20 Apr
12:00 - 13:00

What's up with the European Strategy for Universities?

The European Commission has recently published the first European Strategy for Universities, which aims at "supporting and enabling universities to adapt to changing conditions, to thrive and to contribute to Europe’s resilience and recovery". The strategy, which is part of a large 'higher education package', has been developed in synergy with other European Commission priorities and introduces four overarching objectives:

  • strengthen the European dimension in higher education and research
  • support universities as lighthouses of our European way of life
  • empower universities as actors of change in the twin green and digital transitions
  • reinforce universities as drivers of the EU’s global role and leadership​

Each objective is linked to several ambitious initiatives, such as working towards a legal statute for European Universities, delivering a joint European degree, rolling out the 'European student card', improving synergies between funding programmes at different levels, or developing European frameworks on attractive and sustainable careers in higher education as well as on diversity and inclusion... 

But how will these many initiatives come to life? What are the opportunities that lie ahead for students and staff? What concrete changes will we see in the coming years? And how can universities be actively engaged in the process, with so many actions on the menu? 

To present the European Strategy for Universities and shed some light on these questions, this 'What's up, EU?' talk will feature Ms. Vanessa Debiais-Sainton, Head of the Higher Education Unit at the European Commission's Directorate-General for Education, Youth, Sport and Culture as well as Dr. Daniela Trani, YUFE Director. Join us on 20 April from 12:00 to 13:00 for an exciting discussion on the future of universities in Europe!

About the Speakers

Vanessa Ddebiais WUEU

Vanessa Debiais-Sainton

Vanessa Debiais-Sainton is Head of the Higher Education Unit at the European Commission Directorate-General for Education, Youth, Sport and Culture, where she is responsible for policies and programmes. The unit is the lead service for European policies on reform and transformation of higher education, the new European Universities initiative, automatic mutual recognition of higher education qualifications, the creation of the EU student card, and the higher education strand of Erasmus+. In previous posts in the European Commission, Debiais-Sainton worked in the directorate-general for research and innovation. Before moving to the European Commission in 2006, she spent eight years working for several petroleum and chemical companies.

Daniela Trani WUEU

Daniela Trani

After being Senior Advisor for International Research Policy at Maastricht University, Daniela Trani became Director of the Young Universities for the Future of Europe (YUFE)  Alliance in 2019, responsible for strategy, management and partnerships. She studied in Naples where she graduated in 2003 and finished her PhD in Thoracic Oncology and Applied Biotechnology. She was in the Candidate Astronaut Selection of the European Space Agency in 2009 and Postdoctoral Fellow at the Dpt. of Biochemistry at Georgetown University until 2011.