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European Universities - Diversifying Income Streams

One of Europe’s major aims - to strengthen its higher education institutions - will only be achieved through financially sustainable universities. An essential pillar of long term financial sustainability, as addressed in the modernisation agenda, is pro-active diversification of universities’ income streams. The Council resolution of November 2007 on modernising universities for Europe's competitiveness reaffirmed that universities need to diversify their sources of public and private funding to reduce the funding gap.The main challenge for universities today is to maintain or raise quality standards in the face of both increased activities and threatened constraints on resources. Institutions need to increase and diversify their income streams, while at the same time securing their core values and strengths. A current EUA project (funded by DG EAC) which sourced key financial data from a sample of European universities showed the heavy reliance on state funding and the need to broaden institutions’ income basis from other sources. Initial findings of this study indicate that more autonomous institutions have a more diverse funding base and pointed to the need for a fuller analysis of income streams.The reason for this project is to fill the present gap on institutional empirical data through survey mapping the status of diversification of income streams and the selection of in depth analysis of best practices among European universities.A validation and dissemination conference on the project results in Bologna in April 2010 will crucially provide innovative and transferable examples and operational recommendations for HEIs on how to diversify their income streams and for regional, national and European authorities on how to support these processes. Feedback and dissemination will take place throughout the project with both EUA and HUMANE members via the EUA electronic newsletters (6000 subscriptions including HE journalists) and at relevant stakeholders’ events.The distribution of 3000 copies and free download of the final report through partners’ websites will ensure wide-spread impact of the project results among the European HE and Research communities, higher education funding bodies, researchers, policy-makers and business partners involved in EUA activities and beyond.

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