EURASHE - European Association of Institutions in Higher Education

Welcome Newsletter March/April 2010 - N° 2

In this Issue
EURASHE Projects
News from Bologna
EURASHE Working Group Updates
Stakeholder Events
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1. Editorial

Dear Member of EURASHE,

At the annual meeting  of the CDESR (Steering Committee for Higher Education and Research, in French, 'Comité de Direction pour l' Enseignement Supérieur') of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg (24-25 March) the Republic of Kazakhstan made its first appearance on the European higher education scene after having been accepted as a full partner in the Bologna Process at the Leuven -Louvain la Neuve Conferene in 2009.

The Kazakh Vice Minister of Education rightly called it a historic moment and several members (countries and non-governmental organisations) eagerly expressed their willingness to cooperate with the new 'Bologna' partner.  Do we have to recall to our members and partner organisations that already in 2007  EURASHE took on board (as associate members) a varying number of Kazakh state and non-state universities, sharing with them our experience on Quality Assurance and  cooperation with the world of employment.  
With this change of status of the partner country the logical step for EURASHE was now to accept these partner universities in our association as full members, next to the other countries of the EHEA. Attention should now go to sharing our expertise with our Kazakh members in areas that are specific for professional higher education, as now they will have full access to all 'Bologna' instruments through their own government and also seek the company of their academic counterparts.

The meeting  of the CDESR could be called historical form other viewpoints as well, now that the Council of Europe has decided to be more on the forefront with their general political agenda.

So far the Steering Committee for HE (CDESR) has co-existed with another steering group specifically geared to 'school education'  (CDED). These are Fora where the Council of Europe, as a political body, consults with the country representatives who signed the Cultural Convention and with a growing number of non-governmental members, like EUA, ESU, EI, EURASHE (called 'experts' with observer status) on the education policy of the Council.

The Council of Europe thus clearly distinguished between the two consultative bodies, one dealing with 'school education' and the other with 'higher education and research'.
Members of the CEDSR Group reacted with great apprehension when the Director General of Education, Culture, etc. of the Council of Europe announced at the latest CEDSR meeting that in future the two committees may merge, not only because of budgetary constraints, but also because of a regrouping of the policy of the Council of Europe around three clusters, namely Human Rights, Civil Democracy and Rule of Law. In this new context the distinction between 'school education' and 'higher education' was not felt to be relevant anymore, as activities on such priority areas were now supposed to be convergent under any of the three mentioned priority areas.

On hearing this, the Assembly unanimously advanced rightful arguments that the Council of Europe was in a better position to serve its role as the 'conscience of and a defender of human values in the Bologna Process', (next to fulfilling a leading role in the field of Qualifications Frameworks and in Recognition issues), if it could continue to consult with stakeholders via a separate committee on higher education (CDESR) as is the case now. Subsequently a Recommendation was drafted to convince the Council of Europe to come back on the  decision of a merger with the Steering committee for Education (CDED).

Naturally at such moments our thoughts went to those higher education institutions (also among our membership), who (rightly) feel discriminated against and suffer the consequences of this also on a European level , by the mere fact that they are not within the remit of their own Ministry of Higher Education (and Research), but rather under the Ministry of Education, with all consequences in the field of funding, QA provisions, access to mobility programmes and relevant student grants.

Surely the policy makers for such institutions would certainly be able to come up with even more relevant arguments in favour of one higher education sector in all Bologna countries, with different priorities and perspectives than is the case for school education.

EURASHE, in agreement with the Chair of the CEDSR is now preparing a Recommendation to the Council of Europe, on the one hand to endorse the proposal to keep the CEDSR as a separate Committee for higher education, while at the same time expressing its concern that the dual country representation in the Steering Committee (one government member and one member from the 'academic' community) should in future also reflect the diversity of  higher education, with at least the possibility to delegate an expert from professional HE as well. 

The above reflections should not divert us from what is the main content of this Newsletter , namely recalling and reporting on the latest noteworthy EURASHE and 'Bologna'events.

On 9th March, EURASHE had its first Forum on the impact of the Bologna reform in countries in Central Europe, later extended to the Baltic States and some countries from Eastern Europe. Irrespective of the changing geographical perspective it turned out a to be an inspiring exercise to have the experts from the participating countries reflect on those Bologna  issues  that are a major concern in these countries, such as qualifications framework, employability, profile of institutions and graduates.

The Convention of the EURASHE (a stocktaking on the Bologna implementation in professional higher education, co-organised with the Academic Cooperation Association, ACA) was attended by our Council members, delegates from individual member institutions and experts external to EURASHE. This new EURASHE event,  hosted by Budapest Business School, took place on 10th March and laid the focus on a core issue of professional higher education, namely its relation with the labour market, with an input from the Universities of Applied Sciences, members of EURASHE.

The plenary keynote contributions and discussions in the thematic workshops sessions provided a useful input for our contribution to the Ministerial Conference in Budapest and Vienna in the following two days. (see also the EURASHE website

During the latter event a 50-person EURASHE delegation enjoyed the hospitality of the Hungarian colleagues in the Budapest Parliament and some also made the momentous journey to Vienna where in the Hofburg Conference Centre the colour of badges was an insurmountable obstacle for mobility from one venue to another.  We would like to thank our colleagues who accompanied us on this journey between two cities and certainly those who made efforts to follow the Viennese conference proceedings on the live screens from the not so comfortable public space in the Hofburg. Hopefully memories of the ball on the previous evening could make up for that.


With my best regards


Stefan Delplace

Secretary General



European Association of Institutions in Higher Education


EURASHE is the association of Polytechnics, University Colleges, Universities of Applied Science etc. devoted to Professional Higher Education. EURASHE is an umbrella non-profit international organization with more than 800 members in more than 30 countries in the European Higher Education Area and outside of it through partnership agreements. Our members are National Associations of University Colleges, Individual Higher Education Institutions, professional associations & stakeholder organizations. EURASHE's main objective is to defend the interests of the professionally oriented Higher Education Institutions, and to continuously enhance the importance and the quality of professional higher education in Europe. EURASHE aims at contributing to the progressive development of the European Higher Education Area, especially through its active involvement as a consultative member of the Bologna Follow-up Group.

Read more about EURASHE. 
EURASHE  Events  

First EURASHE Forum for Central Europe sets the pace for future dialogue in Budapest on March 9th, 2010
The EURASHE Forum Establishing Effective Dialogue on the effects of 'Bologna' on Professional Higher Education.

The Central European Forum for Professional Higher Education was an initiative by EURASHE that brought together experts on the PHE sector from Central Europe to establish a dialogue on relevant developments and challenges in the region. The key areas of the half-day Forum were the Mission & Role of PHE, Employability and Qualifications. Representatives from the , the Baltic States and from some East European countries had been invited as experts, but also joined in the discussions.
The Forum's objective was to set up a platform for discussion on the highlights and problems of the PHE sectors and institutions in the region of Central Europe of establishing a EHEA as brought about by recent developments, mainly by the Bologna process. Attendance was over 45 participants. Primary attention was paid to issues related to PHE, yet the scope of discussion was at times much broader, covering the entire landscape of HE and its links to society.

The key presentation of the one-day Forum was given by Sjur Bergan, from the Higher Education and Research Division of the Council of Europe, who presented the Qualifications Frameworks as the anchorpoint of the Bologna process. Feedback was then given from three experts, who commented from a specific perspective, namely from the Bologna coordination group (Vera Staszna, Czech delegate in the Bologna follow up Group, Bernd Wâchter, Director of ACA, gave the 'global' perspective, and Peter David, Budapest American Chamber of Commerce)) the 'business perspective.

Central European delegates then presented some aspects from their respective countries and then everyone (policy makers, academic experts and business representatives) participated in the ensuing open discussion. Among them were large delegations from the three Visegrad countries (CZ, HU, PL).

As a follow up to this Forum, the basic data on PHE sectors in relevant countries submitted by some participants before the Forum, along with the summary on the findings regarding the implementation of the Bologna reform in Central Europe, will be gathered in a publication. Also, participants will soon have a chance to further discuss and exchange their ideas through a new EURASHE online forum to be launched in April 2010.
EURASHE March 2010 Budapest Convention
comes to a fruitful end

A look back on the Budapest Convention

On 10th March 2010 EURASHE held its (first ever) Convention prior to a Ministerial Conference of the Bologna countries. The 'Bologna' Ministers were meeting in Budapest and Vienna to 'celebrate the tenth anniversary of the start of the Bologna reform process, and also to launch the European Higher Education Area (EHEA), which will take another ten year to fully implement the reform in the growing number of countries, and especially in the higher education institutions.

The Convention of EURASHE, organised in cooperation with ACA (European Cooperation Association),  had the theme of  "Implementation of the Bologna Process in Professional Higher Education", and the event was hosted by Budapest Business School, the largest University College of Hungary. A enriching and educational discourse took place throughout the day, with 10 keynote speakers coming to present from diverse european organisations in the morning, and thematic and effective discussion sessions were held in the afternoon.

For a complete summary and evaluation of the convention by Stefan Delplace, the Director-General of EURASHE, please the news report on our website.

To download speakers' presentations, the programme, or rationale of the Budapest Convention, please go here.  

The results of the Convention proceedings provided an input for EURASHE's contributions to the Ministerial conference in Budapest and Vienna the days that followed, where EURASHE also presented its Bologna 2010 Publication.

EURASHE's 20th Anniversary Annual Conference in Tallinn is on the Horizon

Preparations for the EURASHE Annual Autumn Conference are in full bloom

This upcoming 14-15 October 2010, EURASHE is excited to announce the organization of its 20th Anniversary Conference which will be held in Tallinn, Estonia. The theme of the conference this year will be "Implementing Bologna: Turning rhetorics into reality." This theme will speak about the ways to continue the execution of the Bologna process reform in our Higher Education institutions in the post-Bologna Process era. 

Also, in special celebration of its 20 year anniversary and collaboration with partners from MENON, EDEN, and ESU on a joint-project called EQUNet, a special conference track will be held, entitled "The Social dimension aspect in the higher education reform process: Research findings about Fair Access to Higher Education." This special conference track will focus on Fair Access to Higher Education by disseminating the recent finding on barriers due to educational background, socio-economic conditions and structural problems in higher education.

For more information on the EURASHE 20th Anniversary Conference in Tallinn, please go to:

EURASHE 20th Anniversary Tallinn Conference

For more information on the EQUNet project, please go to: EQUNet

Preparations for the Nov 2010 Fifth European Quality Assurance Forum (EQAF 2010)
2010 Theme: Building Bridges: Making Sense of QA in European, National and Institutional Contexts

Nov 18-20, 2010 in Lyon, France

The European Quality Assurance Forum (EQAF), is an annual event co-organised by
EUA, ENQA, EURASHE and ESU and supported by the European Commission's Lifelong Learning Programme, is the European conference on quality assurance in higher education that brings together all of the key stakeholders in the field - higher education institutions, quality assurance agencies and students.

The EQAF provides a unique platform for the higher education and QA communities to follow, shape and anticipate developments in the area. The main purpose of the event is to foster a dialogue on quality assurance that bridges national boundaries and leads to a truly European discussion on QA in higher education (notably through the Bologna process higher education reforms), and to create a common European understanding of QA through a dialogue among different stakeholder groups.
The 2010 Forum's theme is "Building bridges: making sense of QA in European, national and institutional contexts." It will seek to examine how quality assurance tools and processes implemented at institutional and agency level:
- relate to European and national level policy discussions and decisions, and
- interact with and support institutional quality frameworks and quality culture.

Through plenary and parallel sessions, the discussion will focus on the grass root level of quality assurance in the context of the ongoing development of the European Higher Education Area.

For more information on the EQAF 2010 Forum, go to:
EQAF 2010 coordinated by the EUA.
EURASHE Projects

A look at the "Level 5, the missing link" Project
Updates on the L5Missing Project Coordinated by EURASHE
Nov 2009 - Oct 2010

The objective of this project is to make a detailed analysis of existing Short Cycle Higher Education (SCHE) in 32 of the Bologna signatory countries.

SCHE programmes can be found at L5 of the European Qualification Framework (EQF) and as an intermediate level of the first cycle of the qualifications framework for the European Higher Education Area.

This study will be an enlarged update of the similar study in 2002 - 2003.  See previous study here.


This comparative study should spread information about this SCHE so as to increase access to Higher Education and involvement in LifeLong Learning. Another key objective is to enhance transparency, portability of degrees, mobility, employability and Quality Assurance in Higher Education. It is hoped that the study can be used as a strategic policy document by ministries of education and institutions of higher education in the implementation of the NQF.


EURASHE with its partners in the project is currently surveying national policies and institutional practices in the scope countries.


Learn more about the survey at: L5 Project

or you can visit the project's website at:

Updates on the FLLLEX Project
The impact of LLL strategies on Professional Higher Education.
Jan 2010 - Aug 2012

The objective of the project FLLLEX is to identify challenges and implications of Lifelong Learning (LLL) incorporation into European Higher Education institutions (HEI's).

The project was initiated and is supported by EURASHE, the project coordinator is KHLeuven - Leuven University College. The consortium includes 24 partners from 10 European countries. The project is supported by a grant within the EU funded Lifelong Learning Programme.

Lifelong Learning opens up a multitude of new possibilities for HEI's, but its impact on organisations is: What is the role of higher education in the wider landscape of Lifelong Learning? What are the institutional changes envisioned for the future? What strategy and policy advise can the project propose to other HEI's as well as European and national players?

On the basis of an overview of the different strategies concerning LLL and assembling policy and expectations of the involved states, a survey will be conducted: The survey targets on gaining knowledge on the expectations of important stakeholders in LLL: the learners, the businesses and the business training providers will be asked about their motives and/or barriers to engage in LLL.

This information shall serve HEI's in better defining their role within the LLL landscape: A self-assessment tool will be developed, so that HEI's will be able to asses if they match up with the expectations of the different stakeholders (according to policy, learner's needs, curricular aspects ...). The results will be reviewed by a panel of experts. The goal is to provide benchmarking for the individual institutions and to test the tool before further dissemination in Europe.

You can discover further information on the FLLLEX project at its website:

An inside look of the MENON NETWORK
Enhancing Access through a focus on Equity by the MENON NETWORK
Nov 2009 - Oct 2012

Widening participation in higher education is a major component of education policy in many member states of the European Union and the Bologna-Process. It consists of an attempt to increase not only the number of young people entering higher education, but also the proportion of "under-represented groups" (those from a lower social strata, ethnic minorities or people with disabilities). Social inclusion is important to HE as the "EU 2020" strategy, and its forerunner the Lisbon-strategy alike, focus on strengthening education as "one of the most effective ways of fighting inequality and poverty".

The MENON NETWORK project aims at increasing access to higher education for all margnalized and non-traditional groups, baased on a principle of equity. The network will analyse barriers due to educational background, socio-economic conditions and structural problems in Higher Education.

To enhance this focus on equity and social inclusion in Higher Education, the EQUNet project was developed. EQUNet brings together 8 leading European Stakeholder and Research organisations (including MENON Network, Scienter, University of Ljubljana, HIS, ZSI, ESU, EURASHE and EDEN), with the aim of enhancing equity in Higher Education. Over the project's lifetime, the partnership will gather research on the topic, engage with actors in the field through advocacy and through consultation, propose policy solutions to decision makers and network with peers, experts and stakeholders.

The EQUNet project research results will be presented for the first time at the Tallinn Conference hosted by EURASHE this upcoming Oct 2010.

Learn more about the project on

Learning how to LEAN (Lean Learning Academies)
The LEAN project at a glance.
Nov 2009 - Oct 2011

A project that will create strong links between the local and regional academic partners and the industrial partners in each of the participating countries. The goal of the project is to develop the didactical concepts in the field of engineering, in order to improve the education curriculum in the countries involved.

Learn more about this project at
News from Bologna
Ministers come together at the Ministerial Conference in Budapest to refocus Bologna objectives 
lln ministerial conference Ministers push towards a complete intregration of Bologna.

The Ministers responsible for higher education in the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) met in Budapest and Vienna on March 11-12, 2010. Aside from their welcoming of Kazakhstan as a new EHEA member, the Ministers mostly focused the conference on underlining their commitment to 'the full and proper implementation of the agreed (Bologna) objectives and the agenda for the next decade set by the Leuven/Louvain-la-Neuve Communiqué.


Over the two days of the conference, the Ministers discussed a variety of successes and shortfalls in the Bologna Declaration's 2010 vision of a committed, diverse, knowledgeable and mobile educational society in Europe. In their joint declaration they state "while much has been achieved in implementing the Bologna reforms, the reports also illustrate that EHEA action lines such as degree and curriculum reform, quality assurance, recognition, mobility and the social dimension are implemented to varying degrees. Recent protests in some countries, partly directed against developments and measures not related to the Bologna Process, have reminded us that some of the Bologna aims and reforms have not been properly implemented and explained."

In order to continue working on this, the Ministers have committed themselves to a complete integration of the Bologna objectives; they recommit to academic freedom and accountability in higher education institutions, to acknowledge the key role of the academic community, to reaffirm the public responsibility of higher education and to call upon all actors to facilitate an inspiring working and learning environment. The Ministers underlined that the full and proper implementation of the agreed Bologna principles would take place "by continuously developing, enhancing and strengthening the European Higher Education Area and taking further the synergies with the European Research Area, Europe will be able to successfully face the challenges of the next decade."


The Ministers will continue to push forward the progress and drive of the Louvain-La-Neuve agenda until their next Ministerial Meeting which will take place in Bucharest, Romania on 26-27 April 2012.

A view on the 2nd Bologna Policy Forum
held on March 12, 2010

Taking steps towards a future of global knowledge development and circulation

Furthering the continual progression of the Bologna Process and following up after the Bologna Ministerial Conference in Vienna, European and global Ministers responsible for higher education came together from all over the established EHEA (European Higher Education Area) to assist the 2nd Bologna Policy Forum that took place on 12 March.  

During the March 12 session, the international delegates held a dialogue on systemic and institutional changes in higher education in the developing global knowledge society.  Later a debate was facilitated discussing how higher education institutions can meet the growing needs of our society; they talked about the mobility of staff and students, the challenges and opportunities of brain circulation; and balancing cooperation and competition in international higher education.


The meeting was concluded with a policy statement which can be reviewed here.


To facilitate more policy debate and exchange of ideas concerning the Bologna Policy Forum across the EHEA, each international partaker will nominate a contact person to function as a liaison point and events/information organiser by May 31 2010.

The next Policy Forum will be held to coincide with the next Bologna Ministerial meeting taking place in Romania in 2012.

EURASHE Working Group Updates

LLL Working Group First 2010 Meeting this April 1st

Taking part of the 3 sessions that will be held in 2010, the LLL working group will meet this April 1st in Brussels. This year, the LLL WG envisions to develop a survey on international cooperation in projects concerning LLL - using the network of EURASHE with associate members outside Europe. The group will see the possibilities to have presentations and workshops in seminars, conferences and other activities of international organisations, next to EURASHE. And finally one of the objectives is to investigate the possible cooperation with other international organisations, involved in 'LLL strategies', in organising seminars and conferences, on relevant aspects.

The agenda for this April meeting will involve an update on LLL, présentations on the Bologna seminar on LLL and SCHE in Budapest Nov 2010, the participation in the Atlantis seminr in Amsterdam June 2010, the outcomes of the RPL seminar in Brussels, and discussing and surveying the situation and possibilities for EURASHE members to participate in projects about joint degrees on levels 5 and 6.

Stakeholder Events
Mapping HE Diversity; the U-Map Project
Development of an European Classification tool of Higher Education Institutions

A project launched in 2005 for which EURASHE was on the advisory board, the U-Map project aimed to develop a better understanding of the diversity of the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) and the European Research Area (ERA) through designing a multi-dimensional European classification system of Higher Education institutions. The project was carried out in three phrases ; research, reflection and the final phrase of fine-tuning which included developing an on-line classification tool as well as an organisational model for the implementation of the classification. The final report of the U-Map project was published in January 2010, and the on-line classification  tool is up and working.

Learn more about this great U-Map project at their website :

The U-Map Project Website

StudyPortals ; making information sharing about Higher Education programmes easy
The answer to Europe's information gap

Back in 2006 when the project began, heaps of new Master's and endless academic opportunities were available in Europe, but there as no European information overview.

Three students from a European study association set out to tackle this problem. Together, they created a website where students can find and compare Master programmes across Europe.

Today, international mobility is booming and what once was a student initiative has now become a professional organisation called StudyPortals.

With Bachelors-, Masters- and provide the information overview that Europe was waiting for. Proof of the success? Every month over 950,000 prospective international students are drawn to the websites to find their perfect opportunity amongst no less than 14,800 study programmes.

As a result, the websites are also widely embraced by higher education institutions across Europe. Over 600 institutions from 37 European countries are participating! The website's very effective communication channels, reaching out to millions of prospective international students is helping StudyPortals to reach its aim of being the study choice platform in Europe. The future is European.

For more information, visit Institutions can list Bachelor, Master and PhD programmes free of charge and optionally make use of effective advertising services.

EUTraining announces its 3rd annual
FP7 - European Summer Academy
FP7 European Summer Academy
Lake Balaton, Hungary, July 5-9, 2010

The FP7 project preparation and management course is organised only once in a year and is held by experts coordinating several FP7 projects developed by themselves. The practical information obtained from these sessions guide the participants through the entire lifecycle of a research project, from call identification to post-project audits to succeed in the new programmes of EU funding.

Participants at the European Summer Academy will learn the differences of FP7, CIP, LIFE+, LLP, how to identify and submit a proposal in FP7, experience the entire life-cycle of an FP7 project, including financial reporting and cost allocation, and will have the opportunity to enjoy the best that the lake and its surroundings can offer.

You can still benefit from the course's 2009 price until the 2nd April.

Check out eutrainingsite.comfor more information on the training.

The EURASHE secretariat
Ravensteingalerij 27/3
1000 Brussels
Tel.: + 32 (0) 211 41 97
Fax: + 32 (0) 211 41 99