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European Research, Innovation and Education

May 2012 – 2012/05

Contents SEEN FROM BRUSSELS State Aid Modernisation


RESEARCH Initial agreement in Council on Horizon 2020


EP published draft reports on Horizon 2020


> Publications


Proposal for operating GMES


Call for tender Marie Curie Alumni Association


EUA wants full cost and 40% of direct costs for indirect costs


INNOVATION Focus: Neglect and over-protection of IPR


Much controversy around EIT


> Publications


A step towards easier international patenting


Solving water-related challenges


EDUCATION Council reaches first compromise on Erasmus for all


Focus: How international is your institution?


> Publications


Erasmus: a true European success story


Loans for training


Your first EURES job launched


INTRA MUROS ‘Research & Education building Knowledge Societies’

This edition of the SwissCore Synopsis as well as previous editions are available on our website. SwissCore - Contact Office for European Research, Innovation and Education Rue du Trône 98 • B-1050 Bruxelles • Tel. +32-2-549 09 80 • Fax +32-2-549 09 89 •


SEEN FROM BRUSSELS State Aid Modernisation The European Commission (EC) has published a communication on ‘State Aid Modernisation’ (SAM) on 8 May 2012. It addresses how public spending in the form of state aid should become more efficient, effective and targeted at growth-promoting policies that fulfill common European objectives, like the Europe 2020 Strategy. The EC proposes a) to develop common principles for the compatibility assessment of national support projects, b) to revise the General Block Exemption Regulation adopted in 2008 and the Regulation on small amounts of aid adopted in 2006, c) to streamline the procedures and d) to modernise the Procedural Regulation. What does this have to do with research and innovation? The current Community Framework for State Aid for Research & Development & Innovation (R&D&I-Framework) until 2013 guides national public funding to research organisations and innovation intermediaries and indirect aid through public research organisations to undertakings in service contracts or collaboration. It also provides criteria for the standard assessment rules for cumulating with other aid. R&D&I state aid makes up to 0.09% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the European Union (EU) amounting to €10.9 billion in 2010. There exist large disparities within the EU: around 54% of total R&D&I-state aid in 2010 was granted by only three member states (Germany €2.8 billion; France €1.8 billion and Spain €1.1 billion). From the R&D&I-Framework's entry into force in 2007 to today, the EC has approved approximately 220 aid schemes and 50 large individual aid measures.

The revised R&D&I-Framework will touch upon the objective of the Europe 2020 strategy to reach 3% of the EU-GDP by 2020. Mind you, in general the EU Funds do not fall under the European state aid rules, but certain money from the structural funds could fall under state aid rules. However, the EC proposed in November 2011 that "in order to maintain a level playing field for all undertakings active in the internal market, funding provided by Horizon 2020 should be designed in accordance with state aid rules so as to ensure the effectiveness of public spending and prevent market distortions such as crowding-out of private funding, creating ineffective market structures or preserving inefficient firms." The communication on ‘State Aid Modernisation’ also builds on the mid-term review on the application of the R&D&IFramework and a public consultation from December 2011 to February 2012. The evaluation of the responses are still on-going. The published communication thereby sets the scene for the new R&D&I-Framework, the first draft of which might be expected by summer 2013. The new R&D&I-Framework should be adopted by December 2013. Interestingly, in the recently published communication, the EC suggests that “as for the streamlining, in a first stage, several guidelines, including guidelines for Regional Aid, for R&D&I, for Environmental aid and for Risk Capital and Broadband could be aligned and possibly consolidated with the common principles by the end of 2013.”

Communication on ‘State Aid Modernisation’ (pdf) Findings mid-term evaluation R&D&I-Framework (pdf) 01 June 2012 • SwissCore


RESEARCH Initial agreement in Council on Horizon 2020 On 31 May 2012, the Competitiveness Council (Council) has reached a ‘general partial approach’ on the next Framework Programme for Research and Innovation (Horizon 2020). It contains an initial agreement on the structure and content of the proposal by the European Commission (EC) without taking the proposed budget and the Rules for Participation (RfP) into account. The Council in general welcomed the proposal of the EC, but raised three serious issues. First of all, the Council considered the 15% objective for SME too low and wants to set it at 20%. Moreover, the Council did not like the proposed sixth societal challenge and wants to divide ‘Inclusive, Innovative and Secure Societies’ into ‘Europe in a changing world – culture, identity and social change’ and ‘Secure Societies – protecting freedom and security of Europe and its citizens’. Finally, serious discussions concerning the position of the European Institute for Innovation and Technology (EIT) seem to have taken place: the Council demands a) synergies and interaction across pillars in Horizon 2020, b) clearly defined annual business plans setting out a multiannual strategy and including an ambitious portfolio of activities from education to business creation and c) a strong role for business in driving activities in the Knowledge and Innovation Communities (KIC), which should be able to mobilise investment and long-term commitment from the business sector. Meanwhile, the Council Research Working Party (RECH WP) has examined the Commission's proposal on the RfP and the Specific Programme. In general, most delegations led by the Danish presidency of the Council of the EU have

welcomed the EC proposal on the RfP; nevertheless, some issues have been raised during the discussions. Several delegations enquired about the European added value related to the proposed funding for single companies through the dedicated SME instrument. The need for exact wording for delineation between research and innovation projects as well as for the respective funding levels of 100% and 70% of the direct costs was underlined. The proposed flat rate for the indirect costs (20% of direct costs) was considered too low by several delegations and the abolition of the real cost option is considered as a setback rather than simplification. As regards the ownership of results, delegations have asked for clarifications about the joint ownership provisions. Concerning the Specific Programme, some delegations put emphasis on small-scale projects while others expressed their concern in relation to administrative costs (6%) and the implications and costs of externalisation. Delegations have shown concern regarding the possible implications of the foreseen implementation aspects, regarding work programmes and the European Research Council (ERC) , i.e. delegations considered it should be assisted by an advisory committee. Many delegations have called for more information on the governance of the Specific Programme, including the comitology aspects. In this respect, most delegations were of the opinion that the configurations of the Programme Committee should continue to play a role in terms of approving projects and not only focus on a mere strategic role. As the Danish presidency has successfully handled the line of thoughts within the Council and the European Parliament (EP) is progressing in parallel (see page 01 June 2012 • SwissCore




4), a picture of large support for the EC proposals for Horizon 2020 evolves albeit some issues. The Cypriote presidency in fall 2012 is expected to further discuss the RfP. The overall adoption of the proposal of Horizon 2020 however depends largely on the adoption of both the Financial Regulation

(FR) and the Multi-annual Financial Framework (MFF). As some member states strongly push for a serious reduction of the overall budget of the EU and the EP might delay the negotiations on the MFF, Horizon 2020 might be adopted under the Lithuanian presidency in fall 2013.

Council Conclusions

EP published draft reports on Horizon 2020 The next Framework Programme for Research and Innovation (Horizon 2020), to run from 2014 to 2020, is currently in the negotiation phase between the European Parliament (EP) and the Council of the European Union (Council). The Industry, Research and Energy Committee (ITRE) responsible for preparing the position of the EP, will publish its three draft reports on Horizon 2020 on 4 June 2012. The documents will then be ready to be presented and discussed in the Committee meetings. Previous discussions in ITRE indicate that the Members of the European Parliament (MEP) might make many amendments to these reports. When it started the deliberations on Horizon 2020, ITRE appointed a) Spanish MEP Teresa Madurell from the group of Socialists and Democrats (S&D) as the rapporteur on the overall proposal for a regulation setting up Horizon 2020, which deals with the general objectives, structure and budget; b) German MEP Christian Ehler from the European People’s Party (EPP) as rapporteur on the proposed Rules for Participation and Dissemination (RfP) of Horizon 2020;

and c) Portuguese MEP Maria da Graça Carvalho from the EPP, as the rapporteur on the Specific Programme Implementing Horizon 2020. So far, several issues were raised by the EP and have been discussed in ITRE. They concern, for instance, funding rates, the synergies with structural funds, the overall balance of the proposal, the precise implementation of the RfP and the uptake of Research and Development (R&D) results. Another issue for debate at ITRE is its concern that the Global Monitoring for Environment and Security programme (GMES) and the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) might be funded from Horizon 2020. Further updates on the timetable for the reports on Horizon 2020 include end of June 2012 as the deadline for tabling amendments. During summer, the draft reports with amendments will be translated. While the vote in ITRE will most likely take place between September and October, the vote in the plenary session is expected to take place in November-December.

ITRE Draft reports

01 June 2012 • SwissCore




> Publications Proposal for operating GMES The European Commission has published a com-

cial Framework (MFF) directly by the participating

munication on the operating of the Global Monitor-

states. Thus, a specific GMES fund needs to be

ing for Environment and Security programme

created with contributions from the participating

(GMES) from 2014 to 2020. GMES aims at observ-

states based on their gross national income. GMES

ing environmental and climate changes, providing

fund budgeted at €5.8 billion from 2014 to 2020.

data and supporting to policy-makers. It is com-

Switzerland, third countries and international or-

posed of a network of satellites and airborne,

ganisations are allowed to participate in GMES

ground and maritime sensors. The EC proposes

based on their individual agreements with the

GMES to be funded outside the Multi-annual Finan-

European Union.

Communication (pdf) GMES

Call for tender Marie Curie Alumni Association The Directorate General for Education, Youth and

creation of the association, to organise meetings

Culture (EAC) has published a call for tender for

and activities for the members and to disseminate

the running of the Marie Curie Alumni Association

the benefits of MSCA to stakeholders and re-

(MCAA). Since the creation of Marie Skłodowska-

searchers. The budget allocated to the association

Curie Actions (MSCA) in 1994, more than 50’000

by EAC is €700’000 for the first eighteen months

researchers have beneficiated from the actions

with two potential extensions of twelve months

and are eligible for membership in MCAA. The

each. The deadline for application is 18 June 2012.

tasks for the contractor are to achieve the formal Call for tender MCAA

EUA wants full cost and 40% of direct costs for indirect costs The European University Association (EUA) has

ties. A ‘one fits all’ solution does not take in ac-

released its view on the Rules for Participation

count the great diversity of institutions in the Eu-

(RfP) of Horizon 2020. Of big concern to EUA are

ropean academic landscape. Based on an assess-

the funding rules described in the proposal of the

ment of the RfP in 21 universities with different

European Commission. While the EUA welcomes

profiles, EUA has come with several recommenda-

the proposed 100% reimbursement rate for direct

tions. The EUA wants the option of a full reim-

costs, the 20% flat rate of direct costs for the

bursement of real costs and a raise of the pro-

indirect costs is heavily criticised. EUA stressed

posed flat rate to at least 40% of the direct costs.

that the 20% flat rate is too low for many universiEUA position (pdf)

01 June 2012 • SwissCore


INNOVATION Focus: Neglect and over-protection of IPR Recently, there has been a lot of discussion about Intellectual Property Rights (IPR), copyrights and patents. On the one hand, Small and Medium-sized Enterprise (SME) as well as individual artists and inventors need to be protected from theft of their ideas and hard work. On the other hand, the over-protection of ideas can be a serious brake to the innovation engine that is supposed to take Europe and the world out of the financial crisis. The German Member of the European Parliament (EP) Evelyne Gebhardt recently asked her colleagues to “think about what an invention is” and to work on the grey areas of the current legislation. This article summarises these recent discussions in the light of a balance between the neglect and over-protection of IPR. One of the grey areas is agriculture, where in the recent years there has been a tendency towards excessive patenting of animal breeds and plant seeds. So far, the European ‘Directive on the legal protection of biotechnological inventions’ has remained untouched; it states that only what has been obtained through genetic engineering can be patented. Conventional animal or plant breeding has been excluded. But how about a combination of conventional techniques with biological markers to improve the breeds? Whereas the EP in a resolution adopted on 10 May 2012 recommends banning patents on Soya with high oil concentration or on high-yielding cows, the European Patent Office (EPO) has recently authorised patents for tulips resisting certain diseases, resulting from combined breeding methods. In many cases, the concentration of powerful actors is considered by the European authorities. This is in contrary to the United States

(US) were conventional-bred animals and seeds can be patented. It might be interesting to bear in mind that 50% of the global seed market is owned by a dozen multinational firms, like Monsanto, Syngenta and Bayer. On 2 May 2012, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) has ruled that Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) and other functional characteristics of computer software were not eligible for copyright protection and that vendors could not override these user rights to clone any of the functionalities of software by licence agreement. The much discussed case between SAS, producer of the popular statistical software package and a small firm called World Programming, who won the court case, is reminiscent of a legal battle between Oracle and Google, in which Oracle reproaches the search giant of violating copyrights by cloning Java APIs for use in Android, an open source system. However, US courts have been reluctant to overrule licence agreements, but the ECJ stated that protecting functionalities would mean monopolising ideas, which it considered as a threat to technological progress and innovation. Also in the area of scientific research, the European Commission (EC) is seeking more transparency and easier access for all. Open Access to scientific results has been the topic of a long-going debate, but it has received more media presence since Neelie Kroes, VicePresident of the EC and European Commissioner for Digital Agenda, has decided to reinforce it particularly emphasising its extension to open data, which in her view should be in an accessible and portable format right from the beginning of research and innovation projects. Kroes argues that publicly funded re01 June 2012 • SwissCore




search should be accessible to the public. Whereas thanks to the rising presence of online media 20% of research results are publicly available, we are still far away from her 100% target. Again, the boycott of several universities against journals published by the British-Dutch scientific publisher Elsevier shows the two sides of the copyright protection medal: the small one and the big one. Cases like the above bring up the question of the necessities and limits of IPR rules. Who benefits from them and who will ultimately suffer? Some, like Kroes, argue that it is the small companies or single entities that suffer, if national legal barriers prevent them from distributing their product or service in an international market. As an advocate of the much anticipated European Community Patent, she brings forward the case of the internet music provider Spotify,

whose services are finally available in Belgium, three years after other European countries. Another question is what really needs to be protected and what should be accessible for all? In his statement on the Google antitrust investigation, Joaquin Almunia, Vice-President of the EC and European Commissioner for Competition, reproaches the world’s largest search engine company amongst others of copying content from competing vertical search services, e.g. restaurant and travel advice sites, and to use it in its own offerings. This could, in his view, lead to less investment by smaller companies in original content. Google has been asked to “deliver a satisfactory set of remedies”. Should it fail to deliver, then it might face the same costly charges of up to 10% of its revenues in a particular market like other big companies, e.g. Microsoft and Intel, have faced before.

Ruling of ECJ SAS EP patents plants and animals Almunia speech Google Antitrust Kroes speech on Open Access

01 June 2012 • SwissCore




Much controversy around EIT There are several parallel discussions going on in Brussels on the European Institute for Innovation and Technology (EIT). While the EIT clearly is part of the proposal of the European Commission (EC) for Horizon 2020 and thus must be treated in that respect, the EIT has published its Strategic Innovation Agenda (SIA) in June 2011. To make things even more complicated, the EC in November 2011 came forward with its own SIA for the EIT. The current discussions appear rather fuzzy. That is why the Danish presidency of the Council of the European Union seems to have drafted its own progress report summarising the issues to be addressed. This article provides some background information on the EIT, summarises a draft working document from the European Parliament (EP) and complements the description of the discussion on the EIT in the Council (see page 3). Overall, the EIT evolves as a controversial topic, particularly when it comes to the proposed tenfold increase of budget for 2014 - 2020. The EIT was established with the aim of reinforcing Europe’s innovation capacity by integrating the so-called knowledge triangle (higher education, research and innovation). It has a budget of €309 million from 2008 to 2013 and has fully absorbed its allocated yearly funds so far. Since 2010, the EIT has been operational and has created and supports three Knowledge and Innovation Communities (KICs), i.e. Climate-KIC, EIT ICT Labs and KIC InnoEnergy running through 16 ‘colocation centres’ in 12 European countries. The number of partners has increased to currently 200. The EC proposed to further develop the Budapest based EIT by integrating its scope under Horizon 2020 and by multiplying its budget by ten to €3.194 billion. About half of the funds

are to be distributed amongst the three established KICs and three new ones to be launched in 2014: ‘Innovation for healthy living and active ageing’, ‘Food 4Future – sustainable supply chain from resources to consumers’ and ‘Raw materials – sustainable exploration, extraction, processing and recycling’. After a review in 2017 another tranche of €1.652 billion would further support the activities of the existing six KICs and the launch of three new ones in 2018 on ’Urban Mobility’, ‘Added Value Manufacturing’ and ‘Social societies’ are proposed. Philippe Lamberts, Member of the EP (MEP) from the Greens, has drafted a working document on the EIT pointing at the topics of the many discussions. Lamberts argues that several aspects still need to be better understood:  He identifies budgetary and financial questions - such as the actual performance of the KICs, their leverage and streamlining effect as well as their sustainability in the medium term; there is no mechanism proposed for the use, the monitoring and the evaluation of the funds.  He doubts the objectives, EU-added value and complementarity in view of the focus of the EIT activities and the effective mechanisms regarding possible synergies with other activities within Horizon 2020.  The role of governance and participation in his view are not well enough defined, particularly concerning the return on investment for society as a whole as well as for SME. He supports the general approach of ‘Societal Challenges’ under Horizon 2020 as the basis for the KIC topics, but points out to the lack of clarity in drawing a line between other instruments in Horizon 2020, i.e. the Joint Programming Initiatives, the European Technology Platforms, the Joint 01 June 2012 • SwissCore




Technology Initiatives, ERA-Nets, the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) and also the ‘Knowledge Alliances & Sector Skills Alliances’ under ‘Erasmus for all’. The confusion created by the similarity of the names given to the newly proposed KICs and the European Innovation Partnerships (EIP) would not really help either. In Lamberts’ view, the prioritisation of the new KICs was not understandable, so he suggests to launch all six KICs in 2014 and to base their budgets on individual yearly performances as well as their annual business plans. This way sectorial differences would be considered rather than deciding on the funding of one KIC based on the performance of another and more important topics to society could be addressed at the same time. Despite the fact that KICs are intended to be self-organising structures with a business approach, certain guidelines or criteria for their selection and functioning could help to ensure a balance between SME and large companies, an organic rather than a planned growth as well as fair and democratic operations. In the same line of criticism falls the lack of clarity in terms of the balance between education, research and innovation activities, which should be either equally important or prioritised. Lamberts questions the European added value of the KICs compared to other local or international partnership activities. In his view, the benefit of “breeding a limited number of EU excellent players” is one way, but making KICs reach all regions - particularly

those that are disadvantaged and to help them “innovate themselves out of the crisis” - is another, possibly better way to go. Finally the question of funding is not answered to Lamberts’ satisfaction. Whereas the EIT provides 25% of the KIC budget, the remaining 75% can stem from member states, other EU initiatives or private partners. There is no clarity about the leveraging effect. Today 20-30% of the total KIC budgets come from private partners, but are mostly ‘in kind’. Future KICs should not be launched without a good understanding of how existing KICs manage to create a leveraging effect. The plans for the KICs to become self-financing entities could only be achieved with a comprehensive road map. Lamberts concluded with an urge to pay more attention to the development of suitable indicators and evaluation tools to measure the performance of the EIT activities and their effective use. When Androulla Vassiliou, European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism, Sport, Media and Youth visited the meeting of the Parliamentary Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE) on 30 May 2012, she defended the proposed budget increase as well as its structure. She stressed the success so far and the planned monitoring of the KIC activities. The concerns expressed by the MEPs covered Lamberts’ critical points, but emphasised also the important role in the area of education and the development of human resources.

Lamberts draft report (pdf)

01 June 2012 • SwissCore




> Publications A step towards easier international patenting The European Patent Office (EPO) and the World

date for innovators to file for patent protection

Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) have

globally. The agreement between EPO, which is by

agreed on a three-year technical cooperation

far the largest International Searching Authority

scheme on 2 May 2012. It is a first of its kind

(ISA) under the PCT scheme, and WIPO foresees

between the two institutions. It aims at improving

establishing annual work plans of cooperation

the procedural framework of the Patent Coopera-

activities in areas of mutual interest surrounding

tion Treaty (PCT) with a view to increasing its use

the PCT. Those will amongst others deliver a fully

by patent applicants. The PCT, administered by

electronic exchange of PCT documents and an

WIPO, is an international patent law treaty con-

enhanced digital exchange of patent information

cluded in 1970, which enables the simultaneous


filing of a patent in 145 countries, the only way to Press release EPO

Solving water-related challenges On 10 May 2012, the European Commission has

Technology Platforms (ETP) and Eco-Innovation

published a communication proposing a European

Action Plan. The EIP on Water will be based on a

Partnership Initiative (EIP) on Water, which aims

bottom-up approach and is expected to provide

at removing innovation barriers and connect de-

innovation sites to identify barriers on innovation,

mand and supply sides. This proposal will need

dissemination of breakthroughs and innovative

endorsement by the EU member states. The focus

solutions, the removal of water innovation barri-

of the EIP will be on urban, rural and industrial

ers, e.g. of a regulatory, financial or technical



nature and a water innovation ‘market place’ to

themes. A multi-disciplinary approach is expected

promote geographically independent interaction

to identify where innovation is most needed and

between suppliers and those in need of innovative

ensure maximum coordination with existing Euro-

solutions. The EIP on Water is expected to be fully

pean and national programmes, such as Joint

operational in early 2013 with first results deliv-

Programming Initiative (JPI) on Water, European

ered within one year.





Communication EC (pdf)

01 June 2012 • SwissCore


EDUCATION Council reaches first compromise on Erasmus for all Denmark had the intention to reach a ‘general partial approach’ on Erasmus for All before the end of its presidency of the Council of the European Union in spring 2012. This intention became reality during the Education and Youth Council of 11 May, where all Ministers of Education agreed on a presidency compromise text. The main modification compared to the initial proposal of the European Commission (EC) is the introduction of a separate chapter for youth. However, it does not mean that the programme name ‘Youth in Action’ will be preserved. Even if it did not have the unanimous support from all member states, the proposed new name of the programme as well as the labeling breakdown into sectors (Erasmus Schools, Erasmus Higher Education, Erasmus Vocational Education and Training, Erasmus Adult Education, Erasmus Youth Participation, Erasmus Sport) have been retained in the compromise text. Further relevant modifications concern the reintroduction of the possibility to have more than only one National Agency (NA) per country, the support to all six current Jean Monnet institutions (instead of two) and the possibility for a single programme committee to meet in specific configuration to deal with sector issues. The new text proposed by the Danish presidency is a compromise, like the name says, and not a consensus. The proposal to keep one single programme

committee still does not satisfy all member states and Bulgaria and Malta have expressed their dissatisfaction with the method proposed to calculate NA allocations for learning mobility funds. Moreover, even if the issue of the loss of opportunities for people on the labour market has not been formally addressed in the discussions so far, it seems to be a concern for Belgium. Finally, all provisions with budgetary implications, such as the minimum allocations per actions and per sectors, have not been discussed yet, because they depend on the adoption of the Multi-annual Financial Framework (MFF), which was initially expected for the end of 2012, but could be delayed. It means that even if this general partial approach has been reached at Council level, many points still remain open. In parallel, negotiations are currently underway at the European Parliament (EP), where a draft report on Erasmus for All will be presented in September, instead of July as initially planned. It should be adopted in November in the Committee on Culture and Education (CULT). So far, CULT seems to agree with most changes proposed in the compromise text. However, it is now certain the EP will strive towards additional modifications, such as giving a more ‘lifelong learning oriented’ name to the whole programme and reintroducing the names of the current subprogrammes.

Council press release (pdf) Presidency compromise text (pdf)

01 June 2012 • SwissCore




Focus: How international is your institution? The concept of internationalisation has replaced the concept of international education, as pointed out by Hans de Wit, Professor at the School of Economics and Management in Amsterdam, during the Erasmus Conference of 9 May 2012 (see page 13). It is true that ‘internationalisation’ is today on everyone’s lips, especially in the higher education sector. However, it is not always easy for institutions to assess their degree of internationalisation and to develop a comprehensive and consistent strategy. This is why various European projects try to develop methods to help them measure their progress and identify their needs. The Indicators for Mapping and Profiling Internationalisation (IMPI) project, whose final symposium took place on 10 May, is one of them. This twoyears project developed a toolkit of indicators (IMPI toolbox) which should help Higher Education Institutions (HEI) to self-assess their degree of internationalisation. As more than 300 indicators are proposed, it is up to the institutions to select them according to their profiles and needs. The question is whether it is feasible for an institution to properly choose the indicators in order to create the tailor-made perspective they need. In any case, the use of the IMPI toolbox should also provide options for inter-institutional comparisons, which is a basis for peer reviewing. The concept of a ‘voluntary peer learning and reviewing system’ was introduced in the recent Bucharest Communiqué (see Synopsis 2012/03 and 2012/04), in order to assess the level of implementa-

tion of Bologna reforms and promote good practices. Therefore, peer reviewing seems to be a valuable method to assess the degree of internationalisation of an institution. The MApping UNIversity MObility (MAUNIMO) project is another attempt to measure internationalisation. It aims at encouraging institutions to define their individual approaches to mobility and its final results are expected in September 2012. Moreover, the Erasmus Mobility Quality Tools (EMQT) project proposes a list of indicators to selfassess the quality of HEI exchanges. These two projects focus on mobility, but still contribute to supporting HEI in assessing and defining their internationalisation strategy, mobility being a core component of internationalisation. However, is mobility a means in itself? Encouraging HEIs and governments to develop internationalisation policies that go beyond mobility is one answer of the European Commission (EC) along with promoting quality and transparency, lifting legal barriers, promoting Europe as a study destination and providing comprehensive and coherent international academic cooperation programmes. ‘Erasmus for All’ will be a comprehensive and coherent programme in that respect, integrating both intra-European and international cooperation. Finally, an EC communication on the internationalisation of higher education is expected for the first quarter of 2013 and should help to better position European higher education on the international arena.


01 June 2012 • SwissCore




> Publications Erasmus: a true European success story The Erasmus programme does not only celebrate

placements are increasingly popular. This brochure

its 25th anniversary this year, but also a new rec-

was published on the eve of the Erasmus Confer-

ord in the number of students which received an

ence organised on 9 May by the Danish Presiden-

Erasmus grant for a study or training period

cy, where the 66 Erasmus Ambassadors (one stu-

abroad. The brochure ‘Erasmus – Facts, Figures

dent and staff per country) presented their Eras-

and Trends 2010-2011’ published by the European

mus Manifesto. This manifesto includes proposals

Commission on 8 May 2012 reveals a 8.5% in-

for improving the programme, such as strengthen-

crease in exchanges compared to the previous

ing university-business cooperation through more

academic year. The demand actually exceeds the

intensive student and staff exchanges, and better

availability of Erasmus grants in most participating

recognition of traineeships abroad.

countries. The figures also show that Erasmus Erasmus: Facts, Figures and Trends 2010-2011 (pdf) Erasmus Manifesto (pdf)

Loans for training On 7 May 2012, the European Centre for the De-

classified as public. The report also shows that

velopment of Vocational Training (CEDEFOP) has

only few loans support continuing VET and that

published an extensive report on loans used to

they seldom support learning mobility. In conclu-

cover the costs of Vocational Education and Train-

sion, there is no single best loan scheme, but a

ing (VET) in 33 European countries (Switzerland is

series of good practices should be considered

excluded), with a focus on selected schemes in

when implementing loan schemes, such as extend-

eight countries (AT, FI, FR, HU, PL, NL, SE, UK). A

ing their eligibility for more VET and part-time

comparative analysis of these loans shows that

learners, ensuring flexible repayment with built-in

most of them are conventional in their type of

income safeguard or providing better communica-

repayment, higher education-oriented and








CEDEFOP report

Your first EURES job launched On 21 May 2012, the European Commission has

ject should improve cross-border mobility for

launched the ‘Your first EURES job’ pilot project,

5’000 individuals. Activities will at first only involve

which was initially proposed in the ‘Youth on the

a limited number of employment services, i.e.

Move’ flagship initiative of Europe 2020. This tar-

Germany, Spain, Denmark and Italy. In the future,

geted job mobility scheme aims at helping young

this action may become a permanent part of the

people aged 18 to 30 to find job opportunities

EURES network of European employment services.

abroad. In its initial phase (2012-2013), the pro‘Your first EURES job’

01 June 2012 • SwissCore


INTRA MUROS… ‘Research & Education building Knowledge Societies’ SwissCore has organised its Annual Reception on 3 May 2012 in Brussels. About fifteen representatives of our funders and the Scientific Committee for International Co-operation (SC IC) of the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) participated in an accompanying programme starring Wolfgang Burtscher, Deputy Director-General of the Directorate-General for Research and Innovation (RTD), and Donald Dingwell, Secretary-General of the European Research Council (ERC). Together with about eighty representatives of our Brussels network they later attended our Annual Reception. They all witnessed Dieter Imboden, President of the SNSF, and Jacques de Watteville, Ambassador of Switzerland to the European Union, thanking each other and their Brussels colleagues and friends for the support and cooperation during the last years concerning European research. Martin Vetterli will succeed Imboden as of 1 January 2013 and de Watteville will continue his career as Ambassador to China as of summer 2012.

Knowledge Societies’. He described how universities changed from mono- to multidisciplinarity and from sedentarity to mobility. He also underlined the important role of the human sciences. Finally, he described how university governance changed given the increased role of research and education building knowledge societies: from state owned organisations to multi stakeholder super visionary structures acquiring funds from a variety of sources.

Antonio Loprieno, President of the Rectors’ Conference of the Swiss Universities (CRUS) and Rector of the University of Basel, held the keynote speech on ‘Research and Education building

01 June 2012 • SwissCore


Synopsis May 2012  

Synopsis May 2012

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