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Around 1000 higher education institutions and Member States representatives gathered to call for the implementation of the European degree

29 April 2024

During a conference on a blueprint for a European degree on 29 April in Brussels, which brought together more than 1000 participants – both in person and online -, the EDLab consortium together with the other pilot project and higher education institutions from all across the EU have called on the European Commission, Member States and the wider higher education sector to take the next steps to make the blueprint for a European degree a reality. They stressed the need for strong coordination between Member States, legislative changes and sufficient funding at European, national and regional level for what promises to reshape the landscape of higher education across the continent.

The 10 Erasmus+ pilot projects have been testing over the past year the delivery of a European degree (label) and the establishment of a possible European legal status for alliances of higher education institutions. During the event, organised by the Erasmus+ pilot projects in cooperation with the European Commission, they presented the results of their work. They showcased the clear added value of increased and institutionalised transnational cooperation fostered by the European degree, both for students, staff, employers, higher education institutions, higher education systems and the EU as a whole.

The conference was the first large event following the recent adoption of the European degree package comprising a Communication on a blueprint for a European degree and two proposals for Council recommendations to support the higher education sector.

The European dgree would pave the way for a new type of joint programmes, delivered on a voluntary basis at national, regional, or institutional level, and based on a common set of criteria agreed at European level. It is expected to make it easier for higher education institutions across Europe to set-up transnational joint degree programmes, boost learning mobility within the EU, enhance students' transversal skills, and help meet labour market demands, making graduates more attractive to future employers. Furthermore, it will attract students from around the world and bolster European competitiveness.

To achieve true jointness in our trans-national education offer, we also need more jointness in our respective systems. EDLab looks forward to the continued work on the removal of obstacles and the establishment of a European degree (label), empowering our institutions, academics and administrators to develop their educational offer for the benefit of our students and societies.

Andries Verspeeten

Deputy Head of the International Relations Office at the University of Ghent

ENLIGHT Alliance

Next steps

This proposal for a blueprint is only the first step on the pathway towards a European degree. It launches formal discussions with the Council of the EU to adopt the European criteria and with Member States to engage in necessary reforms.

Looking forward, the pilot project are eager to capitalise on the insights gained during the pilots work and together with the wider higher education institutions engage in further discussions with the European Commission and Member States through the planned European Degree Policy Lab and the European Degree Forum, in order to develop a common understanding of the principles and criteria underlying the European degree. In autumn 2024, the Commission will also present the final report synthesising the results of the Erasmus+ pilot projects.

The full recording of the conference is available here: CIVIS a European Civic University - YouTube



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