The Modernisation of Higher Education in Europe - European Union Committee Contents

CHAPTER 3: The eu's contribution of the modernisation of higher education

Europe 2020 Strategy

25.  The Commission considers that universities have a key role to play in achieving "smart, sustainable and inclusive growth" as part of the Europe 2020 Strategy[44] and their preference for a substantial budget increase for education, research and innovation under the next MFF supports this aim.[45] They observe that investment in higher education in the EU is 1.3 per cent of GDP on average, compared with 1.5 per cent in Japan and 2.7 per cent in the US.[46] While the evidence we received contained mixed views about how investment could be boosted,[47] it is clear that European universities are currently operating within a very difficult financial climate. Governments and institutions have responded in a variety of ways, with some substantially reducing budgets in this area and others increasing expenditure as part of national growth strategies. The Commission believes that the level of investment will have important implications for Europe's ability to remain competitive in a rapidly developing global market for higher education against increased competition from developed and emerging economies such as China and India, especially in light of its projected demographic decline. Some of our witnesses agreed with this position, with the UK Higher Education International Unit emphasising the contribution that collaboration across the EU had already made in this respect.[48]

26.  European universities are currently operating within a very difficult financial climate. This need not mean that the modernisation agenda cannot succeed but it is important for the Commission to be realistic about what can be achieved. The continued availability of funding for European universities from EU programmes is also important in this context.

27.  Europe 2020 includes the target that, by 2020, at least 40 per cent of 30-34 year olds should have a higher education qualification. In 2009 the EU average was 32.3 per cent, which was up from 22.4 per cent in 2000. In the same year, the United Kingdom was already just above the target at 41.5 per cent.[49] The Communication estimates that, by 2020, 35 per cent of all jobs in the EU will require high-level qualifications but that only 26 per cent of the current workforce has those qualifications.[50] The Russell Group considered that increased emphasis on postgraduate qualifications would play an important role in plugging this gap.[51] A few of our witnesses urged the Commission to undertake research into employers' expectations in terms of higher education provision, employability, key skills, and the impact of mobility and work placement experience on graduates' preparation for employment.[52]

28.  We reiterate our support for the objectives of the Europe 2020 Strategy to achieve "smart, sustainable and inclusive growth". We believe that the EU can add value in this area, and can support the EU's economic recovery.

29.  Given the increasing need for higher-level skills, higher education has a key role to play. To this end, we believe that the Commission should investigate the collection of further data linking higher education provision to employability in order to achieve a better match between university programmes and labour market demand, while recognising the more general benefits of studying for a degree for students and employers alike.

The Knowledge Triangle

30.  While considering that the role of European universities is integral to achieving greater EU growth, the Commission believes that their potential is underexploited and can only be realised if they embrace their role in what Europe 2020 describes as "Knowledge Triangles" between higher education, research and innovation. This concept forms part of the Innovation Union flagship initiative, which emphasises, among other things, the importance of Member States' investing more in research and development and strengthening the capacity of universities to engage in start-ups and spin-offs.[53]

31.  The Innovation Union also highlights the role that organisations such as the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT)[54] and its Knowledge and Innovation Communities (KICs) can play in fostering closer collaboration between universities and business. Under the next MFF, the Commission has also proposed expanding the number of KICs from three to nine.[55] Many of our witnesses were enthusiastic about these organisations[56] including, in particular, the importance of encouraging links with SMEs.[57] We were impressed to see evidence of this in practice when we visited the University of East London's Docklands Campus.[58] More information about the EIT and the KICs is provided in Box 4.


European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) and Knowledge and Innovation Communities (KICs)

The European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) was established in 2008 to promote the competitiveness of Member States by bringing together universities, research centres and businesses with a view to tackling major societal challenges in an innovative way. It uses a financial contribution from the EU budget to mobilise funds from the public and private sectors and also showcases engagements between education, research and business through its Knowledge and Innovation Communities (KICs). The EIT provides 25 per cent of each KIC's running costs with KICs contributing the remaining 75 per cent. The EIT has a small secretariat in Budapest but is otherwise composed of its network of institutions across Europe. The three current KICs, which began in January 2010, focus on sustainable energy, climate change and the information and communication society. By way of example, the climate change KIC[59] is undertaking work on climate change mitigation and job growth potential of low carbon production systems, focusing on bio-renewables and on integrated energy production and consumption.

The Commission intends to roll out six new KICs during 2014-2020 in two phases. The first KICs, to be established in 2014, will have the following themes: innovation for healthy living and active ageing (improving the quality of life and well-being of citizens of all ages); food4future (sustainable food supply chain, from farm to fork) and raw materials (sustainable exploration, extraction, processing, recycling and substitution of raw materials). The next wave of KICs, to be established in 2018, will focus on: added value manufacturing (developing more competitive, sustainable and environmentally-friendly manufacturing processes); smart secure societies (addressing Europe's security gaps through the development and deployment of innovative ICT solutions); and urban mobility (delivering a greener, more inclusive, safer and smarter urban mobility system). The Commission intends to allocate 31.7 billion to the new KICs under Horizon 2020, with an increased allocation of 2.8 billion to the EIT (up from 309 million since its launch in 2008) under the next MFF.

32.  The Government is supportive of the EIT's objectives but also made reference to the problems experienced with the establishment of the first three KICs. They seemed satisfied with the Commission's proposed changes to the operation of the EIT and KICs that are designed to address similar problems developing with the next wave of KICs. In this vein they support the gradual roll-out of the new KICs in order to allow proper evaluation to take place before each successive KIC is launched. However, they would also like more tangible evidence of the added value that the EIT and KICs are providing, including continued evidence of how the latter are linking the research base to innovation and developing business-university collaboration, before they will be convinced that a substantial funding increase is necessary.[60]

33.  The Knowledge Triangle could also be assisted, according to the Innovation Union initiative, by the development of European Innovation Partnerships (EIPs).[61] These, it was proposed, should be launched to accelerate research, development and market deployment of innovations to tackle major societal challenges, pool expertise and boost the competitiveness of EU industry. While the EIT and its KICs have been established as a long term project to develop innovation, the EIPs should have a less rigid structure, responding more quickly to immediate market needs and lasting only as long as necessary. To date, one EIP has been established as a pilot, Active and Healthy Ageing, while four others are in preparation, including one on Agricultural Productivity and Sustainability.[62] In our July 2011 report on Innovation in EU Agriculture, we supported this initiative, having taken compelling evidence on the value of EU networking in terms of developing relevant research and deploying it to the market. We emphasised that EIPs should be founded on effective, action-based co-operation.[63]

34.  We believe that the EU can play an important role in fostering greater collaboration between universities and businesses. Various EU initiatives have yet to prove their worth but have a great deal of potential. These include the European Institute for Innovation and Technology, its Knowledge and Innovation Communities and other initiatives, including the European Innovation Partnerships.

35.  In the domestic context, we note that the Government commissioned a review by Professor Sir Tim Wilson into how universities collaborate with business to ensure greater employability and how their role in research and innovation can be maximised. While the report, which was published on 28 February 2012, makes a number of welcome recommendations in these areas, it takes little account of the EU dimension.[64] The report makes passing reference to EU funding but does not acknowledge the Europe 2020 Strategy or the potential of the EIT, its KICs or the EIPs, in this area.

36.  We are disappointed that the Wilson Review did not take adequate account of the role that the EU can play in fostering greater collaboration between universities and businesses in the domestic context. We urge the Government to acknowledge the role that the European Institute for Innovation and Technology, its Knowledge and Innovation Communities and the European Innovation Partnerships can play when taking forward the Review's recommendations.

EU funding

37.  As part of the current MFF for the period 2007 to 2013 a number of funding programmes exist that are relevant for higher education. These are the Lifelong Learning Programme, which includes the well-known Erasmus programme, which supports student placements in other European countries; the Tempus programme, which began in 1990 and promotes educational cooperation between EU universities and external institutions in third countries neighbouring the EU; and the Erasmus Mundus programme, which began in 2003 and aims to attract the best international students to the EU through scholarships, as well as facilitating academic cooperation between European universities and external institutions through joint postgraduate and doctoral programmes. European universities, particularly in the United Kingdom, also benefit from funding allocations under the Seventh Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development.

38.  According to its proposals for the next MFF for the period 2014 to 2020, the Commission intends to target its funding in European higher education through three funding mechanisms: Erasmus for All, Horizon 2020 and Cohesion Policy instruments.[65] The Commission has proposed a 70 per cent budget increase for Erasmus for All compared with the current MFF, with a total allocation of 19 billion during the next MFF. They justify this increase on the basis that it will stimulate greater mobility, higher skills matched to the labour market, more jobs, greater innovation in the education sector and growth in line with the Europe 2020 Strategy's objectives.[66] Similarly, a substantial 40 per cent budget increase is also proposed for Horizon 2020.[67] Regarding Cohesion funding, the Commission proposes that 25 per cent of this (84 billion) will be allocated to the European Social Fund under the next MFF, and they anticipate that over 40 billion of this amount is likely to be made available for education and training.[68]

39.  Many of our witnesses supported the Commission's proposed funding increases in these areas.[69] Others supported the potential of Cohesion Policy funds to improve participation in higher education by students from less wealthy backgrounds.[70] Funds from the European Regional Development Fund have, in the past, also been invested in university infrastructure projects, including the University of East London's Docklands Campus.[71] However, the Minister and the UK Higher Education International Unit considered that these funds would have more significance for the newer Member States.[72] In our April 2011 report on the next Multiannual Financial Framework, we recommended an increase in spending on research and innovation, with funds transferred from the Common Agricultural Policy.[73]

40.  We support the allocation of a bigger proportion of the budget under the next Multiannual Financial Framework to research, education and innovation, subject to reductions being made in other areas of the budget such as the Common Agricultural Policy, and overall restraint being achieved. Closer alignment with the Structural Funds should also be further developed. We consider that the targeting of resources in this way will result in long-term economic benefits for the EU.

European Research Area (ERA)

41.  Some degree of spending on research and development (R&D) is considered necessary in all Member States in order to stimulate innovation and economic growth. The Europe 2020 Strategy calls on Member States to spend the equivalent of 3 per cent of their annual GDP on R&D in order to keep pace with the United States (2.6 per cent) and Japan (3.4 per cent). The EU average is below 2 per cent, mainly due to lower levels of private investment. The figure in the United Kingdom was 1.84 per cent in 2009.

42.  The Commission intends to enhance Europe's research infrastructure and increase academic mobility through the development of the European Research Area (ERA) to achieve a "genuine single market for knowledge, research and innovation" by 2014 and to promote the EU as a study and research destination for top international talent. Over time the ERA and the Bologna Process, which began as separate initiatives, have become intertwined with the Berlin Ministerial Conference explicitly linking the two in 2003.[74] The Communication states that the ERA has already helped to foster economies of scale with cross-border research projects and investment, while increasing exchanges and cooperation between institutions.[75] The EUA emphasised that the grand challenges in research, such as health and energy matters, could be better addressed by cross-border partnerships than by national institutions acting alone, and that this could be facilitated by the right types of funding at the European level.[76] The Minister was enthusiastic about the prospect of greater ties between UK universities and their Continental counterparts on joint research projects.[77] Other witnesses talked of how other EU projects such as the Marie Curie Actions, which have supported the training, mobility and skills development of more than 50,000 young researchers since its launch in 1996, and the "bureaucracy-free" European Research Council (ERC), which provides grant funding for frontier research, have helped to foster a genuine European research community.[78]

43.  The EUA told us that there were many obstacles to the further development of the ERA and the mobility of young researchers across Europe and internationally. These included differing national career structures, status issues, social security and the feasibility of creating supplementary pension schemes. However, the EUA also noted that these were difficult issues to address and that the Commission was reluctant to bring forward proposals in this area.[79] In this vein, the UK Higher Education International Unit called for the creation of a "one-stop shop for researchers" similar to the German Academic Exchange Service.[80] The Communication states that the Commission is intending to facilitate greater researcher mobility through a European Framework for Research Careers including helping researchers to identify job offers and employers to find suitable candidates through the EURAXESS Jobs Portal.[81] In its recent White Paper on Pensions, the Commission also commits itself to pursuing the development of a pan-European pension fund for researchers.[82]

44.  The Communication also calls on Member States and universities to improve the mobility of learners, teachers and researchers, in terms of better access, employment conditions and progression opportunities. This includes full implementing the Directives on students and researchers[83] and facilitating the issuing of Schengen Area visas to students and researchers for shorter periods.[84] The UK Higher Education International Unit urged the Government to be vigilant that any proposals brought forward by the Commission in these areas were workable in the domestic context, particularly the proposed changes to the Directives. However, neither of these Directives applies to the United Kingdom and it is not part of the Schengen Area. Furthermore, the Government supports the principle of the ERA subject to it respecting the autonomy of Member States to implement their own national policies.[85] Some of our witnesses expressed concerns about the impact of the Government's policy on visa controls on the mobility of those academics resident in countries outside the EU, potentially making the United Kingdom a less attractive destination for non-EU researchers to the detriment of the EU as a whole.[86] The Minister did not share these concerns.[87]

45.  We believe that the development of a European Research Area can achieve real benefits for the United Kingdom and EU. However, much progress remains to be made in increasing the mobility of researchers, including career structures and pension rights. We urge the Government to give particular attention to this area, and to become fully engaged in any relevant proposals brought forward by the Commission, notwithstanding their non-participation in EU immigration measures.


46.  Horizon 2020 will supersede the current Seventh Framework Programme for Research and Technical Development (FP7) and also incorporate funding currently provided through the Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme (CIP) and the EIT.[88] The proposal will also seek greater alignment with other funds available under the EU's Cohesion Policy and Erasmus for All, as well as simplifying the application process. The Commission has proposed a total budget of €80 billion for Horizon 2020 for the period 2014 to 2020. Compared with the total allocations to the separate programmes under the current MFF (approximately €57 billion) this represents a 40 per cent increase, including a 77 per cent funding increase (to €13.2 billion) for the ERC and a 21 per cent funding increase (to €5.75 billion) for Marie Curie Actions. It will also fund the further development of the ERA.

47.  Our earlier report on the next MFF concluded that the EU added value in the area of research and innovation, which could support the EU's economic recovery after the financial crisis, and therefore recommended that the level of funding allocated to the next framework programme should be increased relative to FP7 and the EU budget as a whole.[89] It also made a number of related recommendations that we are pleased to note have all been satisfied by the current form of the Horizon 2020 proposal.

48.  Universities in the United Kingdom have been very successful at securing these funds and have received the second largest allocation under FP7 to date. However, we understand that British industry has been less successful in this regard.[90] Perhaps for this reason the Government seem enthusiastic about the Horizon 2020 proposal and, with regard to the Commission's proposed budget increase, the Minister stated that the Government would like this area to receive a "higher proportion of a smaller total budget but considered the Commission's preferred increase to be unrealistic."[91]

49.  We reiterate our recommendation that the Government should support the allocation of a greater proportion of funds to Horizon 2020 under the next Multiannual Financial Framework. We also call on the Government to develop a dedicated strategy to encourage and facilitate industry's access to these funds.


50.  Current rankings—including the Times Higher Education World University Rankings and Shanghai Jiaotong University's Academic Ranking of World Universities—mainly focus on research-intensive universities and only include a small proportion of European universities. The Commission therefore believes that a wider range of indicators and information should be made available to increase transparency and allow more informed choices to be made, as well as supporting policy-makers' higher education reforms. In response, the Commission intends to launch U-Multirank in 2013, which will allow users to profile universities using a number of performance indicators rather than just research output.[92]

51.  Most of our witnesses were not convinced by the merits of yet another league table, with the British Council description of rankings as both a "blessing and a curse" capturing this dichotomy well.[93] The Russell Group told us that "ranking universities is fraught with difficulties and we have many concerns about the accuracy of any ranking. It is very difficult to capture fully in numerical terms the performance of universities and their contribution to knowledge, to the world economy and to society. Making meaningful comparisons of universities both within, and across, national borders is a tough and complex challenge, not least because of issues relating to the robustness and comparability of data".[94] The EUA were critical of existing ranking systems as favouring very large research intensive institutions[95] and while they praised the proposal's attempt to move away from research outputs to look at other indicators, they considered that this would be hard to achieve in practice, particularly due to the lack of data in some universities and Member States and the difficulties in collecting data more generally, including the additional burdens that this may place on universities.[96]

52.  Many of our other witnesses raised a series of concerns: about the proposal's lack of clarity as to whether it would be a ranking or transparency tool;[97] that the league tables market was already too crowded, with each ranking deploying its own methodologies;[98] that it would confuse applicants and be incapable of responding to rapidly changing circumstances in institutional profiles;[99] that it could become a "blunt instrument" which would "not allow different strengths across diverse institutions to be recognised and utilised" and end up being used as the basis for future funding decisions;[100] on the grounds of quality, accuracy and lack of data;[101] and that EU funds could be better spent on other EU priorities.[102]

53.  Notwithstanding these concerns, if the Commission's stated intention of increasing transparency and providing more flexibility for students to make an informed choice based on different criteria proved to be possible, then many of our witnesses were prepared to support its introduction as potentially adding value.[103] The UK Bologna Experts were of the same view but considered that U-Multirank's success was "highly dependent on the extent of institutional engagement, coverage, and accuracy of data used to compile the rankings" and that it was "vital that the instrument recognises the diverse character of European HEIs in so far as direct comparisons can be iniquitous and misleading".[104]

54.  The Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) acknowledged the Commission's efforts to overcome some of the limitations of traditional league tables and to render it more objective but advised "caution in providing any form of official sanction to any one form of ranking tool given that universal ranking systems have a history of lacking real comparability and robustness".[105] The NUS also welcomed the Commission's efforts but still had doubts about how it would work in practice, believing instead that improving the public information made available to students could be achieved by alternative means "without the need to introduce (yet another) potentially subjective and confusing rankings system".[106] The Government considered that "it might be useful" if it genuinely provided a transparent source of information for students wanting to study abroad but were not convinced that it would add value if it simply resulted in an additional European ranking system alongside the existing international ranking systems.[107] However, the Minister struck a less positive tone when he told us that it could be viewed as "an attempt by the EU Commission to fix a set of rankings in which [European universities] do better than [they] appear to do in the conventional rankings".[108]

55.  We were interested to note that THES have recently revised their global rankings in 2010 in order to apply a different methodology and include a wider range of performance indicators (up from 6 to 13).[109] They told us that their approach seeks to achieve more objectivity by capturing the full range of a global university's activities—research, teaching, knowledge transfer and internationalisation—and allows users to rank institutions (including 178 in Europe) against five separate criteria: teaching (the learning environment rather than quality); international outlook (staff, students and research); industry income (innovation); research (volume income and reputation); and citations (research influence). In order to inform the revision of their rankings, their data supplier, Thomson Reuters, conducted a global survey which found that many users distrusted the methodology of the existing world rankings.[110] While THES considered that rankings were "relatively crude" and could never be properly objective, they nevertheless considered that if used appropriately they could still provide a useful role in providing information.[111]

56.  We also believe that the provision of clear information and guidance to students is important in order to assist them in making an informed choice of university. However, we also appreciate how difficult it can be to evaluate a wider range of university performance indicators in an objective manner, noting the limitations inherent in many of the existing ranking systems.

57.  Therefore, it is important that the Commission is clear about the purpose of U-Multirank, what information will be provided and what methodology will be used. If the perceived deficiencies in most other ranking systems are overcome in relation to this proposal then we could be convinced of the benefits of its introduction. However, until these deficiencies can be overcome, we consider that the Commission should prioritise other activities. In the meantime, rankings such as the Times Higher Education World University Rankings may have a valuable contribution to make.


58.  The Commission intends to publish a Communication on the internationalisation of higher education in early 2013, which they hope will support the establishment and development of internationalisation strategies by European universities.[112] Internationalisation cannot be precisely defined but is commonly understood to mean rendering a university's courses, curriculum, students, research output and institutional links, more international in nature. Many universities in the United Kingdom already enjoy substantial, wider international links and the EUA considered that this might sometimes be at the expense of fostering European connections.[113] Many witnesses endorsed the internationalising benefits of existing EU programmes such as Erasmus Mundus and Tempus.[114] The British Council considered these programmes to be of paramount importance, saying "if internationalisation of European higher education is to be achieved, EU programmes must actively promote and enable both institutional links and staff and student mobility to countries outside Europe".[115] The Scottish Government were also enthusiastic about the EU's potential role in terms of funding, which they hoped would complement Scotland's mobility and partnership schemes with countries such as China and India, which they considered to be key partner countries for the Scottish higher education sector.[116]

59.  Some witnesses expressed support for the Commission's proposed development of an EU internationalisation strategy but others were not convinced that this was a priority.[117] The EUA's view was that a "common European strategy would also lead to a better visibility of European higher education, study and funding programmes, thus benefitting all Member States and offering orientation in particular for those countries currently developing or revising their internationalisation strategies".[118] The Government were sceptical and stated that they wanted to ensure that any strategy did not duplicate what was already happening through the Bologna Process.[119] They also wanted to avoid resources being put into any worldwide publicity campaign promoting EU universities to prospective international students, if this went beyond the provision of generic information. They considered that it was up to individual Member States to market their own higher education systems and universities and noted that universities in the United Kingdom had already been very successful at doing this.[120] The Russell Group echoed this view and hoped that any strategy would add value rather than impeding the international activities and partnerships of the already highly internationalised UK universities.[121] The UK Higher Education International Unit called for more information about the proposal and questioned the usefulness and effectiveness of having an international strategy at the EU level, suggesting that the funds could be better spent on assisting individual universities in developing their own internationalisation concepts and profiles.[122]

60.  The higher education sector is global in character. Given the Commission's supporting role in higher education policy and the importance of internationalisation to the sector, we see value in the production of a strategy in this area. However, any such strategy must identify, with full justification, those areas where the EU can add value to avoid duplicating the work already being carried out by universities and Member States. Areas where the EU could potentially add value include supporting mobility schemes and encouraging cooperation between European universities.

44   COM (2010) 2020, Europe 2020: A strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth, March 2010. Two of its flagship initiatives have relevance for higher education: An Agenda for New Skills and Jobs, which recognises the role of language skills in achieving a more dynamic labour market, and Youth on the Move, which emphasises the need for better language skills to allow greater mobility. Back

45   COM (2011) 567, p. 2 Back

46   COM (2011) 567, pp. 8-9 Back

47   UK Bologna Experts and British Academy Back

48   BIS, Julia Osborn, University Alliance, Q 2 and Q 113 Back

49   BIS. In Scotland the rate was 46.7 per cent in 2008. Back

50   COM (2011) 567, p. 2 Back

51   Russell Group Back

52   UK Bologna Experts, University of Salford and Q 43 Back

53   COM (2010) 546 Back

54   The European Union Committee produced a short report on the EIT just before it was established: Proposal to establish the European Institute of Technology (25th Report of Session 2006-07, HL Paper 130) Back

55   COM (2011) 822, p.16 Back

56   British Council, BIS, QAA, University Alliance, UK Bologna Experts and Q 114 Back

57   million+ Back

58   See the note of the site visit contained in Appendix 3. Back

59  Back

60   EM 17932/11, 17933/11 & 17935/11, submitted by BIS on 20 December 2011. Back

61   COM (2010) 546, pp 22-26 Back

62   COM (2011) 849, pp 8-9 Back

63   European Union Committee, 19th Report of Session 2010-12: Innovation in EU Agriculture (HL Paper 171) Back

64   Professor Sir Tim Wilson DL, A Review of Business-University Collaboration Back

65   European Regional Development Fund, European Social Fund and Cohesion Fund Back

66   17574/11, COM (2011) 787: ERASMUS FOR ALL: the EU Programme for Education, Training, Youth and Sport, 23 November 2011 Back

67   Both of these proposals are considered in more detail later in this report. Back

68   COM (2010) 546, p. 15 Back

69   1994 Group, Association of Colleges, British Council, Engineering Professors' Council, NUS, Russell Group, Scottish Government, University of Salford, University Alliance, UK Higher Education International Unit, million+, Q 95 and Q 113  Back

70   NUS, Russell Group and Scottish Government. Back

71   See Appendix 3. Back

72   Q 21.  Back

73   European Union Committee, 13th Report of Session 2010-12: EU Financial Framework from 2014 (HL Paper 125) Back

74   The Bologna Process involves 47 countries, while the ERA consists of the 27 EU Member States and 12 other associated countries from Europe and beyond. Back

75   COM (2011) 567, p. 6 Back

76   Q 113 Back

77   Q 75 Back

78   EUA, Russell Group, Q 2, Q 105 and Q 120. The ERC was established in 2007 under the Seventh Framework Programme for Research and Technical Development (FP7). It forms part of, and applies to the same countries as, the ERA.  Back

79   Q 120 Back

80   QQ 12-14 Back

81   COM (2011) 567, p. 11 Back

82   COM (2012) 55 final, White Paper: An Agenda for Adequate, Safe and Sustainable Pensions, 16 February 2012 Back

83   Council Directive 2004/114/EC on the conditions of admission of third-country nationals for the purposes of studies, pupil exchange, unremunerated training or voluntary service and Council Directive 2005/71/EC on a specific procedure for admitting third-country nationals for the purposes of scientific research Back

84   COM (2011) 567, p. 7. The Schengen Area is defined in Appendix 5. Back

85   BIS Back

86   Q 68, Q 105, UEL and British Academy Back

87   Q 81 Back

88   17932/11, COM (2011) 808: Horizon 2020 - The Framework Programme for Research and Innovation, 30 November 2011 Back

89   European Union Committee, 13th Report of Session 2010-12: EU Financial Framework from 2014 (HL Paper 125) Back

90   POST Note 359, EU Science & Technology Funding, June 2010  Back

91   Q 90 Back

92   COM (2011) 567, p. 10 Back

93   Q 47 Back

94   Russell Group Back

95   The EUA produced a report entitled Global University Rankings and their Impact in 2011. Its main conclusions were that while global rankings were now an established feature of the higher education sector, they concentrated on only the top research universities; the way in which rankings were compiled lacked transparency; truly objective indicators did not exist; the benefits provided by rankings did not necessarily outweigh the unintended consequences; proposals for new ranking systems, such as U-Multirank, would experience difficulties with data collection and that higher education policy decisions should not be based solely on rankings data. Back

96   Q 121. Others had concerns about this-UK Higher Education International Unit, BIS, Russell Group, Q 16 and Q 84-but the British Council did not think this would be particularly burdensome, Q 47. Back

97   QAA and UK Higher Education International Unit Back

98   1994 Group, University Alliance, Professor Furlong, million+, University of Kent, UK Higher Education International Unit, Q 16 and Q 106 Back

99   1994 Group Back

100   University Alliance. NUS and UK Higher Education International Unit echoed these concerns. Back

101   Russell Group and Q 121 Back

102   Russell Group, BIS, Scottish Government and HEFCE Back

103   British Council, Dr. Anne Corbett, University of Salford, Association of Colleges and Engineering Professors' Council Back

104   UK Bologna Experts Back

105   HEFCE Back

106   NUS Back

107   BIS Back

108   Q 84 Back

109   THES has published an annual World University Ranking since 2004. The new World University Rankings were first published on 16 September 2010 and then again on 6 October 2011. It only concentrates on 400 global research-driven universities, with the option of searching only European universities. A detailed overview was provided in their written evidence. The full methodology and the explanation of each of the 13 separate performance indicators used is available at: Back

110   Thomson Reuters, Global Opinion Survey: New Outlooks on Institutional Profiles, February 2010 Back

111   Times Higher Education World University Rankings Back

112   COM (2011) 567, p. 14 Back

113   EUA Back

114   British Council, UK Bologna Experts, Scottish Government and Q 19 Back

115   British Council Back

116   Scottish Government Back

117   The EU and British Council (Q 122 and Q 50) were in favour while the QAA was opposed. Back

118   EUA Back

119   Q 86 Back

120   BIS Back

121   Russell Group Back

122   UK Higher Education International Unit Back

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