Universities Should Create Study Programmes According to the Needs of the Market, Rectors Say

Bratislava, 19 November 2018: On 15 and 16 November 2018, Comenius University hosted the UNICA network of 62 universities based in European capital cities. The university hosted the network's General Assembly and Annual Conference for the third time. This year’s prestigious meeting of rectors of European universities took place during Comenius University's 100th anniversary since its establishment.

20. 11. 2018 11.23 hod.
By: CU Public Relations Office

The UNICA President, Professor Luciano Saso from the Sapienza University in Rome, informed the audience about French President Emmanuel Macron’s initiative to create alliances of universities within the EU for effective co-operation and increasing the quality and competitiveness of European higher education, science, research, and innovation, which is something Comenius University also wants to engage in. There will be six prestigious alliances created in the near future with the help of a €30 million allocation from the European Commission over a three-year period. Each of the university alliances would receive €5 million for the development of mutual university co-operation over three years, with universities contributing twenty percent of this sum from their own budget. Professor Saso offered member universities UNICA assistance in joining one of the EU university consortia.

The necessity for universty partnerships was also emphasized at a seminar for the European rectors by Comenius University Rector, Professor Karol Mičieta: “We are witnessing dynamic changes in today’s cosmopolitan world, and our society faces many challenges. Universities must therefore be involved in finding appropriate solutions. This requires an innovative approach as well as unconventional ideas and methods. I am convinced that our cooperation in education, science, and research alongside a mutual exchange will play an important and perhaps decisive role in the development of our common European area with such significant innovative potential.”

Professor Vladimír Šucha, General Director of the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission, stressed that it was extremely important to be able to cope with the flood of available information, find out how to handle it, and determine its quality and importance for the most effective utilization and maximization of application. The current and effective forms of practised cooperation were presented at the gathering of young European universities.

The rectors of the member universities agreed that it was equally important to continue and build on the generations of predecessors, train people with the appropriate ethical and humanistic focus, and capture and master the achievements of the digital revolution and Massive Open Online Courses. They highlighted the importance of the humanities and social sciences, which can identify events in modern-day society, recognize and respond to important societal contexts, and lay out the future direction of the process of improving citizens’ quality of life.

They also agreed on the need for interdisciplinarity and multidisciplinarity in study programmes. They stressed that university graduates should not only be those looking for a place in the competitive job market but should also be the ones who create jobs. “Universities have the potential to identify the need to create new job portfolios and the related focus of education and creation of new study programmes,” said Professor Saso. He proposed organizing a seminar focusing on this topic and a joint exchange of views among UNICA rectors.