Higher education reforms

Higher education reforms in a wider context: the need for Lifelong Learning

Changes in society and their impact on higher education are evolving ever faster; globalisation, demographic change and rapid technological developments combine to present new challenges and opportunities for tertiary institutions. Future jobs are likely to require higher levels and a different mix of skills, competences and qualifications as compared to earlier situations. Higher education institutions have a pivotal role to play in the success of our society and economy and their capacity to adapt to these changes and seize new opportunities is crucial.

Forecasts indicate that most new jobs will be created at the highest qualification levels, but, compared to other developed economies in North America and Asia, Europe does not have enough young people entering higher education and not enough adults have taken part in university education. If we want to maintain and improve our standard of living, we need to find ways to widen access to initial studies and to learning at all ages.

The Commission shares the ambition of the Bologna Ministers that the student body within higher education should reflect the diversity of Europe’s populations and welcomes the request, formulated in 2009 in Leuven/Louvain-la-Neuve, that each country should set measurable targets for increasing overall student numbers in higher education and for widening participation amongst underrepresented groups. EU Member States have adopted the benchmark that by 2020 at least 40% of 30-34 year olds should have attained higher education. In 2007 it was only 30%.

Governments should establish strategies for lifelong learning and should encourage their universities to open their doors to non-traditional and part-time learners and offer more courses for continuous professional development. Catering for new types of learners requires a fundamental rethinking of how courses are designed and delivered. New learners may not possess all formal requirements for entry into higher education, but they may have acquired the necessary knowledge, skills and competences through self-study or work. More should be done to integrate these potential students into higher education.

Institutions are encouraged to publish their policy and practices for the recognition of non-formal or informal learning, prominently on their website. These policies should include elements such as feedback to learners on the results of assessments or the possibility for learners to appeal. Institutions are also encouraged to create ‘assessment facilities’ for counselling on and the recognition of non-formal and informal learning and to offer more tailor-made programmes to non-traditional learners, e.g. through working-learning or distance learning arrangements.

The Commission welcomes the European Universities’ Charter on Lifelong Learning, developed by the European University Association (EUA). The Charter reminds universities of the actions they should take to open their doors and invites governments to do their part. The Commission supports the idea of partnerships between all stakeholders: universities, public authorities, students, employers and employees. Innovative ideas in the field of lifelong learning can be supported through Erasmus Networks and Erasmus Multilateral Projects in the Lifelong Learning Programme: Curriculum Development, Virtual Campuses, Modernising Universities, and cooperation between universities and enterprises.

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March 28, 2017 09:23

The Summer University on Hungarian Language and Culture at Eötvös Loránd University prepared a present for Spring to those who are interested in Hungarian language and culture.

March 13, 2017 13:52
Semmelweis University is among the best according to the QS world rankings

Semmelweis University has been ranked as 262nd according to the Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) ranking list, on the basis of which our university has achieved the best result in the field of life sciences and medicine among Hungarian higher-education institutions. The ranking position of Semmelweis University is better with 54 ranking places this year as opposed to last year’s ranking result. In the field of medical education Semmelweis University is ranked among the best 200 institutions, and it is among the best 150 in the area of pharmaceutical education according to the QS 2017 ranking.

In the field of life sciences and medicine altogether three Hungarian universities are listed: Semmelweis University is ranked as 262nd, Debrecen University is ranked as 401-450 and the University of Szeged is ranked as 451-500. Regarding the area of medical education: Semmelweis University is ranked as 151-200, Debrecen University is ranked as 201-250, the University of Pécs is ranked as 251-300 and the University of Szeged is ranked as 301-350. The rankings in the category of pharmaceutical education are as follows: Semmelweis University is ranked as 101-150, Debrecen University is ranked as 151-200 and the University of Szeged is ranked as 201-250.

This international ranking list was prepared with the consideration of four aspects: the reputation of the university in the scientific world, assessment of the employees, the frequency of the citation of the university’s scientific works and h-index citations.

Eszter Keresztes
Photo: Attila Kovács – Semmelweis University
Translated by: Katalin Romhányi

March 13, 2017 13:51
Signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with Tokyo Medical University

The delegation of Tokyo Medical University visited Semmelweis University on February 24-25, 2017, in the framework of which the collaboration has been reinforced on three different levels between the two institutions. Besides the Memorandum of Understanding a Sister Agreement as well as a Student Exchange Agreement were also signed by the representatives of both universities.

The members of the Japanese delegation, led by Dr. Mamoru Suzuki, President of Tokyo Medical University, were Dr. Miki Izumi, Professor of Medical Education, Ms. Aya Nagata, Coordinator of the Student Exchange Program and Dr. Mária Mernyei, Professor, who provided a lot of support in the organization of the delegation’s visit. The representatives of Tokyo Medical University were welcomed at Semmelweis University by Dr. Ágoston Szél, Rector, Dr. Miklós Molnár, Vice-Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, Dr. József Sándor, Scientific Advisor of the Department of Surgical Research and Techniques, Dr. Marcel Pop, Director of International Relations and Dr. Judit Vadlövő, Project Coordinator of the Directorate of International Relations.

After a warm welcome Rector Szél said that he considers this visit very important, since the agreements signed during the discussion provide an opportunity for both Japanese and Hungarian students to study abroad in the framework of a training programme. Rector Szél expressed his gratitude to H.E. Dr. Kosuge Junichi, Ambassador of Japan in Hungary, who participated in the official discussion and the signing process together with Ms. Yoshiko Okamoto, Second Secretary of Cultural Affairs at the Embassy of Japan in Hungary. As Rector Szél pointed out, the presence of His Excellency at the discussion unquestionably proved the high level of Japanese-Hungarian relations.

Dr. Kosuge Junichi talked about the undergoing process of the reinforcement of Japanese-Hungarian political and economic relations, and he expressed his appreciation that this is also manifested in the academic relations.

Dr. Mamoru Suzuki, President of Tokyo Medical University, also highlighted the significance of the signing of these agreements: according to him the collaboration now has become official between the two institutions.

Dr. Miklós Molnár talked about the fact that more and more Japanese students study at Semmelweis University and he expressed his hope that Hungarian students will soon also have an opportunity to study in Japan. Dr. Molnár also said that our institution will be pleased to have Japanese professors as lecturers at Semmelweis University.

Dr. József Sándor emphasized among other things that both institutions have the same principles and purposes: a well-operating patient care system.

At the end of the discussion the leaders of both universities officially signed the Memorandum of Understanding, a Sister Agreement as well as a Student Exchange Agreement. These agreements contain regulations regarding the mutual student-, researcher- and staff exchange programme, the exchange of information between the two institutions as well as the organization of common lectures and seminars. The agreement related to the exchange of medical students provides the opportunity for the following: both universities to send and receive 2-2 graduating students for clinical training during one academic year, for maximum 8 weeks per student.

After the discussion and the official signing of the agreements the Japanese delegation visited the 1st Department of Pathology and Experimental Cancer Research, where Dr. András Matolcsy, Director, welcomed the representatives of Tokyo Medical University. The delegation also visited the Heart and Vascular Centre, where they were welcomed by Dr. György Bárczi, Senior Lecturer. Dr. Bárczi introduced the facilities and the daily work of the Centre to our Japanese guests in details.

Pálma Dobozi
Source: Directorate of International Relations
Photo: Gábor Ancsin
Translated by: Katalin Romhányi