Higher education across Europe needs to cut red tape, revolutionise lifelong learning, standardise digital platforms, and immerse students in research as well as employability skills from day one, according to new recommendations proposed by the Guild of European Research-Intensive Universities.
These and other radical interventions are laid out in a landmark paper, which seeks to overhaul and reform the sector for the post-pandemic, digital twenty-first century, led by Professor Jo Angouri of the University of Warwick, which is a founding member of the Guild.
Based on examples of best practice among Guild members — from Glasgow to Ghent — it discusses issues including how to foster transnational student mobility within different national regulations; how to navigate blended physical and online teaching models beyond the pandemic; and how to encourage a greater focus on more inclusive, lifelong, research-led education, while still supporting a skilled workforce in Europe.
The paper seeks to open a conversation between universities, European policy bodies, the EU, and governments, so that an adapted higher education sector can be forged that enables and empowers students and staff to transcend disciplinary and national borders.
Professor Angouri’s recommendations are laid out across six key themes:
- The Future is not and must not be all digital
- Research-led universities must lend their distinctive strengths to lifelong learning
- Pedagogic innovation must be accelerated to educate for continuous change and disruption
- We must move beyond red tape to develop enabling policy tools and flexible regulatory frameworks
- We must articulate the value added of (international) collaboration
- We must invest in the sustainability of pedagogic innovation
Each of these interventions will be presented and explored at events between June and December 2021, hosted by various member institutions of the Guild.