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European Research, Innovation and Education

April 2013 – 2013/04

Contents SEEN FROM BRUSSELS Women needed for better science and innovation


RESEARCH Cohesion policy brings strong investments in research


Dossier: Actions for research infrastructures in Horizon 2020


> Publications


JRC Annual Report 2012


R&I in support of the European Neighbourhood Policy


Update on ERC calls for proposals 2014


Governance of Galileo from 2014 to 2020


Transition to Open Access


INNOVATION Science, Technology and Innovation in the EU


EC plans to evaluate the impact of state aid measures


> Publications


EC consults on proposal for simplifying procedures for mergers


EIT ICT Labs publishes Annual Report 2012


EC publishes a book of good practices in e-procurement


EDUCATION Migration and school: is there a better model?


Consistent assessment and evaluation policies


> Publications


Rankings gain influence


Survey on ICT in education


A European MOOC initiative


INTRA MUROS ‘Europe - A powerhouse for global science’


‘ERA bottom-up’


How can innovation be successfully fostered?


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 98, rue du Trône in 1050 Brussels • Tel. +32 2 549 09 80 • Fax +32 2 549 09 89 •

SEEN FROM BRUSSELS Women needed for better science and innovation One of the five priorities of the European Research Area reform agenda published in July last year is ‘gender equality and gender mainstreaming in research’, i.e. encouraging gender diversity to foster science excellence. But gender diversity does not only encourage excellent science, it also fosters innovation. As highlighted by Anne Glover, Chief Scientific Advisor to the President of the European Commission (EC) at the occasion of a Swiss Innovation Briefing on ‘Unveiling the Innovation Myth’ (see page 16), combining men’s and women’s approaches in research supports innovation. Of course, besides enriching our scientific environment, equal opportunities for men and women should be an objective per se and a reality in today’s society. In research, this would mean having gender balance at all stages of the scientific career. Yet, as revealed by the latest edition of the ‘She Figures’ published on 8 April 2013, gender inequalities in science tend to persist and ‘climbing up the ladder’ equals to ‘loosing women at each step’. In 2010, the proportion of female students and graduates exceeded that of male students. This is confirmed by recent Eurostat data. However, the trend then inverts: in 2010, women represented 44% of researchers with a PhD at first grade of an academic career and only 20% of full professors. The report also points out that women still struggle to reach decision making positions, with e.g. ‘just 10 % of universities headed by women in 2010’. Looking in terms of disciplines, it is in the field of science and engineering that the under-representation of women is most striking. In 2010, there were only three countries (Iceland, Bulgaria, Poland) where the proportion of female scientists and engineers was at 50% or more. Switzerland stands at the very bottom of the country ranking, with only 18% of women in this category.

She Figures 2012 (pdf)

To sum up, two of the various challenges highlighted in the report are the lack of attraction for careers in the field of science and engineering and the problem of vertical segregation. The EC is not inactive in trying to address the ‘attraction challenge’. The campaign ‘Science: it’s a girl thing’ initiated in June last year is still running, even if the launch video was highly controversial. Moreover, on 25 April, a ‘Girls in ICT Day 2013’ was organised to encourage girls to consider careers in the sector of technology. Of course, breaking stereotypes is even more important than encouragement campaigns. As highlighted in the She Figures, stereotypes found e.g. in school manuals are among others responsible for the feminisation/masculinisation of professions. Education definitely plays a role in deconstructing these stereotypes. Vertical segregation is a more complex issue, since it is often linked to constraining barriers faced by researchers with family responsibilities. The She Figures reveal that “policies specifically targeted at women in science are needed to prevent that motherhood precludes women from advancing in their academic careers”. What regards strategic positions, there have been fierce debates about fixing quotas to reach a minimal proportion of women in boards. On 14 November 2012, the EC proposed a directive setting the objective of 40% of women among non-executive members of the boards of publicly listed companies. The proposal is currently being discussed, sometimes hotly, by EP and Council. No doubt, the time when women will face no more obstacles than men to climb up the ladder has not come yet. Since gender equality in research is a way to foster excellent science and innovation, will it fasten the pace of progress? In any case, Horizon 2020 should play a role in that respect, since ‘gender equality’ will be considered a transversal issue that should be tackled in all funded projects.

Eurostat data 30 April 2013 SwissCore


RESEARCH Cohesion policy brings strong investments in research The European Commission (EC) often emphasises the importance of linking cohesion policy with investments in research and innovation. The 2013 strategic report on cohesion policy, released by the EC on 18 April 2013, provides a detailed record on the implementation of programmes falling in this policy area from 2007 to 2013, with data up to end 2011 for most member states. The cohesion policy groups funding under three programmes, namely the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the Cohesion Fund (CF) and the European Social Fund (ESF). The European Union (EU) agreed on a budget of €347 billion from 2007 to 2013 for all three funds together.

The largest investments went to research infrastructures and centres of competences in a specific technology (€11 billion), to firms directly linked to research and innovation (€10 billion), to actions fostering entrepreneurship and research in SME (€7.9 billion) and to research activities in research centres (€5.8 billion). It is no surprise to read that most of the investments in research and innovation under the cohesion policy went to Poland, the most populated of the new EU member state. It is, however, interesting to note that countries such as Italy, Spain and Germany follow Poland in that order and also receive a significant amount of the budget.

Direct investments for projects for research and innovation amounted to €53 billion, i.e. 15.4% of the total budget and is close to the total budget of the Seventh Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development (FP7), which is €55 billion for the same period of time. It is the strongest field of investment of the cohesion policy, ahead of environment, roads and human capital. Around 53’240 research and 16’000 business-centred projects have been funded. The reports also says that 53’160 start-ups have been created over this period. These investments finally start to pay-off, with a strong increase since 2010 in research-related employment, reaching 15’600 new jobs by the end of 2011. In addition to that, the EU cohesion policy has supported the creation of 167’000 Small and Medium Enterprises (SME).

The links between programmes under the cohesion policy and the future Framework Programme for Research and Innovation Horizon 2020 are becoming increasingly evident, with the EC and especially the European Parliament calling for stronger synergies between both policy areas. Return grants, European Research Area chairs and teaming and twinning activities are among the issues discussed. While Switzerland cannot directly receive funds falling under the cohesion policy, the country can benefit of stronger research institutions and increased partnerships with stakeholders located in the main beneficiary countries because of the new research opportunities it creates and the access to and the development of a large pool of high-skilled researchers it allows. As Anne Glover stated during the Swiss Innovation Briefing (see page 16): “Innovation somewhere fosters innovation everywhere”!

EC Factsheet on research and innovation investments (pdf) EC Cohesion policy: Strategic report 2013 (pdf) EC Staff working document (pdf)

30 April 2013 SwissCore




Actions for research infrastructures in Horizon 2020 Activities regarding the use, the deployment, the integration and opening of research infrastructures form an integral part of the next Framework Programme for Research and Innovation Horizon 2020. Research infrastructures are defined as “facilities, resources, systems and related services that are used by research communities to conduct top level research in their respective fields” and therefore also encompass major scientific equipment or data repositories, with their associated human resources. Funding for research infrastructures is located in the ‘Excellent Science’ pillar of Horizon 2020 and has a foreseen budget of around €1.7 billion in total. Activities in this field will be divided into three main actions: developing the European research infrastructures for 2020 and beyond; fostering the innovation potential of research infrastructures and their human capital; reinforcing European research infrastructure policy and cooperation. The first action does not only provide funds for the developing, deploying and operating of research infrastructures identified by the European Strategic Forum for Research Infrastructures (ESFRI) but also seeks to contribute to the integration and opening of existing national research infrastructures as a follow-up to the ‘Integrating Activities’ funded under the Capacities programme of the Seventh Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development (FP7). On this, the European Commission (EC) has recently published the results of a public consultation which aimed at identifying topics for intervention. The consultation was opened from 15 July 2012 to 22 October 2012. 547 responses were submitted to the consultation covering a wide range of scientific disciplines. Half

of the responses, however, emanated from the environmental and earth sciences, followed by biological and medical sciences. The consultation identified 135 research infrastructures that have high potential for being included in Horizon 2020. It has to be pointed out that the selected infrastructures are not listed on the ESFRI roadmap. The strong focus Horizon 2020 sets on innovation is also visible in the programmes for research infrastructures and is the main component of the second action. More particularly, with Horizon 2020 the EC wishes to more effectively link research infrastructures to the industry. This will be done for example by using pre-commercial procurements to acquire high-tech scientific instrumentation or new technologies or by supporting the integration of the research infrastructure into the regional innovation system. The action will also support training activities for the operating and managing staff of selected research infrastructures. Finally, the last action tries to enhance synergies between national and European initiatives related to research infrastructures and offers support for running cooperation and coordination activities for infrastructures of global scale. On a side note, during the Competitiveness Council meeting on 10 October 2012, the EC has proposed that for projects involving large research infrastructures, part of the indirect costs will be eligible as direct costs and thus fully reimbursable. How this will be implemented in practice remains to be seen and is one of the heavily discussed topic between the European institutions during this last negotiation phase of Horizon 2020.

EC Assessment report of the consultation (pdf) Map of European research infrastructures ERIAB

30 April 2013 SwissCore




> Publications JRC Annual Report 2012 On 3 April 2013, the Joint Research Centre (JRC)

vation and Science Máire Geoghegan-Quinn under-

of the European Commission (EC) published its

lined the importance of scientific research: “It is

2012 Annual Report which provides an overview of

crucial to emphasise the central place of science in

JRC’s main achievements in 2012 through seven

European society. Scientific research needs to

thematic chapters. The report also includes infor-

demonstrate its relevance and quality, its contri-

mation on newly concluded cooperation agree-

bution to innovation and growth and its potential

ments with public and private research players

to address societal challenges such as climate

from around the world, facts and figures such as

change, food and energy security and an ageing

JRC’s publications, media coverage and expenses,

population.” As EC’s in-house science service, the

and an exhaustive list of organised and attended

JRC aims to play a `pivotal role’ in providing tech-

events throughout the year. Looking back on

nical and scientific support and advice to European

2012, European Commissioner for Research, Inno-


JRC Annual Report 2012 (pdf)

R&I in support of the European Neighbourhood Policy On 8 April 2013, the Directorate-General for Re-

spelled out by the new `ENP Strategy’ dated May

search and Innovation (DG RTD) released a book-

2011. The CKIS is designed to cover policy dia-

let on the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP)

logue, national and regional capacity-building,

presenting a selection of projects funded within

cooperation in research and innovation, as well as

the Seventh Framework Programme for Research


and Technological Development (FP7) which have

researchers and academics. The projects covered

been directly contributing to the achievement of

by the mentioned booklet, which pays a special

the Common Knowledge and Innovation Space

attention to `Activities of International Coopera-

(CKIS). The ENP, which covers 16 countries, was

tion’, are organised in nine thematic chapters. A

developed in 2004 with the objective of enhancing

short description and a list of all participating or-

cooperation between the enlarged European Union

ganisations and contact persons are provided for

and its neighbouring countries and thus strengthen

each project. According to DG RTD, the FP7 partic-

prosperity, stability and security in the region. The

ipation of stakeholders from ENP countries has

development of CKIS is one of the main priorities

been ‘very strong’.





EC DG RTD Booklet (pdf)

Update on ERC calls for proposals 2014 On 18 April 2013, the Scientific Council of the

place in the first and second quarter of 2014, as

European Research Council (ERC) announced that

opposed to Consolidator Grants and Advanced

the main ERC calls for proposals within the Sev-

Grants. Although no final decision has been taken

enth Framework Programme for Research and

yet, the Proof of Concept scheme should follow a

Technological Development (FP7) are closed. The

normal schedule in 2014, i.e. one call with two

next ERC calls shall take place under the next

deadlines. Finally, no calls should be made for

Framework Programme for Research and Innova-

Synergy Grants both in 2013 and 2014. In the

tion Horizon 2020. According to the indicative

light of the current state of play and at this stage

timetable provided by the Scientific Council, the

on the calendar, the ERC Scientific Council re-

ERC Work Programme 2014 shall be published

minded that there is no additional information on

‘late in 2013’. The opening and submission dead-









line for Starting Grants proposals should take ERC Scientific Council Statement 30 April 2013 SwissCore


Governance of Galileo from 2014 to 2020 On 17 April 2013, the Committee of Permanent

2014 to 2020, have been settled. The draft regula-

Representatives (COREPER) approved the com-

tion includes a new governance framework that

promise reached between the Council of the Euro-

clearly distinguishes between tasks attributed to

pean Union (Council) and the European Parliament

the European Commission, the European Global

(EP) on the financial and governance framework

Navigation Satellite System Agency and the Euro-

for the European Geostationary Navigation Overlay

pean Space Agency. The Council foresees €6.3

Service (EGNOS) and Galileo for 2014 to 2020.

billion for the completion and deployment of Gali-

The regulation will enter into force once the dis-

leo and the exploitation of both Galileo and

cussions on the Multiannual Financial Framework


(MFF), i.e. the budget of the European Union for EU press release (pdf)

Transition to Open Access On 29 April 2013, Science Europe published its

cess. It is the first time since the start of the de-

‘Statement and Principles for the Transition to

bate on Open Access to scientific publication that

Open Access to Scientific Publications’. Science

major European Research Funding and Performing

Europe’s Member Organisations have identified a

Organisations agree on a common set of principles

list of ten principles that will ensure consistency

to support the transition.

and coherence in their efforts towards Open AcScience Europe statement (pdf) Science Europe press release (pdf)

30 April 2013 SwissCore


INNOVATION Science, Technology and Innovation in the EU The European Commission’s (EC) statistical office Eurostat recently published the 2013 edition of its pocketbook on Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) in Europe, which includes relevant indicators that have been selected to give an overall picture of where Europe stands in relation to some of its neighbours and competitors. The report contains statistics for member states of the European Union (EU) as well as in most cases, Switzerland, Iceland, Norway, the United States (US), Japan, China and South Korea. It looks at the following areas: government budget or outlays on research and development (GBAORD); Research and Development (R&D) expenditure; R&D personnel; human resources in science and technology; innovation; patents; high technology. GBAORD are funds allocated to R&D in central government or federal budgets. These are not the actual spent funds, but the allocated budget. The overall EU GBAORD in 2011 amounted to €92.3 billion, with Germany, France and the United Kingdom accounting for more than half of this amount. Also in percentage of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), there were wide disparities ranging from 1.09% in Finland to 0.15% in Latvia and the EU average being at 0.73%. Whereas the main objective in the EU (33.2%), Switzerland (59.9%) and Japan (36.4%) was ‘general advancement of knowledge: R&D financed from general university funds’, in the US 57.3% of GBAORD was allocated to ‘defence’. The Europe 2020 Strategy targets to achieve R&D expenditure of 3% of the GDP in the EU. In 2011 the EU reached an R&D intensity of 2.03%, which was despite an increase from 2010 well below the figures in Japan (3.36%), South Korea (2010: 4%),

Switzerland (2009: 3.0%) and the US (2009: 2.87%), but higher than China (2009: 1.7%). Overall in the EU, the majority of R&D was financed by business enterprise, with Germany, Finland, Sweden and Denmark leading the way, whereas half of R&D expenditure in Cyprus, Poland, Romania and Slovakia was funded by government sources. Manufacturing was the sector that accounted for the highest business enterprise R&D expenditure, notably in Germany, Slovenia, Finland and Sweden, but the United Kingdom (UK), Ireland, Portugal, Estonia and Bulgaria saw more than half of their expenditure go towards services of the business economy. In the EU, 1.68% of total employment was related to R&D activities (2009) compared to 1.84% in Japan and 1.99% in South Korea. At national European level, the Nordic countries lead the way with Iceland (3.3%), Finland (3.27%) and Denmark (3.12%) on the first three and Sweden and Norway on fifth and sixth rank, followed by small countries such as Luxembourg on fourth place and Austria and Switzerland on seventh place. Furthermore, in 2011, Human Resources in Science and Technology (HRST) accounted for 35.8% of the total population aged 25-64 years in the EU, with no country exceeding 50%. Switzerland leads the ranks with 50% HRST workers, followed by Norway (48.8%) and Sweden (48.3%). The statistics published in the report on innovation are based on the Community Innovation Survey (CIS), which does not include Switzerland and is based on activity between 2008 and 2010. According to the results of the CIS, the highest proportion of enterprises with innovation activity in the EU can be found in Germany (79.3%), followed by Luxembourg (68.1%) and Belgium (60.9%) and the lowest rates are ob30 April 2013 SwissCore


served in Bulgaria (27.1%) and Poland (29.9%). The proportion of innovative enterprises was generally higher in industry (excluding construction) than services, which more often undertake their R&D internally than externally. Finland had the highest proportion of enterprises engaged in internal R&D (79.2%), followed by Slovenia (74.2%) and France (66.8%), whilst also holding the first rank for external R&D activities with 54.9%, followed by Lithuania (40.7%). A quarter of product and/or process innovative enterprises in the EU cooperated with other enterprises, universities or public research institutes. Among the EU countries, Germany submitted the largest number of patent application to the European Patent Office (EPO), followed by France and the UK. In terms of patent application per million inhabitants, Sweden came top (308), pushing Germany from its throne to the second place (267), but still not reaching Switzerland (382) or Liechtenstein (1310). Between 2005 and 2010 the number of patent applications to the EPO at EU level sank by 0.7% per

year, however increasing at national level in a majority of EU member states over the same period. Most countries showed a specialisation in one sector accounting for over 20% of patents. Business enterprises submitted the majority of patent applications. The high-tech sector is largely dominated by German enterprises representing one fifth of the EU turnover, followed at a distance by France, Ireland, the UK and Italy. The same is true for the distributed value added with nearly â‚Ź38 billion coming from Germany, followed by the UK (â‚Ź21 billion), France, Ireland and Italy. Whereas the UK was the leading EU member state in high-tech knowledge intensive services, Germany was the leading exporter of high-tech products, followed by the Netherlands and France. The high-tech trade balance at EU level was negative in 2011, with shares of intra-EU exports being higher than extra-EU exports. Countries with high extra EU-export levels were Sweden, Finland and the UK (all around 60%) and Malta with 80%.

EUROSTAT press release (pdf)

30 April 2013 ďƒ“SwissCore




EC plans to evaluate the impact of state aid measures In May 2012 the European Commission (EC) adopted a communication, in which it suggested a plan for the modernisation of European Union (EU) State Aid Measures (SAM). The EC has now moved on to implementing the plan and is currently in a process of stakeholder consultation on evaluation procedures for SAM. It has published an issues paper on 12 April 2013, outlining different options and the reasoning for evaluation as well as questions to EU member states and other stakeholders regarding the suggestions made. A stakeholder workshop was held in Brussels on 23 April 2013 to gather some of the views held by the public. The aim of modernising SAM is to direct public funds towards growth-enhancing initiatives in a more efficient and effective way, hereby addressing real market-failures. In view of the scarcity of public money, the EC wants to ‘achieve more with less’. It has therefore proposed to prioritise measures that have a significant impact on the single market, such as larger schemes. At the same time smaller, local measures should be simplified. The current state aid system however, does not look at the real, measured impact of aid schemes, but is ex-ante based on predefined criteria. Ex-post reviews or impact evaluation are rarely undertaken, apart from monitoring the compliance with the ex-ante rules. The results of an EC monitoring exercise in 2011/12 identified deficiencies in the implementation of a significant number of aid schemes, including a rising number of Research, Development and Innovation (R&D&I) support programmes. Hence, the EC suggests evaluations measures to help assess the overall impact of the aid schemes on the market, to improve the design of schemes were necessary and to reduce the need for lengthy ex-ante assessment. With the current stakeholder consultation, the EC wants to learn from the ex-

isting skills and experiences in member states that have an evaluation scheme in place. Also the existing systematic evaluations of EU structural funds could act as an example, in which the member states undertake the ex-ante evaluation and the EC looks measures the ex-post effects and communicated them widely and transparently. The main objectives of evaluation are to verify that the assumptions underlying the approval of the scheme ex-ante are still valid, to assess if the scheme is achieving the set objectives and to cater for unforeseeable negative effects. The EC proposes to focus evaluation procedures on schemes that have a potentially significant impact and might pose a risk of large distortions, such as large or novel schemes and those that face the possibility of significant market, technological or regulatory change in the near future. The suggested evaluations with a clear set of indicators should be undertaken at a reasonable time after the introduction of the schemes, such as 6-12 months in case of e.g. bank guarantees up to several years for e.g. regional schemes. A minimum set of methodology requirements will be set out by the EC’s Directorate-General for Competition and should address relevant questions, such as the nature of the market failure and how the scheme addresses it and the beneficial and distortive effects expected. For the evaluation data needs not be collected in order to allow for a comparison of the realised outcome with a counterfactual, i.e. a situation that would have occurred in the absence of aid. The EC suggests evaluations to be carried out by a national independent body, i.e. a body which is independent of the granting authority. After collection of the member states’ and stakeholders’ views on the identified key issues the EC will proceed to design evaluation requirements for SAM.

EC Issues Paper (pdf) 30 April 2013 SwissCore




> Publications EC consults on proposal for simplifying procedures for mergers On 27 March 2013, the European Commission (EC)

also be lessened by reducing the amount of infor-

launched a public consultation on a proposal to

mation required to notify mergers. With this new

simplify the procedures under the European Union

regulation, up to 70% of all notified mergers could

(EU) Merger Regulation. The aim is to make EU

be qualified for review under the simplified proce-

merger control more business-friendly. The new

dure. Concerned merging companies can expect

proposal includes an expansion of the scope of the

important savings, e.g. by cutting lawyers’ fees

simplified procedure, which will result in reduced

and reducing preparatory in-house work. Citizens,

general burden for businesses. The market share


threshold for treatment under this simplified pro-

community and other stakeholders are invited to

cedure for firm mergers competing in the same

give their opinion on the proposal until 19 June

market will be raised. Administrative burden will






EC press release EC public consultation

EIT ICT Labs publishes Annual Report 2012 On 26 March 2013, ICT Labs, one of the European

deployment of dedicated teams and new education

Institute of Innovation and Technology’s (EIT)

possibilities in the relevant field have been built

three Knowledge and Innovation Communities

up. Relationships with national and European or-

(KIC), published its second annual report. EIT ICT

ganisations have been intensified. One of the im-

Labs’ mission is to drive European leadership in

portant achievements in 2012 was the conclusion

ICT innovation for economic growth and quality of

of a cooperation agreement between EIT ICT Labs

life. Under the motto ‘Invest for Impact’, the re-

and a set of partner universities defining the ‘EIT

sults of this KIC were growing in terms of quantity,

ICT Labs Doctoral School for ICT Innovation’. The

quality and impact during the year 2012. Research

aim is to bring together partners in education,

activities focused especially on technology matura-

research and business. The official opening took

tion and experimentation. Business development

place one day after the publication of the annual

activities scaled up, amongst others, through the

report, on 27 March 2013.

Annual report Manifestation of EIT ICT Labs Doctoral School

EC publishes a book of good practices in e-procurement On 9 April 2013, the European Commission pub-

cation of a draft set of best practices. After that, a

lished the ‘Golden Book of e-Procurement practic-

review process was made through a public work-

es’ which presents 24 best practices of different e-

shop. The feedback from this session was taken up

procurement systems in Europe. There are around

in the final version. A second project which aims

300 e-procurement systems in use all over Eu-

also to facilitate European e-procurement, is the e-

rope. The great variability makes them difficult to

Tendering expert group (eTEG). eTEG developed a

use for businesses. The lack of cross-border in-

blueprint of an ideal e-procurement system. Based

teroperability and the interface complexity are the

on this model, they present recommendations



targeted at simplifying e-procurement. An eTEG

The Golden Book

report will be published within the next few weeks.




Procurement single market.



project started in January 2012 with a first publiEC Golden Book of e-Procurement Good Practices

30 April 2013 SwissCore


EDUCATION Migration and school: is there a better model? In 2010, the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) found that “25.9% of foreign born pupils in Europe abandoned education or training prematurely compared to 13% of pupils born in the country”. A study on ‘Educational support to newly arrived migrant children’, conducted by the Public Policy and Management Institute in Lithuania and released by Directorate-General Education and Culture of the European Commission on 11 April 2013, confirms that this fringe of population indeed has higher risks to drop out of school early. Not all newly arrived migrant children have equal access to quality education in Europe, immigrant students overall do not participate in education to the same extent as their native peers and, on average, they do not perform as well as native students. In a nutshell, these are the findings of the study. Migrant children are clearly confronted with inequalities in terms of access, participation and performance and can therefore be considered as a disadvantaged group. Since teaching migrant children is becoming a reality in an increasing number of European schools, the need to compare support models between different countries and extract recommendations is real. The study compares the situation in 15 countries with important recent immigration flows – Austria, Belgium (Dutchspeaking community), the Czech Republic, Cyprus, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and the United Kingdom – along four types of educational support measures identified as facilitating the integration of newly arrived migrant children: linguistic support, academic support (i.e. other pedagogical and organisational

strategies), outreach and cooperation (i.e. parental and community involvement) and intercultural education. The comparative analysis helped identify five types of education support systems:  the comprehensive support model (Denmark, Sweden), where all four measures are well developed and education systems are in other ways inclusive; 

the non-systematic support model (Italy, Cyprus, Greece), where the support provided is random and fragmented;

the compensatory support model (Belgium, Austria), where all measures are quite developed except academic support, because of early tracking (choice of educational pathway at an early age), which often discriminates migrant children;

the integration model (Ireland), where linguistic support is not a central focus;

the centralised entry support model (France, Luxembourg), where centralised reception of migrant children and the provision of academic support are the main driver of educational inclusion.

In general, the ‘comprehensive support model’ seems to be best able to respond to the inequalities in terms of access, participation and performance. In Denmark and Sweden indeed, the universality of educational support helps to motivate and keep immigrant children at school. The study therefore recommends to pay attention to the overall design of education support rather than targeting specific groups. Moreover, the study points out that free school choice often reinforces segregation, that late ability tracking is more favourable to migrant children, that linguistic support and interaction with natives is essential, that rapid integration into mainstream classes is positive and that schools 30 April 2013 SwissCore


should have a certain degree of autonomy to adapt to the local needs. Reducing early school leaving below 10% is one of the five target of the overarching strategy for sustainable, smart and inclusive growth Europe 2020. New data on the progress towards this objective were recently published by Eurostat as part of the Europe-

an Labour Force Survey: “The share of young people leaving school early now stands at 12.8% on average in the European Union, down from 13.5% in 2011”. Providing the right mix of support measures for migrant children, which are more at risk of dropping out of school, is clearly an objective that will help progressing towards the Europe 2020 target on early school leaving.

EC study (pdf) EUROSTAT data

Consistent assessment and evaluation policies Over the past years, countries have developed a wide range of techniques for student assessment, teacher appraisal and school evaluation. In most cases however, they are rather independent from each other and not implemented in a consistent way. The international study ‘Synergies for better learning: an international perspective on evaluation and assessment’, published on 11 April 2013 by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), provides a comparative analysis and policy advise on how evaluation and assessment arrangements can be embedded within a consistent framework to improve the quality, equity and efficiency of school education. The study builds upon a 3-year review ‘OECD Review on Evaluation and Assessment Frameworks for Improving School Outcomes’ conducted in 25 OECD countries: 17 member states of the European Union as well as Iceland Norway, Australia, Canada, Chile, Korea, Mexico and New Zealand. The study points out that the state and use of evaluation and assessment varies greatly between these countries. For example, primary education pupils are not awarded marks in certain countries (e.g. Denmark), whereas others (e.g. Italy) rely primarily on numerical marks for formal reporting. Another example of

divergence is that in some countries (e.g. United Kingdom) teachers undergo formal appraisal processes as part of their performance management while in others (e.g. Norway), feedback on teacher performance is provided more informally in schools. However, common tendencies and features are to be observed. First, most countries are expanding the use of evaluation and assessment and do not anymore focus on student assessment only, but also on external school evaluation and appraisal of teachers and school leaders. Second, indicators are rising in importance and international benchmarking is becoming common. Third, evaluation and assessment results are increasingly made public and used by parents, government official and the media. Fourth, there is an increasing need to monitor the progress of students since educational standards were set in many countries. The observation of these common trends helped define clear common policy priorities: the various components of assessment and evaluation should be envisaged within a coherent framework; evaluation and assessment should be aligned with the educational goals; evaluation and assessment should have an educational value for students and teachers; a broad range of 30 April 2013 SwissCore


techniques to evaluate the performance of teachers and schools should be used, in order to avoid that teachers simply focus on a teaching that will profit their evaluation; students should be placed at the centre, they should be empowered to assess their own progress; all stakeholders (students, teachers, schools officials, principals) should be trained for evaluation and assessment activities; flexible approaches to meet local needs should be allowed; the designing of evaluation and assessment frameworks should be based consensus among all stakeholders.

How can this report be related to the work of the European Commission in the field of evaluation and assessment ? In its communication ‘Rethinking education: investing in skills for better socioeconomic outcomes’ published in November last year, the importance of assessing competences along reformed curricula based on learning outcomes came forward and best practices from member states on different assessment models were highlighted. The communication however did not address evaluation and assessment arrangements in a holistic way like suggested by the OECD report.

Executive summary (pdf) OECD report

30 April 2013 ďƒ“SwissCore




> Publications Rankings gain influence On 12 April 2013, the European University Associ-

even start to impact public policy, e.g. influencing

ation (EUA) released its second report on ‘Global

the development of immigration policies in some

University Rankings and their impact’. Two years

countries, determining the choice of partner insti-

after the publication of the first report, the number

tutions or the recognition of foreign qualifications.

of rankings and other transparency tools continue

The report also highlights that universities use

to increase and multidimensional user-driven rank-

compiled data for benchmarking and strategic

ings, like U-Multirank, seem to be gaining ground.

planning purposes and that they are increasingly

The report reveals that rankings still mainly focus

aware that rankings are here to stay and can have

on the research function of universities, that disci-

a significant impact. In fact, the Centre for Science

plines like arts, humanities and social sciences

and Technology Studies of the University of Leiden

remain underrepresented and that it is recognised

published its Leiden Ranking 2013 on 17 April. The

that bibliometric indicators often produce biased

École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL)

results. Interestingly, despite these criticisms, the

is, on rank 13, the first European university before

popularity of rankings continues to grow and they

Cambridge University on rank 24.

EUA report (pdf) Leiden ranking 2013 U-Multirank

Survey on ICT in education On 19 April 2013, the Directorate-General for

ever, 20% of secondary students have never or

Communications Networks, Content and Technolo-

almost never used a computer in their school les-

gy of the European Commission published the

sons. An interesting finding is that teachers use

report ‘Survey of schools: ICT in Education’. This

ICT more for preparation than for teaching in class



and that it is above all their confidence, and not

Schoolnet focus on the digital competences of

the infrastructure, which plays a decisive role in

young people and the conditions needed in schools

delivering ICT-based learning activities. Therefore,

to improve them. Data have been gathered in 31

the report encourages greater investment for

countries (no Swiss data) for grades 4, 8 and 11.

teacher training and the creation of ICT coordina-

The study reveals that since 2006 the ratio ‘stu-

tor positions within the schools.





dent-computer’ has significantly increased; howEUN study

A European MOOC initiative On 25 April 2013, the European Association of

universities – from 11 countries: France, Italy,

Distance Teaching Universities (EADTU) launched

Lithuania, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovakia,

‘OpenupEd’, the first Europe-wide initiative around

Spain, the United Kingdom, Russia, Turkey and

Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). The initia-

Israel. At the start, around 40 courses in 12 differ-

tive enjoys the support of the European Commis-

ent languages will be available.

sion and involves partners – most of them open OpenupEd

30 April 2013 SwissCore


INTRA MUROS… ‘Europe - A powerhouse for global science’ As we hold the Secretariat 2012-2013 of the Informal Group of RTD Liaison Offices (IGLO) until 30 June 2013, SwissCore organised the IGLO Spring Reception 2013 on 17 April in the Palais des Académies in Brussels. David Bohmert welcomed more than 250 participants and introduced the speakers. First, Angela Holzer, Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG), reported on the findings of the ERA in Action session on Open Access held earlier that day. Second, Fulvio Esposito, Camerino University (UNICAM), elaborated on the conclusions and recommendations of the second ERA in Action Session on Mobility.

Finally, David Bohmert interviewed Anne Glover, Chief Scientific Advisor of the President of the European Commission, on ‘Europe - A powerhouse for global science’, before Anne Glover answered questions from the audience. This plenary session was followed by a network reception with drinks and snacks. The wonderful location and spring weather allowed for a good participation, atmosphere and stunning view on the sunset above downtown Brussels. The Italian Secretariat 2013 – 2014 as of 1 July 2013 and all the colleagues from the member offices look forward to welcoming our guests next year again.

ERA in action sessions

‘ERA bottom-up’ The Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) and SwissCore held their Annual Event 2013 on 23 April 2013 in Brussels. Gabriele Gendotti, President of the Foundation Council of the SNSF, welcomed more than 100 participants and gave the floor to Roberto Balzaretti, Ambassador of Switzerland to the European Union. Then, Martin Vetterli, the President of the Research Council of the SNSF as of 1 January 2013, held his inaugural speech in Brussels on ‘ERA bottom-up’. Based on his experience as an excellent scientist, Vetterli focused on the promotion of academic talents and of academic quality in lesser

performing regions. The reception was preceded and followed by various visits of representatives of the Swiss research and innovation community, notably with a joint programme in the afternoon featuring Peter van der Hijden, Policy Officer at the Directorate General for Research and Innovation (RTD), on the promotion of academic talent in Horizon 2020 and Rudolf Strohmeier, Deputy Director-General (RTD) for an update on Horizon 2020.

30 April 2013 SwissCore


How can innovation be successfully fostered? The Swiss Innovation Briefing on ‘Unveiling the Innovation Myth’ co-organised by the Mission of Switzerland to the European Union, the Swiss Business Federation (economiesuisse) and SwissCore on 24 April 2013 in Brussels attempted to find answers to this question. Jürg Burri, ViceDirector of the Swiss State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI), gave a brief overview of the Swiss innovation support landscape. Rudolf Wehrli, President of economiesuisse, provided the views of the Swiss business associations and underline them with the result of a recent study undertaken by economiesuisse. Walter Steinlin, President of the Swiss Commission for Technology and Innovation (CTI), presented the activities and functioning of CTI, established by the Swiss federal government. Adrienne Corboud Fumagalli, Vice-President for Innovation and Technology Transfer at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) showed how innovation is fostered within the EPFL. Andor Bariska, Chief Ex-

ecutive Officer (CEO) at Winterthur Instruments, showcased the Swiss Innovation policy from the point of view of his innovative research-intensive start-up company. Jan-Eric Sundgren, Senior Expert Adviser to the CEO of Volvo Group, reacted to the presentations addressing Swiss Innovation policy from the European Business point of view. Anne Glover, Chief Scientific Adviser to the President of the European Commission, contributed to this debate by giving the European science point of view on the fostering of innovation. After these introductions, the speakers exchanged views and debated with the 80 participants in an interactive panel moderated by Jürg Burri. Before and after the event ample opportunity was provided to network and the audience could also visit the exhibition ‘Innovations for life’ by the Zurich University of Applied Sciences (ZHAW).

ZHAW exhibition

30 April 2013 • SwissCore


SwissCore Synopsis April 2013  

SwissCore Synopsis April 2013