Getting European universities into shape

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Series Details Number 1
Publication Date 2006
ISSN 1830-1541
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Most European universities trail behind the best universities in the Anglo-Saxon world. A key challenge is to raise resources per student in Europe to US levels. The Lisbon agenda demands fundamental reforms of the European university system that enhance efficiency yet avoid grade inflation, foster more competition, allow for much larger private contributions accompanied with income-contingent student loans, and attract a higher fraction of foreign students.

European universities will be pushed to compete with each other, face better incentives and generate substantial more income. Universities will be stimulated to provide sufficient diversity and quality to meet the demands of a growing and diverse student body. Their ambition should be to educate the best minds in society irrespective of whether their parents are rich or poor, academics or uneducated. The shift from grants towards loans and the increase in tuition fees are justified by high returns. The reforms should lead to a better and more equitable system of European universities.

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