The EDLab project “European policy experimentation in higher education: piloting a joint European degree label” kicks off today in Brussels. The event brings together 30 participants from European University Alliances as well as associate partners and the European Commission to get the project off the ground and to establish the roadmap for the consecution of the objectives and results.
The one-year EDLab action was granted last January 200,000 EUR by the European Commission with the aim of testing the implementation of European and international joint degree programmes and the European Degree Label with special emphasis on France, Italy, Portugal and Spain. The project, coordinated by the University of Granada, brings together 13 universities from Spain, Portugal, Italy, France and Belgium representing Arqus and three other European University Alliances (ENLIGHT, EUTOPIA and SEA-EU). EDLab also counts on an extensive network of associate partners, a total of 35, which include national ministries and quality assurance agencies, European and global university networks, student and alumni associations, along with other partner universities from the four Alliances.
The kick-off meeting aims at introducing the team members, creating a general overview of the European Degree Label and building a mutual understanding of the different action lines, activities and results. The 30 participants of the event come from universities of the 4 Alliances represented (University of Granada, Ca’ Foscari University Venice, CY Cergy Paris Université, Ghent University, University Nova Lisbon, Parthenope University of Naples, University of Cadiz, University of Minho, University of Pompeu Fabra, Université de Lyon 1, University of Padua, University of Western Brittany, Nord University and University of Vasque Country), some associated partners (Academic Cooperation Association, Coimbra Group and Erasmus Student Network) and the European Commission (the Directorate General for Education and Culture (DG EAC) and the European Education and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA)).
Dorothy Kelly, Arqus Coordinator, has given the welcome words and kicked off the meeting, followed by the intervention of Kinga Szuly, Head of Sector, Higher Education Policy (DG EAC), who gave a general overview the European Degree Label. Representatives from SEA-EU from the University of Cadiz will present after the coffee break the planned activities within the work package devoted to “Mapping and screening of existing joint programmes”. The team from EUTOPIA of the University Nova Lisbon will introduce the expected actions of the work package “Global attractiveness”. Members of the University of Ghent representing ENLIGHT Alliance will summarise the work package dedicated to the “Design and testing of the European Degree Label”. After lunch, Magali Gillain, from the EACEA, will intervene with key recommendations and guidelines for the correct management and monitoring of the project. The transversal activities involving dissemination and management will be also presented by the members of the University of Padua and the University of Granada respectively. Finally, the event will include parallel sessions of national coordination groups.
The EDLab project is one of the 6 approved actions supported by the European Commission in Europe for the policy experimentation of a European Degree Label. More than 200 European higher education institutions are involved in this piloting initiative in partnership with a relevant number of ministries, public accreditation agencies and other associated partners in their respective countries, which have a prominent role in these projects. The coordination and collaboration between the different actors and projects will be essential to achieve better results in the testing and to advance in the implementation of the Joint European Degree in the near future, as envisaged in the European Strategy for Universities.