ETUCE issued a position on the European Commission’s Communication on a Renewed EU agenda for higher education, adopted by the ETUCE Committee on 24 October. The aim of the Commission’s proposal is to support EU countries in renewing their higher education systems in order to ensure that graduates are highly skilled and socially engaged.

While additional work-based learning component of higher education can be beneficial for students, ETUCE is concerned that the document focuses too prominently on preparing students only for the short-term needs of the labour market. The key role of universities in society is generating and disseminating knowledge and developing and sharing their independent analysis and critiques with the wider society.

ETUCE also criticises the business-centred approach of the proposal towards research expressed in the proposed expansion of ‘Higher Education for Smart Specialisation’.

ETUCE welcomes that the European Commission underlines the need for pedagogical training and systematic investment in continuous professional development of higher education teachers. Finally, as the European Commission stresses the importance of good institutional leadership and effective internal cooperation and resource management, ETUCE underlines that a successful institutional leadership should be based on effective social dialogue with education trade unions and on collegial governance.

Read the Position

Renewed EU agenda for higher education