EHEA at a glance! An overview on the university area in the European framework
Updated: Sep 18
The university is an institution belonging to the higher education sector. The first universities in Europe have been the University of Bologna (1088), the University of Paris and the University of Oxford. European Universities are bound by the Magna Charta Universitatum a document that was originally signed by 388 rectors and heads of universities from all over Europe and beyond on 18 September 1988, the 900th anniversary of the University of Bologna, which academic freedom and institutional autonomy as a guideline for good governance and self-understanding of universities in the future. This document was proposed thanks to Giuseppe Caputo the promoter of the 900° anniversary of Bologna's university and his goal was to round up all the reality fragmented by the Second World War. Further updates widen even more the number of members and in 2018 a new “MCU” recognized more global nature of what universities do and the wider range of local responsibilities which they have. The Magna Charta Observatory is preparing for the launch of the new version of the Magna Charta Universitatum: the MCU 2020.
The EU Education Council's head and the MCU think that the European Higher Education Institute could play a stronger role in the the European Education Area.
Each Country has its national higher education system under the same frame which is the European Higher Education Area (EHEA). This area ensures the collaboration between students from all over the world in order to improve research and quality of studies. At the moment the level of internationalisation of universities is still not so high; they are like "small gardens" in a big universe.
The main aim of the EHEA is to connect young people able to work together without distinction of language, culture or religion to promote European values increasing the European sense of belonging and identity. Students can improve themselves by meeting their peers from other Countries. The same for researchers and lecturers. To reach this goal is necessary a cooperation between universities, across Europe.
There are three different levels of qualification defined:
These are the most important types of career offered nowadays by all the European universities depending on the specifically vacation of each universities like: Astrophysics, Biotechnology, Business, Chemical Engineering, Football management, Geography, Green energy management, History, Information Technology, International Relations, Languages, Law, Literature, Medicine, Sociology, Teaching, Tourism, Zoology, and much, much more.
All these qualifications are the key to reach a new international approach with the student and the labour market. Students also can study in 24 different languages, in fact we talk about long term-vision in order to modernise society.
The university world is a global one already. Europe is considered "the Old Country" and our traditional universities are giving the floor to emerging realities and emerging economies between public and private sectors.
To make universities more competitive, in order to improve their reputation, the Jiao Tong Shanghai’s University draws up Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU). They examined 1.368 universities in 83 Countries. At the top there is Harvard University, followed by other three American universities and by the University of Cambridge in the UK. The presence of American universities is predominant compared to the number of European universities. Higher education in the States has a higher recognition in society. Another list was drawn up only for the European universities by Times Higher Education World University Ranking and at the top there is the University of Oxford in the UK.
La Sapienza, leader of our Erasmus Plus K3 project "Cultural Studies in Business", is the first Italian university in the ARWU ranking and it's in the first 100 universities for quality of didactic.
Key factors to draft these lists is the scientific impact, quality of didactic and research and level of innovation. Not to be underestimated is the money factor. Universities need continuously financial support to improve all areas of their work.
Our project moves in this frame having an impact on the universities involved (6) and on a wider European framework which comprehends Europe in a global world.
The Output 2, the key one, is a new proposed "Curriculum of Cultural Studies in Business" able to change the actual scheme of business studies, crossing sectors and influencing the future of partners. The project is a result of the process of the EHEA giving lecturers the chance to meet, exchange and learn from each other transferring beneficial impacts to the real core group which are students.
Article written by Bianca Sinopoli, former law student at the "Magna Grecia" University of Catanzaro (UMG) and member of the JUMP Team, supervised by Erika Gerardini, project responsible for JUMP.