Mobilise Universities in the defense of Europe’s future

Mobilise Universities in the defense of Europe’s future

France Universités : date de publication

Against the backdrop of growing geopolitical tensions, the European general elections (June 9th 2024) are crucial for the future of the European Union, the preservation of democratic values and the Rule of law. These principles are embodied in the European Higher Education and Research Area project, which guarantees a more united, innovative and internationally attractive Europe.

France Universités fully supports the Council of Europe view that education and training contribute “to the future of our democracies and of the EU, by shaping active, committed and creative citizens, aware of the values they share and capable of improving their living environment. The set of common European values promoted through education and training is at the root of, and makes possible, the socio-economic status enjoyed by the EU on a global scale”.

To this day, the University still embodies the sole institutional model competent in bringing together diverse communities (student, academic and administrative) in a collegial dialogue; integrating research, innovation and training within a single continuum; promoting cooperation between institutions located in different and sometimes distant territories, whether on a territorial, national, European or international scale; and all the while organising movement of groups of students or academics on various scales.

The European Universities Initiative, launched in 2018 by the European Commission, provides a shining example to this commitment. Indeed, by promoting students’ and academics’ mobility within Europe, the European Universities alliances help to enrich their skills. By implementing transnational degrees, it enables the notoriously challenging transitions, enhances collaboration between the best world researchers on critical themes for the European Union, and strengthens cooperation with socio-economic stakeholders in the territories.

France Universités is firmly committed to defending the achievements and integrity of the European project as a whole. It will relentlessly continue to stand in defense of teacher-researchers’ academic freedom, as well as freedom of expression, vital for debate within any University.

France Universités proposals

STRENGTHEN the European model of citizenship

→ Guarantee free movement for all students in the European Higher Education Area ;

→ Further open Erasmus + programme to discriminated, economically disadvantaged and disabled students ;

→ Enhance Europe’s university campuses ecological transition role modelling ;

→ Create a ‘Committed Student Status’ by systematically awarding ECTS credits in the criteria for European diplomas ;

→ Create a European protection mechanism for academic freedom, ie. freedom of research and teaching ;

→ Systematically consult with the European University Association (EUA) on any European legislation affecting academia (migration pact, digital regulation, etc.) ;

→ Fight the under-representation of women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics disciplines ;

→ Develop a programme for secondary schools on the history of Europe and breakthroughs in European science.

OPEN UP research and training in the service of skills

→ Double the budget of the EU’s next research and innovation programme (2028-2034) to meet the objectives of the transitions ;

→ Integrate skills and employment into the next European research and innovation framework programme ;

→ Support mobility in Europe for internships, apprenticeships and student entrepreneurship ;

→ Integrate digital technologies and AI into students and learners skills acquisition ;

→ Decompartmentalize research and training in European programmes on digital matters and environmental issues ;

→ Strengthen lifelong learning to fast-track reindustrialisation on European soil ;

France Universités would like to thank the students of the ESA (European Student Assembly) for their availability and their suggestions in drawing up these proposals.

EXPERIMENT new European models for Health and Higher education

→ Bring together health studies organisations in Europe and the expected skills, to encourage student mobility ;

→ Foster a European approach to clinical research by removing regulatory barriers ;

→ Create public health institutes within multidisciplinary Universities, bringing together all medical skills, particularly in the human sciences ;

→ Set up a platform in all Member States dedicated to the mental health of students, managed by qualified staff (psychologists, social workers, etc.) ;

→ Create a partnership between the European Commission and the Member States to fund research in European universities ;

→ Achieve critical mass around priority scientific themes in European Universities to improve their international visibility and attractiveness ;

→ Test an institutional framework to create “European universities” delivering real degrees ;

→ Promote multilingualism in Europe through European universities.

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