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Plans for university networks divide opinion

Long-awaited details on the European Commission’s plans for setting up networks of European universities to increase the quality of higher education, research and innovation across the continent have divided opinion.

At the request of member state governments, the Commission launched a pilot call on 25 October allocating €30 million for initial work to create six networks. Each network should bring together between five and eight higher education institutions, the call said. At least three members of each network must be based in different countries participating in the EU’s Erasmus+ education mobility programme.

Thomas Jørgensen, senior policy coordinator at the European University Association, told Research Europe that the pilot scheme “recognises a lot of things that are already going on in European universities, in terms of learning and teaching reform”, including a push for student and problem-based learning. But he said the call would ideally have focused more on R&D.

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