COMMUNICATION FROM THE COMMISSION TO THE COUNCIL AND THE
Modernisation of Europe’s universities2, involving their interlinked roles of education,
research and innovation, has been acknowledged not only as a core condition for the success
of the broader Lisbon Strategy, but as part of the wider move towards an increasingly global
and knowledge-based economy. The main items on the agenda for change have been
identified3 and given added momentum by the European Council: at the informal meeting at
Hampton Court in October 2005, R&D and universities were acknowledged as foundations of
European competitiveness; the 2006 Spring European Council agreed on stronger action at
European level to drive forward this agenda in universities and research, which should be
implemented by the end of 2007 in the context of the renewed partnership for growth and
employment4. In the National Reform Programmes based on the Integrated Guidelines for
Growth and Jobs5, Member States refer generally to these issues, but few address them as a
national priority. Yet these changes are necessary to regenerate Europe’s own approach, not to
replicate any imported model. They are equally necessary in order to reinforce the societal
roles of universities in a culturally and linguistically diverse Europe.
For this purpose, alongside the fundamental local, regional and national roots of universities,
the European framework is becoming increasingly important. The European dimension offers
the potential benefits of larger scale operation greater diversity and intellectual richness of
resources, plus opportunities for cooperation and competition between institutions.
In this respect the Commission has already proposed the establishment of the European
Institute of Technology (EIT)6 which was welcomed by the 2006 Spring European Council as
a new initiative specifically to address these challenges. It can contribute to improving
Europe’s capacity for scientific education, research and innovation, while providing an
innovative model to inspire and drive change in existing universities, in particular by
encouraging multi-disciplinarity and developing the strong partnerships with business that
will ensure its relevance. Of course, the EIT alone cannot be the only solution in the drive to
modernise Europe’s universities.
1 The Commission acknowledges with thanks the contributions of all the experts who were consulted and
offered comments and suggestions in the course of preparation of this document.
2 In this document “universities” is taken to mean all higher education institutions, irrespective of their
name and status in the Member States.
3 “Mobilising the brainpower of Europe: enabling universities to make their full contribution to the
Lisbon Strategy”, COM(2005) 152 of 20 April 2005 and Council Resolution of 15 November 2005.
Creating an Innovative Europe, Expert Group chaired by Mr Aho, European Commission, January 2006
4 Conclusions 1 777/06 of 24 March 2006.
5 COM(2005)141 final of 12.04.2005
6 COM (2006) 77 final of 22.2.2006
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The present Communication stems from the dialogue7 that the European Commission has
initiated in recent years with the Member States and the academic and scientific communities.
Its content has also been discussed with a number of experts (see annex 2), who have advised
the Commission in a personal capacity.
With 4 000 institutions, over 17 million students and some 1.5 million staff - of whom
435 000 are researchers8 - European universities have enormous potential, but this
potential is not fully harnessed and put to work effectively to underpin Europe’s drive for
more growth and more jobs.
Member States value their universities highly and many have tried to “preserve” them at
national level through detailed regulations organising them, controlling them, micromanaging
them and, in the end, imposing an undesirable degree of uniformity on them.
This pressure for uniformity has led to generally good average performance, but has increased
fragmentation of the sector into mostly small national systems and sub-systems. These render
cooperation difficult at national, let alone European or international, level and impose
conditions which prevent universities from diversifying and from focusing on quality.
Furthermore, most universities tend to offer the same courses to the same group of
academically best-qualified young students and fail to open up to other types of learning and
learners, e.g. non-degree retraining courses for adults or gap courses for students not coming
through the traditional routes. This has not only impeded access for disadvantaged social
groups and prevented higher enrolment rates but has also slowed down innovation in curricula
and teaching methods (e.g. with respect to entrepreneurship9), hindered the provision of
training/retraining opportunities to increase skills and competency levels in the workforce and
led to persistent mismatches between graduate qualifications and labour market needs.
Graduate unemployment in many Member States is unacceptably high.
Moreover, administrative regulations still hamper academic mobility for studying, research
training or working in another country. Procedures for recognition of qualifications for
academic purposes are at best lengthy; at worst, the failure to recognise and the limited
portability of national grants/loans or pension rights prevent students, researchers and
academics from fully appreciating opportunities in other Member States.
Universities also have to accept that research is no longer an isolated activity and that the
emphasis is shifting from individual researchers to teams and global research networks.
Scientific problems tend to go beyond traditional disciplinary structures: cutting-edge
research is increasingly being conducted at the interface between academic disciplines or in
multidisciplinary settings. Universities’ research environments are more competitive and
globalised and require greater interaction.
7 Communication “The role of universities in the Europe of knowledge” COM(2003)58, the 2004 Liège
Conference and the report by the Forum on UBR “European Universities: Enhancing Europe’s
8 Statistical elements underpinning the analysis in this section are to be found in Annex 2. Data source for
these figures: Eurostat
9 Cf Commission Communication of 13 February 2006 “Fostering entrepreneurial mindsets through
education and learning”.
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Within this context, however, many European universities still underestimate the potential
benefits of sharing knowledge with the economy and society, while industry has not
developed sufficient absorption capacity to harness the potential of university-based research.
Consequently, the cross-fertilisation with the business community and with wider society
remains difficult. This lack of openness to the business community is also seen in the career
choices of doctorate holders, who tend to pursue their whole careers in either academic circles
or industry, and not as entrepreneurs.
Structural and cultural problems like these are exacerbated by the huge dual funding deficit
which affects universities on both the education and research sides. While there has been
welcome growth in student enrolments, this has not been matched by growth in public
funding, and universities in Europe have not been able to make up the difference from private
sources. The average gap in resources for both research and education activities compared
with their US counterparts is some EUR 10 000 per student per year10. At the same time highquality
education and research are becoming more expensive and, with public finances tight,
public authorities are attaching increasingly stringent conditions to support for universitybased
research. For the future, it seems likely that the bulk of resources needed to close the
funding gap will have to come from non-public sources.
In short, European universities are not currently in a position to achieve their potential
in a number of important ways. As a result, they are behind in the increased international
competition for talented academics and students, and miss out on fast changing research
agendas and on generating the critical mass, excellence and flexibility necessary to succeed.
These failures are compounded by a combination of excessive public control coupled with
Europe needs universities able to build on their own strengths and differentiate their
activities on the basis of these strengths. While all institutions share certain common values
and tasks, not all need the same balance between education and research, the same approach
to research and research training, or the same mix of services and academic disciplines.
Research should remain a key task of the systems as a whole, but not necessarily for all
institutions. This would allow the emergence of an articulated system comprising worldrenowned
research institutions, plus networks of excellent national and regional universities
and colleges which also provide shorter technical education. Such a system would mobilise
the substantial pool of knowledge, talent and energy within universities and would merit – and
be in a position to generate - the increased investment needed to make it comparable with the
best in the world.
….AND CHANGES REQUIRED
If Member States are to accomplish all this, they need to create the necessary conditions to
enable universities to improve their performance, to modernise themselves and to become
more competitive – in short, to become leaders in their own renaissance and to play their part
in the creation of the knowledge-based society envisaged under the Lisbon strategy.
Discussions at European level show an increasing willingness to modernise systems, and the
agenda maped out below is not, in essence, contested. Action is primarily for Member States
10 Commission staff working paper accompanying the Communication “Mobilising the brainpower of
Europe”, paragraph 42.
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and universities. Taking stock of the debate, and taking into account European specificities,
the Commission suggests that the following changes will be key to success:
1. BREAK DOWN THE BARRIERS AROUND UNIVERSITIES IN EUROPE
Geographical and inter-sectoral mobility needs to increase substantially. The proportion
of graduates who have spent at least one term or semester abroad or with experience in
industry should at least double. This is even more true for researchers.
All forms of mobility should be explicitly valued as a factor enriching studies at all levels
(including research training at doctoral level), but also improving the career progression of
university researchers and staff.
National grants/loans should be fully portable within the EU. Full portability of pension rights
coupled with the removal of other obstacles to professional, international or inter-sectoral
mobility is needed to foster staff and researcher mobility and hence innovation.
Work in the context of the Bologna process is bringing about a convergence in the structure
and length of degree programmes; however, this in itself will not create the conditions for
increased intra-university mobility. A major effort should be made to achieve the core
Bologna reforms by 2010 in all EU countries: comparable qualifications (short cycle,
Bachelor, Master, Doctorate); flexible, modernised curricula at all levels which correspond to
the needs of the labour market; and trustworthy quality assurance systems. This requires
targeted incentives from the national authorities responsible in order to ensure proper take-up
of the reforms rather than mere superficial compliance with the standards. Curricula in
specific disciplines or professions should be renovated, drawing on comparisons and best
practice at European level.
The recent Directive on the recognition of professional qualifications11 has made it simpler
and quicker to have qualifications for professional practice recognised across national
borders. Procedures for academic recognition should also be reviewed to ensure quicker and
more predictable outcomes (in particular, by publishing universities’ recognition policies): as
with professional recognition, the Commission suggests that no applicant should have to
wait longer than four months for a decision about academic recognition.
2. ENSURE REAL AUTONOMY AND ACCOUNTABILITY FOR UNIVERSITIES
Universities will not become innovative and responsive to change unless they are given real
autonomy and accountability. Member States should guide the university sector as a whole
through a framework of general rules, policy objectives, funding mechanisms and incentives
for education, research and innovation activities. In return for being freed from overregulation
and micro-management, universities should accept full institutional accountability
to society at large for their results.
This requires new internal governance systems based on strategic priorities and on
professional management of human resources, investment and administrative procedures. It
also requires universities to overcome their fragmentation into faculties, departments,
11 Directive 2005/36/EC adopted on 7 September 2005; it will be implemented from October 2007.
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laboratories and administrative units and to target their efforts collectively on institutional
priorities for research, teaching and services. Member States should build up and reward
management and leadership capacity within universities. This could be done by setting up
national bodies dedicated to university management and leadership training, which could
learn from those already existing.
3. PROVIDE INCENTIVES FOR STRUCTURED PARTNERSHIPS WITH THE BUSINESS
While the public mission and overall social and cultural remit of European universities must
be preserved, they should increasingly become significant players in the economy, able to
respond better and faster to the demands of the market and to develop partnerships which
harness scientific and technological knowledge. This implies recognising that their
relationship with the business community is of strategic importance and forms part of
their commitment to serving the public interest.
Structured partnerships with the business community (including SMEs) bring opportunities
for universities to improve the sharing of research results, intellectual property rights, patents
and licences (for example through on-campus start-ups or the creation of science parks). They
can also increase the relevance of education and training programmes through placements of
students and researchers in business, and can improve the career prospects of researchers at all
stages of their career by adding entrepreneurial skills to scientific expertise. Links with
business can bring additional funding, for example to expand research capacity or to provide
retraining courses, and will enhance the impact of university-based research on SMEs and
To secure these benefits, most universities will need external support to make the necessary
organisational changes and build up entrepreneurial attitudes and management skills. This can
be achieved by creating local “clusters for knowledge creation and transfer” or business
liaison, joint research or knowledge transfer offices serving as an interface with local/regional
economic operators. This also implies that development of entrepreneurial, management and
innovation skills should become an integral part of graduate education, research training and
lifelong learning strategies for university staff.
4. PROVIDE THE RIGHT MIX OF SKILLS AND COMPETENCIES FOR THE LABOUR
Universities have the potential to play a vital role in the Lisbon objective to equip Europe
with the skills and competences necessary to succeed in a globalised, knowledge-based
economy. In order to overcome persistent mismatches between graduate qualifications and the
needs of the labour market, university programmes should be structured to enhance directly
the employability of graduates and to offer broad support to the workforce more generally.
Universities should offer innovative curricula, teaching methods and training/retraining
programmes which include broader employment-related skills along with the more disciplinespecific
skills. Credit-bearing internships in industry should be integrated into curricula. This
applies to all levels of education, i.e. short cycle, Bachelor, Master and Doctorate
programmes. It also entails offering non-degree courses for adults, e.g. retraining and bridging
courses for students not coming through the traditional routes. This should extend beyond the
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needs of the labour market to the stimulation of an entrepreneurial mindset amongst
students and researchers.
At doctoral level, it means that candidates aiming for a professional research career should
acquire skills in research and IPR management, communication, networking, entrepreneurship
and team-working in addition to training in research techniques.
More generally, universities need to grasp more directly the challenges and opportunities
presented by the lifelong learning agenda. Lifelong learning presents a challenge, in that it
will require universities to be more open to providing courses for students at later stages in the
life cycle. It presents an opportunity for universities which might otherwise risk to see
enrolments of students directly from school fall over coming years in view of coming
In summary, while the integration of graduates in the labour market is a responsibility shared
with employers, professional bodies and governments, labour market success should be used
as one indicator (among others) of the quality of university performance, and acknowledged
and rewarded in regulatory, funding and evaluation systems.
5. REDUCE THE FUNDING GAP AND MAKE FUNDING WORK MORE EFFECTIVELY IN
EDUCATION AND RESEARCH
Given the important role of universities in European research, the EU’s goal of investing 3%
of GDP in R&D by 2010 implies higher investment in university-based research12. As already
put forward in its Annual Progress Report on the Lisbon Strategy13, the Commission proposes
that the EU should also aim, within a decade, to devote at least 2% of GDP14 (including
both public and private funding) to a modernised higher education sector. OECD studies,
for example, show that money spent on obtaining university qualifications pays returns higher
than real interest rates.15
Student support schemes today tend to be insufficient to ensure equal access and chances of
success for students from the least privileged backgrounds. This applies equally to free access,
which does not necessarily guarantee social equity. Member States should therefore critically
examine their current mix of student fees and support schemes in the light of their
actual efficiency and equity. Excellence in teaching and research cannot be achieved if
socio-economic origin is a barrier to access or to research careers.
Universities should be funded more for what they do than for what they are, by focusing
funding on relevant outputs rather than on inputs, and by adapting funding to the diversity
12 See “More research and innovation – Investing for growth and employment: A common approach”,
COM(2005) 488 of 12 October 2005.
13 COM (2006) 30 final of 25/01/06
14 The 2002 EU average of direct expenditure in universities was 1.1% compared a US level of 2.6%.Less
than half of educational expenditures in the US are financed by public sources (direct expenditure),
whereas it is more than 75% in the majority of the EU Member States (and close to 100% in some).
Data source: EUROSTAT.
15 “The Economics of Knowledge: why education is key for Europe’s success, (Andreas Schleicher, 2006)
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of institutional profiles16. Universities should take greater responsibility for their own longterm
financial sustainability, particularly for research: this implies pro-active diversification
of their research funding portfolios through collaboration with enterprises (including in the
form of cross-border consortia), foundations and other private sources.
Each country should therefore strike the right balance between core, competitive and
outcome-based funding (underpinned by robust quality assurance) for higher education and
university-based research. Competitive funding should be based on institutional evaluation
systems and on diversified performance indicators with clearly defined targets and indicators
supported by international benchmarking for both inputs and economic and societal outputs.
6. ENHANCE INTERDISCIPLINARITY AND TRANSDISCIPLINARITY
Universities should be able to reconfigure their teaching and research agendas to seize the
opportunities offered by new developments in existing fields and by new emerging lines of
scientific inquiry. This requires focusing less on scientific disciplines and more on research
domains (e.g. green energy, nanotechnology), associating them more closely with related or
complementary fields (including humanities, social sciences, entrepreneurial and management
skills) and fostering interaction between students, researchers and research teams through
greater mobility between disciplines, sectors and research settings.
All this necessitates new institutional and organisational approaches to staff management,
evaluation and funding criteria, teaching and curricula and, above all, to research and research
The implications of inter- and trans-disciplinarity need to be acknowledged and taken on
board not only by universities and Member States, but also by professional bodies and
funding councils, which still rely mostly on traditional, single-discipline evaluations,
structures and funding mechanisms.
7. ACTIVATE KNOWLEDGE THROUGH INTERACTION WITH SOCIETY
Society is becoming increasingly knowledge-based and knowledge is replacing physical
resource as the main driver of economic growth. Universities therefore need to communicate
the relevance of their activities, particularly those related to research, by sharing knowledge
with society and by reinforcing the dialogue with all stakeholders. Communication
between scientific specialists and non-specialists is much needed but often absent.
This requires a much clearer commitment by universities to lifelong learning opportunities,
but also to a broad communication strategy based on conferences, open door operations,
placements, discussion forums, structured dialogues with alumni and citizens in general and
with local/regional players. Working together with earlier formal and non-formal education
16 Research-active universities should not be assessed and funded on the same basis as others weaker in
research but stronger in integrating students from disadvantaged groups or in acting as driving forces
for local industry and services. Apart from completion rates, average study time and graduate
employment rates, other criteria should be taken into account for research-active universities: research
achievements, successful competitive funding applications, publications, citations, patents and licences,
academic awards, industrial and/or international partnerships, etc.
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and with business (including SMEs and other small entities) will also play a role in this
Such interaction with the outside world will gradually make universities’ activities in general,
and their education, training and research agendas in particular, more relevant to the needs of
citizens and society at large. It will help universities to promote their different activities and to
convince society, governments and the private sector that they are worth investing in.
8. REWARD EXCELLENCE AT THE HIGHEST LEVEL
Excellence emerges from competition and is developed mainly at faculty/department level –
few universities achieve excellence across a wide spectrum of areas. Increased competition,
combined with more mobility and further concentration of resources, should enable
universities and their partners in industry to offer a more open and challenging working
environment to the most talented students and researchers, thereby making them more
attractive to Europeans and non-Europeans alike. Universities need to be in a position to
attract the best academics and researchers, to recruit them by flexible, open and
transparent procedures, to guarantee principal investigators/team-leaders full research
independence and to provide staff with attractive career prospects17.
Excellence also requires that Member States review the opportunities they provide at Master,
Doctorate and post-doctorate levels, including the mix of disciplines and skills involved. Postdoctoral
opportunities still tend to be neglected or too narrowly focused. Far-reaching changes
are required in this area. Individual universities should identify the particular fields where
they can achieve excellence and concentrate there.
At European level, excellence at graduate/doctoral schools should be encouraged by
networking those which meet key criteria: critical mass, trans- and inter-disciplinarity, strong
European dimension, backing from public authorities and from industry, identified and
recognised areas of excellence, provision of post-doctoral opportunities, suitable quality
In this context two initiatives will particularly strengthen competition for excellence: the
proposal for a European Institute of Technology and the European Research Council18.
9. MAKE THE EUROPEAN HIGHER EDUCATION AREA AND THE EUROPEAN RESEARCH
AREA MORE VISIBLE AND ATTRACTIVE IN THE WORLD
The development of extensive cooperation, mobility and networks between European
universities over the past decades has created the right conditions for broader
internationalisation. Most universities now have experience with multilateral consortia and
many are involved in joint courses or double degree arrangements. The Erasmus Mundus
Masters have demonstrated the relevance of these initiatives - which are unique to Europe - in
the global arena. Continuing globalisation means that the European Higher Education
17 Procedures for researchers should be in line with Commission Recommendation C(2005) 576 on the
European Charter for Researchers and the Code of Conduct for their Recruitment.
18 COM(2005)441 final of 21.09.2005
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Area and the European Research Area must be fully open to the world and become
worldwide competitive players.
This will, however, only be possible if Europe makes a serious effort to promote the quality of
its universities, and to increase their attractiveness and visibility worldwide.
One possibility, at European and Member State level, would be to develop more structured
international cooperation, supported by the necessary financial means, with the EU’s
neighbouring countries and worldwide, through bilateral/multilateral agreements. This also
entails that Member States, acting within the EU’s commitment not to promote brain drain,
should open up their funding schemes to non-Europeans and provide opportunities for
interuniversity staff exchanges as well as opportunities for non-European researcher and
academic staff to carry out professional activities. “Brain circulation” should also be
promoted for European students, teachers and researchers who have decided to spend part of
their working life outside Europe. 19. People undertaking a temporary assignment abroad are
both an asset for the sending and/or hosting country as they constitute a reserve of
professional contacts abroad, acting as bridgeheads for sharing knowledge. This in turn, will
increase Europe’s visibility in education and research and as a reliable partner in the
development of third countries’ human capital.
One fundamental point is to simplify and accelerate legal and administrative procedures for
the entry of non-EU students and researchers. Concerning admission and residence of third
country researchers, the “researchers’ visa” package - a directive and two recommendations
on the admission of third-country nationals to carry out scientific research in the European
Community20 was adopted in 2005 and will have to be transposed into national law during
Building an attractive image for European universities in the world also calls for a serious
effort to make European degrees more easily recognised outside Europe. However, first,
cross-recognition has to be fully achieved within the EU itself; the recent Directive on the
recognition of professional qualifications has already made it simpler for professional
purposes. More effort is still necessary as far as academic recognition is concerned. The
coherent framework of qualifications and of compatible quality assurance systems currently
under development21 will contribute to this. The existence of more “European” courses,
offered jointly by consortia of universities and leading to joint or double degrees at Master or
Doctorate level, would also help to make Europe more attractive to students, teachers and
researchers from the rest of the world.
19 See European Researchers Abroad (ERA-Link) pilot initiative,
20 The three instruments were published on 3 November 2005 in the Official Journal O.J. L 289 of 3
November 2005 The two recommendations immediately entered into force, while the Member States
will have two years (e.g. by November 2007) to implement the directive as well as Council Directive
2004/114/EC of 13 December 2004 (OJ L 375, 23.12.2004).
21 For example, through the recent European Parliament and Council Recommendation on Quality
Assurance in Higher Education (OJ L64 of 4.3.2006) and through the consultations on a European
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….AND WHAT THE COMMISSION CAN AND SHOULD DO
The Commission is not a direct actor in the modernisation of universities, but it can play a
catalytic role, providing political impetus and targeted funding in support of reform and
The Commission can support a new political impetus via coordinated interaction with
Member States through the open method of coordination, identifying and spreading best
practice and supporting Member States in their search for more effective university regimes.
In particular, the peer learning clusters set up within the Education and Training 2010 work
programme offer an effective means of exploring how the challenges facing EU universities
can be met. By offering a forum for the exchange of best practice and for the identification of
innovative solutions the EU level can offer genuine added value.22 The Commission can also
facilitate dialogue between universities, social partners and employers in order to promote
structured partnerships with the business community.
It can also provide funding with a significant impact on the quality and performance of
universities. This includes incentives to help universities meet the goals outlined in this
Communication. The mechanisms include not only the new programmes for 2007-2013 (the
7th EU Framework Programme for R&D, Lifelong Learning Programme, Competitiveness and
Innovation Programme), but also the Structural Funds and EIB loans23.
The Structural Funds can provide funding for the improvement of universities’ facilities and
resources, the fostering of partnerships between the academic and business communities and
the support of research and innovation relevant to regional or Member State economic
development objectives. The Structural Funds’ system of decentralised management enables
regional specificities to be taken into account. Member States, regional authorities and
universities should take full advantage of these opportunities to improve synergies between
education, research and innovation, particularly in the EU's less economically developed
Member States and regions.
The proposed European Institute of Technology will have a governance structure involving
excellence, interdisciplinarity, networking between centres and between academia and
business, which echoes the messages of this Communication. Thus in addition to its direct
contribution to strengthening Europe’s scientific education, research and innovation, it will
act as a flagship showing the value of modernised approach and mode of governance and
partnership with business.
Universities are key players in Europe’s future and for the successful transition to a
knowledge-based economy and society. However, this crucial sector of the economy and of
society needs in-depth restructuring and modernisation if Europe is not to lose out in the
global competition in education, research and innovation.
22 Increasing management potential within universities, mentioned in section 2 above, might be a suitable
23 The support described in this section is conditional on the adoption of the programme and other
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Implementing this necessary restructuring and modernisation requires coordinated action from
all parties involved:
• Member States when implementing the Integrated Guidelines for growth and jobs24 and
their National Reform Programmes need to take the necessary measures with respect to
universities, including aspects such as management, granting real autonomy and
accountability to universities, innovation capacities, access to higher education and
adapting higher education systems to new competence requirements..
• Universities, for their part, need to make strategic choices and conduct internal reforms to
extend their funding base, enhance their areas of excellence and develop their competitive
position; structured partnerships with the business community and other potential partners
will be indispensable for these transformations.
• The Commission can contribute through implementation of the Community Lisbon
Programme25, through policy dialogue and mutual learning, in particular within the
Education and training 2010 Work Programme, and through financial support to Member
States and to universities in their modernisation activities.
The Commission invites the Council and the European Parliament to give a clear message
about the EU’s determination to achieve the necessary restructuring and modernisation of
universities, and to invite all concerned to take immediate steps to take this agenda forward.
24 In particular guidelines Nr 7 (R&D), Nr 8 (innovation), Nr 23 (investment in human capital) and Nr 24
(adaptation to new competence requirements).
25 COM(2005) 330 final of 20.07.2005.
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Funding gap in research investment (for research performed by all actors, including
universities) in 2003
EU 25 USA Japan
R&D intensity in % as of GDP
1.92 2.59 3.15
Source: DG RTD and EAC estimates, based on EUROSTAT data
Gross enrolment rates (all students irrespective of age as a % of student-age population) in
tertiary education in 2003
EU 25 USA Japan
All students as % of population in age
57% 81% 50%
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Enrolment rates in higher education for adults in 2003
EU 25 USA Japan
% of population 30-39 in higher education
Production and employment of researchers in 2003
EU 25 USA Japan
All disciplines 88 100* 46 000 14 500
New PhDs Maths, Science and
37 000 16 200 5 500
Total number 1 167 000 1 335 00026 675 000
1000 persons in
Source: EUROSTAT and OECD
Note: Data for Greece are missing
World shares in total triadic patents families (patents filed simultaneously in EU,
USA and Japan) in 2000, in %
EU 25 USA Japan
Shares in total triadic patent families 31,5 34,3 26,9
Source: DG RTD, Key Figures 2005
26 OECD estimate for 2002
27 2002 figure
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Graduate unemployment rates in 2003
EU 25 USA Japan
Unemployment rate of population aged 20-24
with tertiary education attainment
12,3 1,6 :
Unemployment rate of population aged 25-29
with tertiary education attainment
8,5 2,6 :
Source: EUROSTAT and OECD
Foreign (according to citizenship) students as a percentage of students in higher education in
Australia Switzerland New
Zealand EU 25 Norway USA Japan Russia Korea
as a percentage of
all students in
18.7 17.7 13.5 6.2 5.2 3.5 2.2 0.8 0.2
Source: EUROSTAT and OECD
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In the preparation of this document, the Commission has consulted ad personam the
Vladimir Báleš (Slovak Technical University, Bratislava)
Olivier Blanchard (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA);
Ivor Crewe (Essex University, UK);
Federico Mayor Zaragoza (Fundación Cultura de Paz, Madrid);
Linda Nielsen (University of Copenhagen);
Mario Monti (Bocconi University, Milan);
Jan Sokol (Charles University, Prague);
Georg Winckler (University of Vienna).
They commented on a personal basis, and the sole responsibility for this document rests with
the European Commission.
The Commission would also like to thank the members of the Forum on University-based
Research for their contribution to the discussion on the topics mentioned in this