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European Union, Higher Education in

Universities play a pivotal role in the knowledge ecosystem of European societies and economies. For decades, higher education policies and systems in Europe have been part of economic, cultural, and political efforts towards European integration. European universities have been conceptualised as a core institution that make a distinct contribution to human capital, active citizenship, societal development, and economic competitiveness. They are positioned at the crossroads of various social systems, such as employment, education, research, and innovation.

The European Commission considers that universities are ‘essential’ for Europe and distinctive in their ability to simultaneously ‘strengthen the three poles of its knowledge triangle: education, research, and innovation’ (European Commission, 2006). Since 2000, the European Union (EU) has intensified coordination initiatives that sought to increase university engagement in the ...

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