Directors-General responsible for higher education in the EU Member States on June 9th in Prague.
The theme chosen by the Czech Presidency for the Prague meeting was the funding of higher education in the context of the current financial crisis as well as in relation to the development and modernisation of higher education. The Directors also addressed the future of the Bologna Process as outlined in the communiqué adopted at the Leuven/Louvain-la-Neuve conference in April. The priorities contained in this document include life-long learning, the social dimension of higher education and the mobility of students, academics and scientists. The communiqué also highlights the need to look for other means to finance higher education in addition to public resources. As the Czech Deputy Minister for Education, Youth and Sports, Vlastimil Růžička, observed, not all the objectives of the Bologna Process have been met and experience shows that we need to continue working on the tasks already started – on structured studies, the introduction of credit systems (ECTS) and the process of recognition of qualifications.
Among the keynote speakers at the meeting were representatives of the European Commission, the European University Association, Ministries of Education, Youth and Sports as well as Universities. Important contributions were presented by Prof. Jan Sokol from Charles University in Prague and Dr. José-Ginés Mora from the University of London. Prof. Sokol highlighted particularly the importance of tradition and the need for responsibility of universities toward students and the whole society. According to him, funding should be accompanied by emphasis on maintaining a high level of quality; and, at the same time, all talented students should be able to achieve tertiary qualifications according to their talents and abilities, irrespective of their economic background.
The European Commission underscored the need for an increase of funds for university education, research and development; particularly if Europe wishes to maintain a high level of education as well as its ability to compete with the United States of America. This regular meeting takes place every spring and it provides the Directors and Rectors with a chance to meet with their colleagues from other countries and discuss priority topics in the area of tertiary education.
View and download the speakers contributions here.
Photos from the event:
Spokesperson of the MEYS for CZ PRES
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