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The big picture

The European University Association represents the largest grouping of European academic institutions. This is a place where a broad view takes precedence over individual preferences, says Laura Greenhalgh.

At the EUA, scale dictates policy priorities. “We have to look across the breadth of our members,” says John Smith, the EUA’s deputy secretary general. “We have to create a balance, to try to cover a range of activities that are important to everyone.”

With 860 members to represent, it is the wider issues, significant to the majority, that are top of the EUA’s agenda. They include the proposed rules for participation in Horizon 2020, a matter every single university that plans to participate in the programme has a strong opinion about. The European Commission plans to cover indirect costs for things like core equipment and laboratories at a flat rate of 20 per cent of direct costs—with no opportunity to claim on the basis of real costs.

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