09 février 2013

Eurofound launches the fieldwork for its 3rd European Company Survey

European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working ConditionsEurofound launches the fieldwork for its 3rd European Company Survey: Surveying how European workplaces have managed in the economic downturn.
In 2009, more than 60% of employees in Europe were covered by a trade union or a works council at the workplace, according to the European Company Survey. At the same time, four out of five workplaces were found to have a good work climate. This week across 32 countries, Eurofound launches the fieldwork for the new edition of European Company Survey, aimed at providing insights to changes in workplace and human resource management practices, employee participation and social dialogue at the workplace, and performance, since the inset of the economic downturn.
European companies play a crucial role in getting out of the crisis and in reaching the goals of the Europe 2020 strategy for sustainable, inclusive and smart growth. The European Company Survey (ECS) gives an overview of workplace practices and how they are negotiated in European establishments. It is based on the views of both managers and employee representatives, and it isdesigned to provide information on workplace practices to develop and evaluate socioeconomic policy.
First carried out in 2004, and the second edition in 2009, the fieldwork for the third edition of the European Company Survey (3ECS) starts this week. The fieldwork will be carried out simultaneously in 32 countries (27 EU Member States and Croatia, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Iceland, Montenegro and Turkey), targeting 29,950 companies and establishments, ranging from 300 to 1650 depending on the size of the country. Interviews are carried out with a manager responsible for human resources and an employee representative at workplace level. The main focus of the 3ECS is work organisation, workplace innovation, employee participation and social dialogue. The survey will map a number of practices used in European workplaces, as well as how they are discussed and negotiated at workplace level as well as some of their outcomes. The questionnaire was prepared in cooperation with Eurofound's tripartite stakeholders and experts in the relevant fields.
Information and research data from the Second European Company Survey (2ECS) are available.
More information on the third ECS. First results are anticipated at the end of the year.

Posté par pcassuto à 20:30 - - Permalien [#]

Foundation Forum 2013

Foundation Forum 2013 - Social and employment policies for a fair and competitive Europe,14–15 February 2013, Dublin Castle, Dublin, Ireland
The Foundation Forum, which takes place every four years in Dublin, is Eurofound’s ‘flagship’ event. It is designed to provide a high-level forum for debate and discussion of key social policy issues facing Member States. The Forum brings together leading decision-makers and opinion-formers, together with academic experts, in a neutral setting to promote the exchange of new ideas and experiences on subjects of policy relevance and within the Foundation’s competence.
The fifth edition of the Forum will be dedicated to the theme of ‘Social and employment policies for a fair and competitive Europe’.
Through panel sessions, plenary debates and interactive technologies, Forum participants will address the most pressing issues in this area to come up with original, workable solutions that can potentially feed into the policymaking process. A programme is available.
The Forum is organised with the support of the Irish government.
See Foundation Forum 2009, 2006, 2004 and 2002 for information on previous Forum events.

Posté par pcassuto à 20:26 - - Permalien [#]

The State of University Policy for Progress in Europe

http://www.guninetwork.org/resources/bibliography/the-state-of-university-policy-for-progress-in-europe.-policy-report/image_miniThe State of University Policy for Progress in Europe. HOAREAU, Cecile; RITZEN, Jo & MARCONI, Gabriele. 2012. Maastricht: Empowering European Universities Publications.
This report analyzes the contribution of higher education policies to higher education performance and economic innovation. Furthermore, it measures and compares the role and involvement of national governments’ policies to foster such contribution across Europe. The publication summarizes the main findings in a policy report, explains used data and method in a technical report, and provides a glimpse into each one of the 32 countries in a country report. For more information, follow this link.

Higher education contributes to economic innovation. This study measures and compares the extent to which national governments’ policies foster this contribution across Europe. The study stresses the relevance of policies which are ‘empowering’ for higher education institutions, or in other words provide them with appropriate resources and regulatory environments.
The assessment relies on quantitative scores, based on the contribution of policies regarding funding and autonomy to higher education performance in education, research and economic innovation, using non-arbitrary weights and eighteen policy indicators across 32 European countries. A large number of countries belong to a ‘middle group’ in our overall assessment, indicating a relative cohesion in Europe. Yet, substantial variations exist in terms of higher education policy in Europe, each European country having room for policy improvement...
6. Recommendations.
University policy matters a great deal when it comes to the impact of university education and research on innovation. This became apparent in the preceding, however fuzzy many of our indicators and how simplified our framework were. The analysis leads to the following policy recommendations.
6.1. Innovation.

Governments are increasingly including higher education in their innovation strategies. This inclusion does not only take the form of funding, but is also represented by changes in governance structures. Eight Governments have integrated higher education with innovation in a single ministry to facilitate common policies. For example, Denmark has now a Ministry of Science, Innovation and Higher Education, the UK has established a Department for Business, Innovation and Skills while Slovenia had a Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Technology (until March 2012).
We have recorded five Governments who actively encourage interministerial cooperation between education ministers and other ministries on innovation matters, where the responsibility for innovation is split. For example in Norway the Ministry for Trade and Industry and the Ministry for Education and Research have established closer relations to stimulate innovation. More Governments could adopt integrated or coordinated governance structures to promote a coherent strategy between higher education and innovation, if they want higher education to work for innovation.
6.2. Autonomy.

On the autonomy side we see that Governments seem to have two spirits in one body (zwei Seelen in einem Brust). They know how important autonomy is, but are not so sure whether universities are always able to use the autonomy with which universities are entrusted well (i.e. for societal purposes). There are cases in countries with a high degree of autonomy, where this autonomy is not always used well (in the perception of the Government). This is not surprising as universities are run by professionals who constantly make trade-offs between their contribution to society and their own self- interests, if the two are conflicting.
The ideal world would be one in which the contribution of universities to the learning of students would be well measured and visible, so that student demand could focus universities on the societal track. Yet in the absence of such measures, funding based on performance indicators could provide incentives for institutions to serve the social purposes. “Incentives” take various forms across countries, like contracts, funding per student, funding a minimum level of student places, or funding based on the number of graduates. We could not find a significant impact of funding incentives on innovation which is not surprising given our rather fuzzy indicator for incentives in funding.
Policy autonomy translates into relatively high levels of graduation and employment. Managerial autonomy is important for the research attractiveness and research productivity, but less important for graduation and employment.
There is no reason for any country not to engage in achieving the autonomy of universities (which includes academic and staffing autonomy), provided sufficient quality incentives in funding exist.

One could very well imagine that the degree of managerial autonomy be differentiat in differentiated systems of higher education. It is clear that research universities perform better with managerial autonomy, but it is less clear whether this also applies for non-research universities. There is special case to be made for more policy autonomy with respect to accreditation and quality control. Most European countries require that national criteria apply. “Only in four countries (Austria, Switzerland, the Cyprus and Iceland) are universities able to select their quality assurance mechanisms freely and according to their needs” (Estermann et al, 2010). The great advantage of more policy autonomy is in this case –besides the competition which arises in the quality of accreditation organizations- that the administrative burden for institutions decreases, and that it becomes so much easier to have joint degrees across
European countries. The same should be applied to accreditation on a programme basis: there is no reason to limit university policy autonomy to national accredition for degree programs. Institutional accreditation or institutional auditing for quality assurance is a different matter. This has to be national (as is the case in Estonia, Finland, Ireland, Norway and the UK).
6.3 Funding.

Universities largely rely on public funding in Europe (even if funding is being diversified). It is clear from our research that governmental effort in funding is related to a higher university performance. Funding was not considered in absolute amounts, but rather in terms of effort so as to control for the country’s GDP.
Countries with a more modest economic performance can invest in a competitive way in higher education.

The less economically developed EU countries can use structural and cohesion funds to develop their human capital, as has been, for example, the case in Poland.
The use of structural and cohesion funds to upgrade universities could improve the performance of higher education in less economically developed regions.

Financial aid to students was equally important as funding effort. In this respect many countries have not yet their act together. Substantial amounts of Government support (in the form of tax credits or child allowances) support parents rather than students, and tend to benefit an already comfortable upper and middle class, reducing funds available for loans and grants for students who cannot participate in higher education because of financial constraints.
Governments should redirect Government support for students to effectively increasing equality of opportunity.
6.4 Policy continuity.

Government policy is the subject of political decisions. From the country correspondents a picture emerges of politics which do not always provide the necessary continuity and predictability. The translation of a new policy in the practice of university performance takes at least 5-10 years. If policies change with a greater frequency then they are bound to be ineffective. Several European countries have had in the recent past average durations of Government shorter than the announced length of their mandates, with every new Government often coming up with new university reforms, sometimes reinforcing each other, but sometimes also contradicting each other. This is not in the interest of students, universities and innovation.
Politicians should look for a broad political support in enacting new Government regulations (with support beyond the ruling party or the ruling coalition). One way of doing this is by agreeing to a new social contract between universities, politicians and stakeholders.

6.5 Quality in universities.

The major recommendation to universities is to be aware of the need to earn the trust of society for the autonomy and funding they receive and to create the organizational conditions to do so. Part of the conditions is also to focus on the quality of staff recruitment, staff promotion and staff support. Yet,
Trust is primarily earned by universities by showing dedication and responsibility with respect to the throughput and employability of the graduates.

6.6 Inter-country dialogue.

An urban legend tells us that when Jean Monnet led the first meeting on Europe he said that he would like to see education and culture to be the main pillar of the then European Community for Coal and Steel.
However, history took its turn and excluded education and culture from the EU responsibility. This exclusion of education from the different treaties has led to insufficient attention for country comparisons of educational policy with the aim to draw lessons from them. The Maastricht Treaty of 1992 brought the necessary correction and gave education a distinct but still modest position in the Treaty, providing in retrospect a more suitable legal basis for the Erasmus programme founded in 1987. The European Commission has embarked upon a series of studies and comparisons, applying soft 'naming and shaming', through what is called the 'open method of coordination'. The Bologna process subsequently led to an unprecedented intercountry dialogue across Europe.
The Bologna process with EU support should go further to enrich the effectiveness of university policies in each of the EU countries, by tackling key issues of relevance to higher education, even if politically difficult.

6.7 Incentives at the European level.

Incentives in funding universities for higher performance are a surrogate for competitive mechanisms. Universities which do well, according to the incentivized goals and parameters, will receive financial rewards for this. Most European Governments have implemented some form of incentive structure in funding universities. However, on the European level such surrogate competition is absent. This defect should be mended in view of the increasing flow of EU students between countries which contributes to the productivity of graduates on the labour market.
In this respect one could think of a new sub-program of the Erasmus exchange for full time studies abroad (within the EU). In this subprogram students are free to choose where they want to study, while the financial conditions (tuition fee and financial aid) are the same as if they would study in their home country. Subsequently, universities which are good at attracting students are rewarded by funding the receiving university from EU funds on a per student basis. Like national incentives, this international incentive would upgrade the quality of university education. As the same time it would greatly increase student mobility, a possible motor of European growth.
At the European level an incentive should be created for universities to attract full-time students from other EU countries.

There are serious problems with joint degrees across European countries centering round the legal status of a national degree. So long as degrees are embedded in national legal systems, the problem will not go away. However far reaching: it would be a great advantage for the quality of higher education in Europe if degrees could be embedded in European legislation.
Download The State of University Policy for Progress in Europe.

Posté par pcassuto à 19:21 - - Permalien [#]

Universia and Telefónica launch a platform for Massive Open Online Courses

GUNi LogoThe new project is called Miríada X and was launched last 10 January
The American Network of university collaboration (Universia) and Telefónica Learning Services launched their new project called Miríada X, a platform of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC's) created to encourage the dissemination of knowledge in open Space Iberoamerican Higher Education.
Miríada X allows free access to the Online Course Information published by the faculty of more than 1200 Latin American universities from over 23 Latin American countries. Thus, it facilitates the exchange of information and knowledge through dialogue collaboration networks.
All interested users can register for free. For more information, follow this link.

Posté par pcassuto à 19:17 - - Permalien [#]

Mexico expresses how important Higher Education is for Latin America

Mexico expresses how important Higher Education is for Latin America Mexico addresses Higher Education in the region by celebrating 3 events on this field
Three simultaneous events about Higher Education were celebrated in Merida (Yucatan): III Coloquio Internacional de Evaluación Acreditación y Certificación Profesional Universitaria en América Latina y el Caribe, the Módulo Transdisciplinario de Especialización en Evaluación-Planeación Universitaria, and the meeting of Red Nacional de Evaluadores de México.
Those events seek to strengthen the evaluation and certification processes in Latin America. The Mexican president, Enrique Peña, said that there’s a demographic transition in Mexico and Latin America where young people are taking up the most important social groups, thus Higher Education has to bring answers to that new trend to enhance university talent. For more information follow this link.

Posté par pcassuto à 19:15 - - Permalien [#]

Latin America and Europe celebrate their first Academic Summit

Latin America and Europe celebrate their first Academic Summit The event took place in Santiago (Chile) between 21-23 January
The First Academic Summit CELAC-EU (Comunidad de Estados Latinoamericanos y Caribeños y la Unión Europea) was celebrated at the Universidad Central de Santiago (Chile) and counted on the participation of around 220 institutions from both regions, as well as 650 scholars and expositors from France, Argentina, Colombia, Spain, Peru, Panama, United Kingdom, Mexico, Romania, Slovakia, Belgium, Italy, Paraguay, Costa Rica, Brazil and the Dominican Republic. The participants discussed themes such as the reality and perspectives on the strategic association of both regions; the development of the Euro-Latin American Higher Education Space; the cooperation perspectives in Science, Technology, Innovation and Research and the Horizonte 2020 program; and the relationship between Universities and private companies for professional formation, innovation and technology transfer.
To Access the documents of the Summit, follow this link. To read the statement of the Summit, follow this link. For more information, follow this link.
See also on the blog: ALFA PUENTES project: Research and higher education cooperation promoted at EU-CELAC summit, Premier forum académique UE-CELAC.

Posté par pcassuto à 19:11 - - Permalien [#]

New EAEA project ARALE

European Association for Education of AdultsBy Tania Berman. New EAEA project ARALE tracks the keys to successful adult education campaigns
EAEA's new project Awareness Raising for Adult Learning and Education (ARALE) aims to collect best practices of awareness raising and advocacy campaigns for adult education in Europe. The project got its kick-off meeting on the 4th of February 2013 in Copenhagen, Denmark. ARALE is a one-year project funded by the European Commission´s Grundtvig programme. Its objective is to analyse the criteria for success for adult education campaigns targeting policy-makers, general public or specific target groups. These campaigns will serve as a basis to determine key conditions and tools to create successful adult education campaigns.
The kick-off meeting took place in the cosy and beautiful office of the Danish Adult Education Association (DAEA), one of the three partners of the project. Other partners include EAEA and the Estonian Non-Formal Adult Education Association (ENAEA).

Posté par pcassuto à 18:54 - - Permalien [#]

InfoNet restarts, first newsletter released

Spreading information about adult education from the countries of Europe and EU institutions is the aim and objective of the unique English service "European InfoNet Adult Education", which has been developed as part of an EU project and now restarts the service after a one year break. EAEA is partner of InfoNet.
The first Infonet Newsletter has been released last week. It is the new format of the former InfoLetter which was published by InfoNet Adult Education. After a break of one year InfoNet Adult Education in late 2012 resumed activity, when it was approved by the European Commission for a new three year period as a multilateral Grundtvig Project. The first Infonet Newsletter focuses on the effects of the economic crisis around Europe. Also European adult education policies are covered, and the reader gets latest news on Erasmus for All.
In the next period InfoNet intend to seriously upgrade its coverage of science and research in adult education. In the first issue Dr. Maurice de Greef explains the results of a Dutch research project on the effects of digital learning on different target groups, including participants with learning disabilities. As a new feature of InfoNet we will occasionally publish articles on adult education policies and practices outside Europe. Recently Gisela Waschek uploaded an article on training funds in Uganda, and Katarina Popovic interviewed a young Afghan woman who did not lack learning motivation. The InfoNet Newsletter is not available as PDF but to make sure you get the next issue, you can subscribe it on InfoNet website.

Posté par pcassuto à 18:51 - - Permalien [#]

Has your university changed its offer to students recently?

The Open UniversityCurriculum reform – a global invitation to submit case studies of whole institution curriculum reform
   Has your university changed its offer to students recently?
    Is your institution growing or rationalising in response to economic or policy drivers for change?
    Has your institution revitalised, changed or developed its curriculum over the last 5 years?
The Research
The Open University UK and the Higher Education Academy are working together to develop case studies of excellent global practice in curriculum reform which will be used to make recommendations to the UK higher education sector and internationally.
We are looking for universities across the globe which have, or are in the process of moving towards, large scale curriculum reform and we hope to develop a small number of detailed case studies that shine a light on excellent practice. The research will be developed into a resource which will be relevant and useful to higher education institutions globally.
If you can offer an example of curriculum reform from your institution, please complete and return the Initial Response Formby 28 February 2013 and join us in developing our knowledge of global change in the university sector. We only need a few details from you at this stage – the attached form will not take more than a few minutes to complete. All information provided by you will be considered as confidential and not discussed outside this project without your express permission.

Posté par pcassuto à 18:47 - - Permalien [#]

EAN - 22nd Annual Conference

Zdravstveno savjetovanje22nd Annual Conference in Collaboration with the Council of Europe - The Evolution of Access: Adapt to Survive?
New Challenges and Opportunities in Widening Participation in Higher Education
Monday 3 – Wednesday 5 June 2013. The Agora, Council of Europe, Strasbourg, France
Globally, participation in higher education has risen substantially. According to the OECD (Education at a Glance 2012) entry rates to university level programmes in OECD countries grew on average by nearly 25 percentage points between 1995 and 2010.
This is good news, but fireworks would be premature.  Despite expanding opportunities, participation and success in higher education remain skewed.
In Europe, higher education entered a new era when the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) came into being in 2010; and the Bologna reforms had ‘changed the face of higher education across Europe’. Meeting in 2012 against the backdrop of the European financial crisis, the European Ministers responsible for higher education affirmed it was ‘an important part of the solution to our current difficulties’.
Progress towards equitable and inclusive higher education in Europe has previously moved slowly. The resolve of the Ministers is clear, but can real progress be achieved?
Conference Details
Themes and Objectives.
Call for Proposals.
Conference Programme.
Please note registration for the conference will start on Friday 8 February 2013.

Posté par pcassuto à 18:41 - - Permalien [#]