Communication on a renewed EU agenda for higher education

Author (Corporate)
Series Details COM (2017) 247
Publication Date 30/05/2017
Content Type


Communication adopted by the European Commission on 30 May 2017, which sets out a renewed strategy aimed at supporting the higher education sector across the European Union (EU).

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Effective education and training systems are seen as a foundation of fair, open and democratic societies and of sustained growth and employment. The EU's capacity to build a better future for European citizens is central to the success of the European project. This is visible of initiatives such as the 'Investing in Europe's Youth' and 'New Skills Agenda for Europe'. The relevance of education and training is highlighted in the European Commission's 'White Paper on the Future of Europe', the EU's 'Pillar of social rights' and in the 'Reflection Paper on harnessing globalisation'.

In this context, higher education is seen as playing a unique role, particularly when demand for highly skilled, social engaged people is ever increasing and evolving. Efforts to respond to those needs rely primarily on initiatives from Member States and higher education institutions, but the EU can help with that address the mounting challenges.

The renewed higher education strategy builds on the 2011 Modernisation agenda. It aims to ensure the EU's initiatives to support higher education modernisation are focused on issues that matter, while also helping to prepare for the next Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF). This Communication sets out the Commission's for four key areas:

  • Ensuring graduates leave higher education with the skill sets they and the modern economy need;
  • Building inclusive higher education systems;
  • Making sure higher education institutions contribute to innovation in the rest of the economy;
  • Supporting higher education institutions and governments in making the best use of the human and financial resources available.
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Related Links
Commentary and Analysis
EUA: Policy Input, 07/07/2017: EUA’s Response to the Renewed EU Agenda for Higher Education

EUR-Lex: SWD(2017)164: Commission Staff Working Document accompanying the communication
European Parliament: Legislative Observatory: Procedure File for Own-Initiative on Modernisation of education in the EU
UK Parliament: House of Lords Select Committee: Modernisation of Higher Education in Europe
European Commission: Press Release, 30/05/2017: Youth initiative: Commission sets out strategy for high quality, inclusive, future-oriented education
European Commission: Questions and answers: new strategy for high quality, inclusive, future-oriented education (30 May 2017)

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