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Happy New Year from EUPRIO

So it’s farewell to 2012, another year of austerity in much of Europe. For universities, it has meant adapting to change and a growing understanding that communicating what we do to the public at large has never been more important. That’s why the theme of our perfectly-organised conference in Gothenburg was so relevant. stronger together ‘The social contract between universities and society’ was planned as the theme two years ago…

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‘European mobile student loans will help banks not students’ – ESU

With the Erasmus scheme running out of money and fears that 2013 is going tougher financially, the European Commission has proposed an ‘EU Erasmus Loan Guarantee Facility’ for master’s students studying abroad. But the plan has come under attack from the very people it is said to support, as NIC MITCHELL reports. ________________________________________ A PROPOSED loan scheme to support master’s students studying abroad, part of ‘ Erasmus for all’, is…

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EU cash crisis threatens Erasmus student mobility

ERASMUS has been one of success stories for the European Union and celebrates its 25th birthday this year. But it faces a cash crisis that could endanger the future of this innovative scheme to encourage student mobility. Campaigners have launched a ‘Save Erasmus’ petition on Facebook attracting thousands of signatures as a last minute bid is made to overturn €1.9billion billion slashed from key EU’s projects, including the flagship Erasmus…

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A Far Eastern (and Orange) glow to the rankings…

WHILE some headlines declared the beginning of the end of Western dominance of the World University Rankings with Asia’s high-flyers challenging for supremacy, the latest league table from Times Higher Education actually showed the Yanks and the Brits taking all Top Ten spots. Oxford University, best in Europe and second in the World Rankings with Stanford Oxford moved from fourth to share second spot with Stanford, while the California Institute…

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‘One step beyond’ is EUPRIO’s vision

EUPRIO’S annual conference in Gothenburg marked the end of an era – with Italy’s energetic and flamboyant Paolo Pomati handing over the Presidency to Denis Ancion, from Maastricht University. Under Paolo’s four-year leadership, EUPRIO has more than just survived the recession: growing to 638 members, adopting a new constitution and reconstituting itself with a new registered address at KU Leuven, Belgium. But while it now has a more formal structure,…

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Ban on foreign students at UK university sparks protests

THE Vice Chancellor of the London University banned from enrolling foreign students from outside the EU has claimed the decision will have a “profound impact” on international confidence in the entire British higher education sector: London Met banned from enrolling overseas students After days of uncertainty, the UK Border Agency confirmed on 29 August that London Metropolitan University was losing its “highly trusted status” for sponsoring international students. The announcement…

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Fees up, grades down and a waiting game

Many eyes are watching the British experiment of transferring the main cost of going to university from the State to the student going? So, how is it going a week after the ‘A’ level results were announced?  Nic Mitchell investigates. Well, it is only a few days since the release of ‘A’ level results on 16 August and probably a little too early to be sure, but the headline messages…

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Heavy weight issues under the spotlight at EUPRIO 2012

Venue for EUPRIO 2012: Gothenburg, Sweden There are some really heavy weight issues to be discussed at this year’s annual conference of the European Universities Public Relations and Information Officers association (EUPRIO) in Gothenburg, Sweden, from September 6-8, 2012. “Under the theme of ‘The social contract between universities and society’ we will be looking at how European universities should use communications as a key tool to win public support in…

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A very special family

After being a member of EUPRIO for 22 years, NIC MITCHELL is looking forward to his 21st conference in Gothenburg this September. Here, he reflects on the value of being part of this special family of higher education communicators which he first joined on the hills of Tuscany, pictured. My baptism into the EUPRIO family came at the 1990 conference – and apart from missing Strasbourg in 1997 because of…

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Immigration controls versus international student recruitment

Former EUPRIO UK Steering Committee member Nic Mitchell joined the panel for The Guardian’s online live chat on the future of international student mobility with experts from within and outside Europe. Here are some of the key issues raised in a fast and furious debate. PHOTO: Mobility in action, students from England,  Germany, Portugal, Italy and Sweden at Linköping University. TIGHTER immigration controls are a hot topic for education chiefs and policy-makers…

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Student mobility on the agenda

Nic Mitchell reports on moves by Ministers to encourage greater student mobility to strengthen the European Higher Education Area. Student mobility was high on the agenda at the 2012 Bologna Process Ministerial Conference held in Bucharest at the end of April. Held every three years, these ‘summits’ are designed to focus attention on creating a living and workable European Higher Education Area (EHEA) – a key plank in the educational…

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Fees up, Applications down and a row about an Access Czar!

Nic Mitchell turns to Lewis Carroll’s Alice-in-Wonderland to make sense of UK higher education policy. I’m getting asked more and more by my friends and colleagues in mainland Europe: What’s going on in British higher education? It is a fair question and one that we keep asking ourselves! And just when we think we understand, we find higher education thrust back on to the front pages as another row ‘engulfs’…

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