Commission’s blueprint for European University Degree published

On 27 March, the European Commission released a blueprint for an European Degree amidst a range of measures for the higher education sector.
Marton Kottmayer,

Implementing stronger measures for international cooperation in higher education is a long running goal of the European Education Area. This recent blueprint, however, may pose as a milestone in this process, as it outlines concrete paths and measures to this end. The document highlights the benefits of such a degree, including being universally recognised and providing high mobility. It also focuses on the importance of university alliances, as an European Degree would be provided by multiple institutions

In the publication, the Commission identifies the challenges – such as the differences between national education frameworks, the Bologna process’s slow implementation and the room for improvement in quality assurance systems, amongst others – and defines the outline of how to overcome them. As tangible actions, it introduces a proposal for an European quality assurance and recognition system, builds further on the concept of an European Degree Label and proposes additional policy planning via the European Degree policy lab, amongst other initiatives. These initiatives also aim at incentivising international academic careers and to improve access to funding. Participation in the European University Degree programme is set to be voluntary.

Despite the generally favourable response to this initiative, university association representatives talking to Science/Business do express concerns, primarily related to the lack of additional budget allocated for the initiative, which was confirmed by Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth Iliya Ivanova.

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