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Report questions funding schemes

EU countries must better consider the impacts of performance-based funding and mergers on universities, in light of their increasing use in higher education policy, according to a study.

The report, released by the European University Association on 17 December, finds that many countries are responding to the financial crisis by turning to performance-based funding and encouraging institutions to combine. However, it warns that governments must fully assess the impact of these changes on institutions, both positive and negative, by including universities in the decision-making process.

“Measures such as performance-based funding, mergers and concentration measures as well as excellence schemes can have unintended consequences at system as well as institutional level,” states the report. “The development of performance agreements with specific targets should be a joint process between universities and public authorities.”

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