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Monday, April 6, 2009

Proposal for a regular meeting of the EU Forum for University-Business Dialogue

Education - Training, SME Policy,Federations Unions,Agencies Chambers,SMEs,Universities,Non-profit organisations,

News The cooperation between enterprises and universities will be strenghthened by the European Commission applying some mesures for the school system modernisation in the EU Member States.

Co-operation between higher education and business is now widely recognised to have benefits for both sides. It stimulates knowledge transfer in both directions, leads to long-term partnerships that can open opportunities and improve returns and helps prepare students for future employment. Examples of successful co-operation between the two sides exist throughout Europe. However, the level of co-operation remains very unequal across countries, universities and academic disciplines and the extent to which it has influenced governance and organisational cultures in both business and higher education is so far limited. Ján Figel', the European Commissioner for Education, Training, Culture and Youth said: "Closer co-operation between universities and business is a cornerstone of higher education reforms. Progress in this field is absolutely necessary. The EU Forum for University-Business Dialogue provides very concrete support to the universities and companies by encouraging them to learn from each other and by inspiring reforms on national, regional and institutional levels." Continuing the dialogue and creating new partnerships The Commission's plans give the EU Forum for University-Business Dialogue a reinforced structure of plenary meetings and thematic seminars, complemented by a web space to facilitate the sharing of good practice and supporting continuing discussions. It will also aim to strengthen the involvement of national and regional authorities and open up to actors from outside the EU. Over time and based on the findings of the Forum, the Commission plans to explore new possible forms of structured partnerships between universities and businesses and to analyse to what extent these partnerships could be supported through existing EU programmes. The Commission will also investigate whether the scope of dialogue with the world of business could be extended to other sectors of education and training. The University Business Forum To support co-operation between universities and businesses, the Commission in 2008 launched the University-Business Forum as a European platform for dialogue between the two worlds. The first Forum meeting in February 2008 was followed by three thematic workshops during 2008. A second plenary Forum in February 2009 gathered around 400 participants who also discussed possible future directions for the Forum's work. The forum is meant to support the modernisation of higher education in Europe. Fields of work include curricular development for better employability of graduates, the identification of skills that graduates need when entering the labour market and ways of fostering an entrepreneurial mindset among graduates, professors and researchers. It also deals with the role of universities in the development of lifelong learning, means of increasing the mobility of professors, researchers, students and company staff, and appropriate governance structures at universities. Possible future topics include the role of university-business cooperation for regional development and the involvement of small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

Source :  EU Forum for University-Business Dialogue


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