European brief

April 16, 2004

Nancy Rothwell is right to raise the large number of European issues that directly affect the higher education sector (Opinion, April 2).

Policy emerging from both the European Parliament and the Bologna process to create the European Higher Education Area demands attention from both higher education institutions and stakeholders.

It is precisely for this reason that Universities UK, in cooperation with the three funding councils, the Standing Committee of Principals and the Quality Assurance Agency, has established a sector-wide Europe unit to act as an observatory for the sector on major European issues and encourage greater institutional awareness and participation.

The unit, in acting as a focal point in the provision of information on European education and research issues, will facilitate an increased UK role in European decision-making on issues ranging from the qualifications framework for the EHEA to the Seventh Framework Programme for research.

It is only by working closely with the wide range of UK higher education stakeholders that the UK can seek to influence and positively contribute to the increased European dimension of higher education.

Diana Warwick
Chief executive
Universities UK

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