Euro network to dish out advice on reform

July 16, 2004

A think-tank based at Munich University has been contracted by the European Commission to publicise research findings on university reform.

Ludger Wössmann, head of the university's human capital and structural change department, said the European Expert Network on the Economics of Education would "serve as a think-tank for the European Union and the policy world".

It has already attracted interest from the World Bank and the European Investment Bank, which are acting as external advisers.

The network includes Stanford University's Hoover Institute and Harvard University's policy unit and a number of specialist research centres at European universities.

Mr Wössmann's department is attached to the Ifo Institute for Economic Research Centre in Munich, which is responsible for publishing one of the most authoritative annual measures of German economic performance.

The network will advise on policy matters across Europe and organise symposia and working papers on the macro and microeconomic issues of education reforms.

Mr Wössmann resisted suggestions of a pan-European policy. "It would be useless to have a Europe-wide education policy, but we are starting to learn from each other on a cross-country basis."

Although the economics of higher education is a driving force behind the Bologna reforms, the two groups are not officially cooperating. Mr Wossmann said that if it was decided "to disseminate the little work that has been done on educational economics and present it in political debates", the network would be ready to do so.

Details: www.education-economics.org

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