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UNIVERSITY 2020 Report Summary

Project ID: 266718
Funded under: FP7-COH
Country: Spain

Final Report Summary - UNIVERSITY 2020 (Universities, Knowledge and Development for the next decade)

The Spanish Presidency, in the frame of its agenda to foster the modernization of universities, got an agreement with DG Research of the European Commission (EC), with support from the Capacities Work Program of the Seventh Framework programme (FP7) to organise a conference UNIVERSITIES 2020 on the universities' vision in the horizon of the new Europe 2020 strategy.

It focused on the need to further develop links and synergies between the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) and the European Research Area (ERA) in the context of a shift towards a knowledge-based economy with a new model of sustainable economic growth.


The objectives of the conference were:

- the role of universities in the European Union (EU) 2020 strategy;
- develop links between the ERA and the EHEA. Reform of doctoral programmes;
- modernisation agenda for universities: connections between higher education and innovation, university contribution to socio-economic development in the knowledge society

Project execution

The conference lasted from 17 to 18 June comprising five different types of sessions:

- Opening session by representatives of the Ministry of Education of Spain, Directorate General of Research, Rector of the University of Salamanca and regional authorities at the highest level from the region where the conference is hold.
- Plenary sessions with distinguished speakers from universities, businesses, civil society organisations, ministries and enterprises.
- Workshops focusing on each of the four aims of the conference, i.e. links between the EHEA and the ERA: doctoral training, the role of universities in the EU 2020 strategy and university contribution to innovation and socio-economic development. For each workshop background and concept papers were prepared.
- Plenary conclusion session giving the feedback, conclusions and recommendations from the workshops.
- Closing session at political level involving the highest possible level from the EC and the Spanish government.

For each plenary session and workshop, guidelines for the invited speakers will be prepared. In addition to working sessions, participants paid a visit to the historic city which ended in the courtyard of the Minor Schools, where the organisation invited participants to a Spanish wine and tapas.

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