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MODERN - European Platform Higher Education Modernisation

The European Council Resolution (November 2007) clearly recognises the need to accelerate reforms in HEIs to foster their competitiveness, and explicitly invites Member States to take the necessary measures to enable HEIs to improve their management practices. However, national progress reports on the Lisbon Agenda fail to address the issues of the modernization of Higher Education. In HEIs, not enough progress is made in terms of improved governance, curriculum reforms and contribution to innovation and economic growth; Overall not enough priority is given to the need to invest in people and train them adequately for increasingly complex management positions. A climate must be created to point to the importance of investing in the professionalisation of HEIs both at the EU, national and institutional level. To address this need, the present Structural Network project proposal envisages the creation of an open European Platform for Higher Education Modernisation as a key instrument for innovation, state-of-the art knowledge, dissemination of good practice and joint action on professionalisation issues in Higher education and university leadership, governance and management. The project will produce 1) A European Higher Education Management Community through an innovative web-based community 2) A review of the supply of management development programmes and their adequacy to the demand, i.e. a “mapping the field” exercise 3) A European Portfolio of the Provision (short and long term management training) 4) New joint actions in the form of peer learning/coaching activities and a regular dialogue with European authorities and all stakeholders 5) Communication and Dissemination of information, examples of best/appropriate practice in the form of conferences and reports on five key issues for EU policies and HEI professionalisation, i.e. governance, quality assurance, regional innovation, knowledge transfer and internationalisation. The project will have a major impact on the professionalisation of Higher Education management by providing a structured answer to the current fragmentation in the supply of management development training for HEIs, and a much clearer insight of the needs and demands for training by university leaders and managers. Overall, it will contribute significantly and on a wide scale to EU policy and the modernisation agenda.
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