EEU Publications

Empowering’ university policies improve our economies, states the recent report of Empower European Universities called The State of University Policy for progress in Europe. This report assesses the contribution of higher education policies to higher education performance and economic innovation. The main findings are summarized in a policy report, the technical report explains the data we have used and method, the country reports provide a snapshot of each one of the 32 countries.

Higher education contributes to economic innovation. This study measures and compares the extent to which national governments’ policies foster this contribution across Europe. The study stresses the relevance of policies which are ‘empowering’ for higher education institutions, or in other words provide them with appropriate resources and regulatory environments.The assessment relies on quantitative scores, based on the contribution of policies regarding funding and autonomy to higher education performance in education, research and economic innovation, using non-arbitrary weights and eighteen policy indicators across 32 European countries.  A large number of countries belong to a ‘middle group’ in our overall assessment, indicating a relative cohesion in Europe. Yet, substantial variations exist in terms of higher education policy in Europe, each European country having room for policy improvement:

The technical report summarizes the data we have used, method and comments from our correspondents: EEU_Technicalreport_Dec2012

The country reports provide a snapshot of the contribution of the higher education policies of each European countries to economic innovation: EEU_Countryreports_Dec2012

The dataset used on the reports: EEU_Reportsdataset_Dec2012

For more information, please do not hesitate to contact us at : [email protected]


Jo Ritzen “A Chance for European Universities”

"A Chance for European Universities” book cover

Europe’s universities are very well represented among the world’s top 200 universities, but almost absent in the top 50. They are economically, culturally and socially underexploited. There is an urgent need to alter the context for European universities to strengthen the European competitive position through economic innovation, increased social cohesion and a more vibrant cultural dynamism.

The unbalanced demographics in the world – with a virtually constant supply of graduates in the developed West and a potentially fast increase in the number of graduates in developing countries – pose both new threats and new opportunities for European universities.

Europe can cash in on these opportunities by reinventing its higher education, taking into account the lessons learned from effective education for an international labor market, from the valorization of knowledge but also from the matching and selection of students.

Jozef Ritzen outlines a series of changes necessary to make European universities more successful:

  • Denationalization of the Bologna process with emphasis on European-wide accreditation and quality control;
  • Moving the organization of universities from the bureaucratic to the innovative;
  • Rebalancing the financing system so that the public budget cuts of the past decades can be met by private sources.


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