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Fostering Sustainable and Autonomous Higher Education Systems in the Eastern Neighbouring Area
Start date: 15 Oct 2012,

ATHENA will contribute to the modernisation of HE systems in the Eastern Neighbouring Partner Countries of Moldova, Ukraine and Armenia by improving framework conditions for HEIs. Its general objective is to enhance institutional and financial autonomy and accountability, and thus the capacity, of HEIs. ATHENA, a structural measure, adopts an inclusive approach: involving HEIs, national public authorities and other stakeholders, i.a. in Country Workshops and Training Seminars, it will develop strategic frameworks and implementation plans for lasting structural reform at national level. ATHENA specifically aims to:-promote inclusive approaches to autonomy and accountability by fostering dialogue between the higher education sector and public authorities to ensure that stakeholders take ownership of the reform process;-foster the transfer of good practices from EU countries to the PCs to promote efficient and effective implementation of institutional and financial autonomy reforms at the level of HEIs;-enhance the institutional and financial capacities of HEIs in the PCs by modernising university management, incl. human resources development.Concrete outputs:-up-to-date data/analysis of the status quo of university autonomy and funding in the PCs;-incorporation of the Partner Countries’ profiles into EUA’s existing autonomy online tool to enable benchmarking with other European countries;-country-specific policy roadmaps, institutional toolkits and learning resources (English/PC languages) providing concrete guidelines and practical support;-final publication presenting the project results.Outcomes:-improved framework conditions for HEIs in the PCs with more autonomy and better accountability mechanisms;-change in perceptions, management cultures and practices in the HE sector of the PCs;-acquisition of new skills by university management staff and leadership in the PCs.
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