creation of participatory governance structures to do its bit to contribute to the necessary transformation of the European higher education landscape.
Thus, if there is something that I would like to see reverberating as a message from Rio, it would be along the lines of the closing statement of the Major Group for Children and Youth, widely adopted by civil society representatives at the rather disappointing end of the conference: If you are unable to stand up, then you must be unwilling to move forward. So we will move forward for you. In a university context, this may translate into: make room for the students, for they can and they will tackle the challenges of sustainable development for themselves and future generations. Rather than understanding them as objects to be transformed, give them some space to act, and let them transform our universities, so they can transform the institutions they find themselves to be working in afterwards.
To find out more about Maastricht University Green Office or Green Office Europe, visit www.greenofficemaastricht.nl or www.greenoffice-europe.eu. You can also contact the author at valentin.tappeser@maastrichtuniversity.nl.
References
Meyerson, D., & Tompkins, M. (2007). Tempered radicals as institutional change agents: The case of advancing gender equity at the University of Michigan. Harv. JL & Gender, 30, 303.
Tappeser, V., & Meyer, A. (2012). Change Agents in Sustainability Governance. In W. L. Filho (Ed.), Sustainable Development at Universities: New Horizons. Hamburg: Peter Lang
About the author

Valentin Tappeser is a young sustainability researcher and entrepreneur. He graduated from Maastricht University in 2012, where he co-founded Maastricht University Green Office, as well as a number of other initiatives in the areas of media and culture. He is currently following a Master of Arts in Global Studies at the University of Freiburg, FLACSO Argentina and Jahawal Nehru University Delhi. With Green Office Europe, he and his colleagues are working to build sustainable institutions in the higher education landscape.

Posté par pcassuto à 01:26 - - Permalien [#]


Erasmus for All update: EAEA feels that budget for adult education should be increased

European Association for Education of AdultsThe Draft Report from the rapporteur Doris Pack concerning EU's new programme for education, training, youth and sport was discussed in the European Parliament´s Culture and Education Committee in 19 September 2012. EAEA has published a statement regarding the Draft Report and proposed amendments in order to further improve the programme.
The Draft Report suggests renaming the programme. EAEA appreciates this, as well as the fact that Grundtvig, as well as the other sub-programmes, will continue within the new structure of the programme.
EAEA welcomes that the mobility of adult learners will be continued through the learning partnerships, which have been very successful and popular in the current programme. The Association proposes that the other two mobility schemes for adult learners, i.e. workshops and senior volunteering, will also be continued.
Adequate funding should be secured

EAEA believes that the budget increase for adult learning to 6 % is already a big improvement. Grundtvig is a programme that is the target of many groups and sectors within lifelong learning due to its non-formal nature. It is, for example, being used for young adults´ non-formal training, parents´ education as well as non-formal teachers´ training. Adequate funding is therefore crucial. In order to secure this funding, EAEA proposes to match at least the percentage for Youth, i.e. 8.3 %.
EAEA understands that the training for unemployed people remains the main task of national unemployment services and the European Social Fund, but believes that the transfer of innovation in this field should remain an important issue for the Lifelong Learning Programme.
More recognition to civil society organisations

EAEA is still sceptical about the ‘sustainable systemic impact´ that the programme is aiming for. Focusing too much on the systemic level can have an adverse effect and impede a broader participation. Indeed, smaller projects may not have a systemic impact but they do have greater qualitative individual, organisational and societal impacts, especially projects aimed at social inclusion and active citizenship. Civil society organisations should be recognised as agents of social change and innovation and their projects should not be hindered because their impact is not directly measurable.
EAEA regrets that operational grants are restricted to the Youth sector. The argument that for the continuity of the youth sector, it is crucial to ensure that youth NGOs receive also in future operating grants for their work in the field is just as true for the lifelong learning sector. Currently, operating grants for European associations are administered under Jean Monnet, key activity 3. EAEA would also like to see a stronger involvement of civil society in the planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the programme as well as the European Civil Society Platform on Lifelong Learning (EUCIS LLL) directly mentioned as a reference civil society partner in the framework of a regular dialogue in education & training.
Related file: 2012_Statement_LLLP2.

Posté par pcassuto à 01:18 - - Permalien [#]
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Funding of the current Erasmus Programme

LogoOver the last weeks, there has been media coverage concerning funding of the European Commission’s current Erasmus mobility Programme, which is part of the Lifelong Learning Programme (2007-2013).
The EC has this week (16 October) in response published a memo on this issue, in the form of an FAQ which outlines the origins of the ‘current funding problem for Erasmus’, what this means for Erasmus students, and what it is trying to do to solve the problem. More information is available here.
According to the EC, the situation “does not threaten current grants and there should be no problems for students studying or on a job placement abroad either now or in the coming semester”. However, if no longer-term solution is found, it says “serious problems will appear later in 2013”. The Commission says it will request the Member States and the European Parliament to find a solution before the end of the year.
EUA will continue to follow this issue very closely and urges the relevant authorities to resolve this problem as quickly as possible for the Erasmus Programme, which celebrates its 25th anniversary this year.
Click here to read a news article published by EUA earlier this year (for the 25th anniversary) outlining its support for Erasmus and for improving mobility.

Posté par pcassuto à 01:03 - - Permalien [#]
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Developing a qualifications framework for Central America - sub-regional workshop of the ALFA PUENTES project

Logo Vice-rectors for academic affairs of 40 Central American universities gathered at a workshop in Guatemala City from 8 to 9 October, to discuss the development and implementation of a regional qualifications framework for Central America.
The workshop was led by the Central American University Association (CSUCA) and supported by EUA. It took place in the framework of the ALFA PUENTES project, which is co-funded by the European Commission. Coordinated by EUA, the project involves 23 Latin American and European university asssociations, and is dedicated to supporting higher education convergence and harmonisation processes and to strengthening the role of university associations in Latin America.
The initiative for a qualifications framework for Central America is one of three sub-regional project strands of the ALFA PUENTES project and is driven by the CSUCA, an independent university organisation, in close collaboration with its 20 university members, and the national university associations of Costa Rica (CONARE), Panama (CRP), Honduras (UNAH) as well as Nicaragua and El Salvador. In the current phase, the project researchers are mapping and analysing the qualifications awarded in various disciplines at institutions in the region. In the next phase, generic descriptors will be developed for the qualifications framework (QF).
This month’s workshop was designed to promote the initiative to academic vice-rectors and to debate potential advantages and risks in developing such a framework. Practice was shared by European participants on both the European qualifications frameworks and national frameworks.
Workshop participants were generally positive regarding the prospect of having a regional qualifications framework. Beyond its potential value for transborder mobility, it was seen as a possibility to enhance quality of learning, but also to stress the relevance of university education for society and the labour market. A QF was also welcomed as another building block in the Central American regional (higher education) harmonisation process, which is led by CSUCA, and has over the past decade resulted in joint approaches for quality assurance and study credits. The European case of a regional QF was perceived as inspiring and – given the diversity within Europe – also as proof that it should be feasible to come up with an agreement in Central America. A question addressed was also whether the present initiative could lay the ground for a larger regional framework for Latin America. But there were also some sceptical voices, regarding the inherent risk of bureaucratisation, and that a QF could become overly regulatory or limit academic freedom.
In the course of the next months, CSUCA and partners will be designing a draft regional QF that will be shared with representatives of the academic community, of industry and national bodies.
ALFA PUENTES
 is a three-year EU-supported project that is driven by EUA, OBREAL and more than 20 partners in Latin America and Europe (including some EUA collective members), all of which are national and regional university associations. It is co-funded by the European Commission Alfa Programme.

Posté par pcassuto à 01:00 - - Permalien [#]

EUA launches four new projects on rankings, funding, quality, and internationalisation in doctoral education

LogoEUA is launching four new projects on key issues identified by its members: quality assurance, the impact of university rankings, higher education funding, and internationalisation in doctoral education.
These projects, detailed below, will build on EUA’s recent work in each of these areas. Further details on specific activities to be carried out in the context of these projects, and how members can become involved, will be published on the project websites and in the EUA newsletter.

  • Rankings in Institutional Strategies and Processes (RISP) will build on EUA’s work on institutional development and its ongoing review of international university rankings. The project aims to carry out the first pan-European study on the impact and influence of rankings and similar transparency tools on the development strategies of European universities. RISP will also develop recommendations on how rankings and transparency tools can be used to promote institutional development while identifying ‘potential pitfalls’ that universities should avoid.
    The project will be carried out in partnership with the Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT), the French Rectors’ Conference (CPU) and the Academic Information Centre (AIC) in Latvia. Visit the project webpage for more information.
  • Designing Strategies for Efficient Funding of Higher Education in Europe (DEFINE) will provide data and recommendations to support the development of strategies to increase the efficiency of higher education funding (at the institutional and system level). The goal is to determine good practice, challenges and the impact of funding efficiency measures, such as performance-based mechanisms, institutional mergers and other concentration measures, and excellence schemes.
    The DEFINE project is carried out in collaboration with CIPES, the Centre for Research in Higher Education Policies, University of Oxford, Aalto University, Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg and Copenhagen Business School. Visit the project webpage for more information.
  • Promoting Quality Culture (PQC) will follow up and build on the recently completed EUA-led project Examining Quality Culture in higher education institutions. This showed that while the majority of universities in Europe have built up quality assurance systems, those in charge of managing quality processes at universities feel the need for further capacity building on how to incentivise all stakeholders (students, academic and administrative staff) to take on responsibility for quality.
    The project will be carried out in partnership with the European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education (ENQA), the University of Duisburg-Essen, the University of Lisbon and the University of Zagreb. Visit the project webpage for more information.
  • Framework for the Internationalisation of Doctoral Education (FRINDOC): the aim is to develop a statement of good practice and an online tool to aid universities to plan and implement internationalisation and mobility strategies for doctoral education. It is intended as a comprehensive strategic tool for self-evaluation of internationalisation of doctoral programmes enabling universities to attain a united picture of strategic goals, capacity and possibilities to implement the right structures for their particular profile.
    The project will be carried out in collaboration with Imperial College London, Stellenbosch University, the University of Bergen, the University of Camerino, and the University of Hong Kong. Visit the project webpage for more information.
The RISP, DEFINE, and PQC projects are supported by funding from the Lifelong Learning Programme of the European Commission. FRINDOC is co-funded by the Erasmus Mundus Programme.

Posté par pcassuto à 00:55 - - Permalien [#]

Werdet Weltbürger statt Bologna-Sklaven!

http://www.epapercatalog.com/images/zeit-online-epaper.jpgRuben Karschnick, Redakteur im Ressort Studium bei ZEIT ONLINE. Seine Profilseite finden Sie hier. Das neue Semester beginnt. Und damit der Run auf Credit-Points, der angeblichen Währung für Erfolg. Studenten sollten sich davon freimachen, findet Ruben Karschnick.
Liebe Studenten,
die Jagd auf Credit-Points ist wieder eröffnet. Macht so schnell ihr könnt, lernt, arbeitet! Oder wollt ihr etwa nicht in Regelstudienzeit studieren? Denkt immer daran: Es geht um eure Zukunft!
Kennt ihr diesen fiesen, kleinen Bologna-Teufel im Kopf? Das permanente schlechte Gewissen, nicht genug für später zu tun. Diese Stimme, die dauernd rezitiert, was die europäischen Bildungsminister 1999 beschlossen haben: Das Studium soll die "arbeitsmarktrelevanten Qualifikationen" der europäischen Bürger fördern.
Dann seid ihr in guter Gesellschaft. Studien zufolge ist den meisten Studenten ihre employability wichtiger als alles andere. Hauptsache fit für den Arbeitsmarkt.
Doch ein Studium muss mehr bleiben als eine reine Arbeitsbeschaffungsmaßnahme. Selbst dann, wenn die Ängste vor Arbeitslosigkeit, dem Verlust des Bafögs oder der Last des Unikredits allgegenwärtig sind.
Wilhelm von Humboldt sagte, ein Studium solle autonome Individuen und Weltbürger hervorbringen. So nannte der Gründer der Universität Berlin Menschen, die sich mit dem Geschehen auf der Welt auseinandersetzen. Mit Krieg und Frieden, Kulturen und der Natur. Dadurch seien sie in der Lage, selbstbestimmt, mündig und vernünftig zu handeln.
Die Realität an den Unis lässt einen das schnell vergessen. Im Mittelpunkt des heutigen Studiums steht der Credit-Point, eine Einheit, in der sich Bildung angeblich messen lasse. In Studienordnungen findet sich der Hinweis, dass man pro Credit-Point durchschnittlich 25 bis 30 Stunden arbeiten müsse. Die traurige Devise lautet: Arbeit pro Stunde statt Erkenntnisse pro Vorlesung. Einem wird erklärt, wie man im Super-Mario-Stil durch verschiedene Level namens Module zu hüpfen hat und pling-pling einen Punkt nach dem anderen einsammeln soll.
Da ist es nicht leicht, sich zu besinnen, was ein Studium eigentlich heißt: Die Freiheit, sich mit einem bestimmten Gegenstand so intensiv zu beschäftigen, wie man möchte. Und dadurch die Welt ein bisschen besser zu verstehen. Frei von Zwängen wie dem Lebenslauf oder Unternehmenserfolg. Das hat auch heute noch seine Berechtigung. Daran darf auch das Bologna-Teufelchen im Kopf nichts ändern.
Studieren heißt auch, seine Leidenschaften zu entdecken. Doch im Wettrennen um Credit-Points wird es immer schwerer, nach links und rechts zu schauen. Kaum jemand kommt mehr dazu, herauszufinden, was er wirklich will und womit er später einen Großteil seines Lebens verbringen möchte. Im Bologna-Zeitalter sind Studienabbrecher, Langzeitstudenten und Fachwechsler unerwünscht; schnell verschrien als Leute, die nicht wissen, was sie wollen, oder schlicht faul sind. Aber macht schneller Erfolg langfristig glücklich?
Weltbürger werden immer gebraucht

Wer sich diesen Lebensentwurf nicht aufdrücken lassen will, hat es nicht leicht. Die Bedingungen an der Uni werden eher auf Seiten angehender Facharbeiter als angehender Weltbürger sein. Da hilft nur eine Jetzt-erst-recht-Haltung. Oder wie ein Sprichwort sagt: Wenn dir das Leben Steine in den Weg legt, bau' was Schönes daraus.
Natürlich gibt es Situationen, da sind die Steine zu schwer, um sie auch nur anzuheben. Wer in so einem Fall den Mut hat, einen neuen Weg einzuschlagen, verdient Respekt. Keiner sollte deshalb Angst haben, als der vielzitierte Taxifahrer zu enden – außer, es ist das, was einen glücklich macht. Weltbürger werden nämlich immer gebraucht.

Posté par pcassuto à 00:40 - - Permalien [#]

Immigration for Traveling Faculty Members

HomeBy Natasha J. Baker. As colleges and universities continue to sprout satellite campuses overseas, partner with foreign institutions and offer programs and trips abroad, institutions and their faculty who perform services abroad need to be aware and cautious of the very real immigration pitfalls of these arrangements. It is important to note that immigration issues may apply to faculty members regardless of the duration of the program or the physical presence of the institution within the particular jurisdiction.
A comparison of some of the various jurisdictions demonstrates how very different the immigration laws can be. We surveyed higher education lawyers from the Employment Law Alliance's Higher Education Council with expertise in immigration to get a flavor of the various types of requirements around the world – including those seeking to teach short-term in the United States.
The European Union
Heading across the pond, Sasha Stepanova of the Czech Republic firm of Kocian Solc Balastik notes that E.U./EEA citizens have the right to freely move between and work in other EU/EEA countries, whereas any non E.U./EEA citizens (e.g., U.S. citizens) must in the vast majority of cases apply for both a work permit and a residency visa.
The good news for short-term visiting faculty is that there are certain limited exceptions – for example academics or researchers who will be visiting an institution for a period of shorter than three months will in some countries be exempted from the need for a work permit. An additional exception from work permits in some countries is available when teachers are teaching in foreign languages within the framework of an international educational program.
Stepanova also cautions that institutions should not confuse work permit requirements with visa requirements. For some non E.U./EEA citizens, there is a visa entry requirement for simply entering into certain E.U./EEA countries. This will still apply even if there is no need for a work permit.  For example, the Schengen visa allows for six months stay in the E.U./EEA zone. If you are a U.S. citizen and wish to stay more than three months in the Schengen Zone, you will require a Schengen visa.
According to Stepanova, the most important issue for any non-E.U./EEA academic preparing to come to Europe is to ensure sufficient time for the visa and work permit application processes. As a rule, the applications are generally required to be made from your home country (i.e. not after your arrival in the destination) and commonly take 2-4 months to process.  Entering and staying on the territory in breach of these conditions and working without a permit where one is required may result in substantial fines or deportation. Despite what may seem to be onerous provisions, there is regular traffic of academic exchange in European universities, the key is to prepare in advance and ensure sufficient time for your application and availability of all documentation, which may often need to be apostilled (not just photocopied). More...

Posté par pcassuto à 00:11 - - Permalien [#]

Can states be pressured into reinvesting in higher education?

madison.comBy . Campus Connection: Can states be pressured into reinvesting in higher education? Each June or July, the UW System’s Board of Regents meets to set tuition rates for the next academic year.
Despite acknowledging concerns about the increasing costs associated with earning a college degree, the Regents this past June ultimately voted to increase tuition by 5.5 percent for the 2012-13 academic year for in-state undergraduates. It was the sixth straight year in which resident undergrads attending one of the UW System’s 13 four-year campuses have had their tuition bumped up by that exact same percentage. Add it up, and tuition and mandatory fees at UW-Madison are topping $10,000 for the first time in 2012-13, costing an in-state undergrad $10,378.
As usual, when reporting on this jump I noted that a driving force behind this tuition increase was the perpetual state cuts to higher education; in this case, Gov. Scott Walker’s 2011-13 biennial budget signed the previous summer slashed state funding for the UW System by a record-tying $250 million. That hit jumped to record levels last winter after the UW System was told it needed to absorb an additional cut of $65.7 million over the biennium to help balance the state's budget.
Despite such caveats, the headlines associated with these articles invariably read something like, “Regents hike tuition.” And the public fumes.
“The usual pushback goes something like this, ‘The university needs to solve its budget problems by cutting waste before raising tuition,’” says Grant Petty, a UW-Madison professor of atmospheric and oceanic sciences. “But I haven’t heard specific, credible suggestions as to where that waste is, certainly not in amounts that come close to closing that gap we’re facing. From where I stand it’s clear that the fat is long gone and that we’re now cutting into the bone.”
The fact that the public isn't clearly drawing a line between cause (state cuts to the UW System) and effect (yearly 5.5 percent tuition increases) has frustrated many in higher education for years. Indeed, nearly 100 percent of undergraduate education at UW-Madison is funded via a combination of tuition and taxpayer support, with tuition now making up the larger proportion of that funding formula.
But what’s one to do?
As this Inside Higher Ed article notes, some public universities now are trying to reframe the debate. As that piece points out, “Recognizing the pressure to keep prices down, several (institutions) have proposed budgets that would hold tuition level if states agree to up their financial commitment to the university, hoping to shift the pressure to state lawmakers.”
In fact, it was just last Friday that the University of Minnesota’s Board of Regents adopted a biennial budget proposal that’ll freeze undergrad, in-state tuition — as long as the state bumps up its investment. The Star Tribune reports that the University of Minnesota is asking for $91.6 million more — or an 8.4 percent increase over the current biennium. Part of that, $28.4 million over two years, would be linked to a tuition freeze for Minnesota’s in-state undergraduates...
Brad Barham, a UW-Madison professor of agricultural and applied economics who chaired the University Committee last year, notes that in December, the Faculty Senate passed a resolution calling for a “new social compact” between the state, higher education and the private sector that aimed to guarantee a more stable funding base of taxpayer support for the university in order to end the upward pressure on tuition. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 00:02 - - Permalien [#]

Erasmus poursuit son chemin

Suite aux propos d'Alain Lamassoure (président de la commission du budget au parlement européen) sur le programme Erasmus, Antoine Godbert , directeur de l'Agence française 2e2f tient à rassurer les étudiants et leurs familles.
" Je souhaite rassurer les étudiants Erasmus et leurs familles. Comme chaque année, les montants de subventions correspondant à tous les programmes d’Education et Formation Tout au Long de la Vie ont été versés par la Commission européenne et les étudiants toucheront en 2012 les bourses qui leur ont été octroyées. Et comme l’a rappelé le cabinet de la Ministre de l’Enseignement Supérieur et de la Recherche ce matin, L’Agence n’a aucun problème pour leur versement.
"
Lire l'intégralité du communiqué de presse: Erasmus poursuit son chemin.
Voir aussi Erasmus n'échappe pas à la politique d'austérité, EU has no cash for Erasmus student fund, Comment Erasmus s'est enraciné à Bordeaux.

Μετά Σχετικά με Lamassoure (πρόεδρος της Επιτροπής Προϋπολογισμού του Ευρωπαϊκού Κοινοβουλίου) σχετικά με το πρόγραμμα Erasmus, Godbert Αντουάν, διευθυντής της γαλλικής Υπηρεσίας 2E2F καθησυχάζει τους μαθητές και τις οικογένειές τους.
"Θέλω να διαβεβαιώσω τους φοιτητές Erasmus και τις οικογένειές τους
.
Διαβάστε το πλήρες δελτίο τύπου: Erasmus συνεχίζει την πορεία του. Περισσότερα...

Posté par pcassuto à 00:00 - - Permalien [#]
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