1 min

Ministerial Conference on Higher Education Area

St. Pölten UAS Executive Director Hannes Raffaseder Heads EURASHE Delegation

Ministerial Conference on Higher Education Area
Copyright: Friedrich Faulhammer

From 29 to 30 May, the Ministerial Conference on the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) was held in Tirana. The event revolved around the 25th Anniversary of the Bologna Process. The conference fostered the further development of the European Higher Education Area in the upcoming three years. Numerous ministers and high-ranking delegations of all EHEA members and the EU commission were present at the event.

The St. Pölten UAS’ Executive Director Hannes Raffaseder headed the delegation of EURASHE – the European Association of Institutions in Higher Education – which represented the voices of applied higher education institutions. Like numerous other European associations, EURASHE counts among the “Consultative Members”, who offer guidance to the member states on the further development of the Bologna process.

Communiqué for the Values of Tertiary Education

At the symposium, the delegations issued the “Tirana Communiqué”, which highlights the great significance of “fundamental values in higher education”: academic freedom, inclusion of students and staff members, public responsibility for higher education institutions, and responsibility of higher education institutions for society.

It also emphasises the necessity to strengthen the efforts to build a European Higher Education Area that is integrated, innovative, competitive, and responsive to society’s evolving needs. In addition, the communiqué aims at the full implementation and future-oriented further development of the existing tools and guidelines of the Bologna Process.

Position of EURASHE

In the statement of EURASHE, Hannes Raffaseder put a special emphasis on the following:

  • The success of the Bologna Process is undisputed. Not only has it made the mobility of students and lecturers possible at a large scale, but it has also transformed and modernised the entire higher education system and contributed to comprehensive quality advancements.
  • EURASHE regrets that employment- and practice-oriented higher education is not explicitly named as this would be the most important key to green and digital transformation and teaching and education in this sector with short-cycle programmes, micro credentials, flexible learning paths greatly contribute to re- and upskilling and lifelong learning.
  • New impulses for future-oriented further development are necessary. The European Universities Initiative, the European Degrees, which have recently been presented to the EU Commission, and a more in-depth quality assurance in higher education institutions on the European level are important initiatives with a great potential that should be implemented swiftly.

Michal Karpisek, Senior Policy Officer of the European University at the St. Pölten UAS, and Hannes Raffaseder have also used this opportunity to discuss the details of the collaboration with the associated E³UDRES² partners in Albania and Kosovo before and after conference.

You want to know more? Feel free to ask!
FH-Prof. Dipl.-Ing. Raffaseder Hannes

FH-Prof. Dipl.-Ing. Hannes Raffaseder

Chief Executive Officer (CEO)
Ing. Karpíšek Michal, MSc

Ing. Michal Karpíšek , MSc

Senior Policy Officer European University
Center for Research and Cooperation