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Merry Christmas Euprians !

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from EUPRIO’s President Christine Legrand and executive board members Paola Scioli, Uwe Steger and Marcin Witkowski to all our members and supporters. We look forward to seeing you all at #EUPRIO16, the ‘Living the Brand’ conference in Antwerp September 1-3. We will be having a competition for our new logo in 2016 and will be giving further details in the New Year. and…

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What’s driving European university mergers?

Universities across Europe are talking about merging or forming alliances and concentrating faculties like never before, writes Nic Mitchell. Since the turn of the century, the European University Association (EUA) has recorded nearly 100 on its interactive merger map. And the pace is accelerating, with eight super-universities or clusters identified in 2012; 12 in 2013 and 14 in 2014. So, what’s driving the merger mania? Is it a response to…

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European Universities for Openness and Tolerance

European universities have launched a campaign, ‘European Universities for an Open World’, which calls on universities to reaffirm their commitment to the fundamental values of openness, tolerance and solidarity. The initiative comes after many students, teachers and researchers were among victims of the Paris terrorist attacks. Speaking on behalf of Europe’s higher education community, the European University Association (EUA) sent a message of solidarity and support to the French Conférence…

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Nic wins Higher Education Journalism Award

Freelance writer and EUPRIO contributor Nic Mitchell has won the prestigious Award for Outstanding Higher Education Journalism from the UK’s Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) Education & Skills Group. The award sponsored by IFS University College was announced at the annual CIPR Education Journalism Awards 2015 in London on 12 November. Nic was up against full-time national journalists and won the prize for a feature for the BBC online…

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Liberté Égalité Fraternité! And solidarity!

EUPRIO President Christine Legrand has thanked the many members who have sent her and other French EUPRIO representatives messages of sympathy and support after the gun attacks and suicide bombings in Paris on Friday night (13 November). “These terrible events not only concern France but also Europe, the world and universities everywhere. Liberté Égalité Fraternité! And solidarity! I’m so sad today,” said Christine. “What happened in Paris on Friday followed…

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Innovative selfies campaign wins EUPRIO Award

An innovative social media campaign encouraging student engagement through ‘selfie’ online images certainly caught the eye of judges and participants at this year’s EUPRIO conference in Perugia. For the #IAMIN campaign, launched to boost the recruitment of top-flight students to England’s Loughborough University, was the overall winner of the 2015 EUPRIO Award, writes Nic Mitchell. Second place went to the University of Lodz, Poland, for their ‘SmartUni” network of mobile…

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EUPRIO looks at the future of universities

Great Italian food and weather combined with thought-provoking workshops and speakers helped to make EUPRIO’s 2015 annual conference one of the most successful in recent years. A total of 284 participated, among them 28 speakers, for the three days of intensive networking and learning and sharing fresh ideas in the beautiful historic setting of Perugia, capital of Italy’s Umbria region. There were representatives from 27 countries, including a delegate from…

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Changing face of European higher education

We talk a lot in EUPRIO about the need to face up to rapid change, so how timely is a new report from the European University Association giving us some facts and figures on major trends in European higher education over the past five years. Here NIC MITCHELL takes a look at the key findings. A YEAR ago at EUPRIO’s Innsbruck conference, we asked: How to communicate in a world…

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Join us in Perugia and enter the EUPRIO Awards

Over 200 people have already registered for #EUPRIO2015 in Perugia, but there is still time to join us next month when we hold our annual conference once again in a beautiful part of Italy, from September 6-9. The deadline for registrations is Friday, August 21 – see here for details including travel and accommodation. This is the same deadline now set for the EUPRIO Awards – see here for more…

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UK universities launch campaign to stay in Europe

LUCY SHACKLETON explains in a guest blog why Universities UK, or UUK, has launched Universities for Europe, a campaign to highlight how the European Union helps universities to support individuals, the economy and society in the UK. UUK, the British national rectors’ conference, represents 133 British universities; and the country’s higher education institutions appear to be speaking with one voice in support of promoting the benefits for universities of the…

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Don’t leave it too late for Perugia!

Before you pack your bags and head for the sun, don’t forget to register for EUPRIO’s 2015 conference in Perugia, Italy, says NIC MITCHELL. This year’s theme of Turn it upside down reflects the upheaval higher education is going through across the European continent and beyond. The conference opens on Sunday, September 6 – a change from the usual Thursday start – and is the fourth to be held in…

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European students warn of lack of Bologna progress

The European Students’ Union, or ESU, has warned that the Bologna Process, which seeks to harmonise and reform higher education across the continent, is in danger of becoming obsolete because of uneven implementation and poor follow-up of commitments by many European countries, writes Nic Mitchell. The ESU report Bologna with Student Eyes: Time to meet the expectations from 1999, is based on responses from national union of students’ organisations in…

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Make the most of EUPRIO conferences

NIC MITCHELL has been attending EUPRIO conferences in 25 years. Here, he offers some tips on how to get the most out of the annual gathering of European higher education communicators. EUPRIO’s conferences are really something special. Held in either late June or early September, they move across the continent of Europe – often meeting in out of the way venues that you might never visit otherwise! My first was…

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French higher education communicators celebrate 30th anniversary

France’s association for higher education communication professionals, ARCES, has been celebrating its 30th anniversary. To mark the occasion, ARCES has organised anniversary communication awards, which attracted 51 entries from 28 institutiorns. There were six categories and a list of the winners can be found here – (in French). Jobs survey ARCES members have also been taking part in the 6th French Observatory survey of jobs in communications. The biannual survey…

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Spain to pioneer new mobile master’s loans

Spain has been picked to pioneer the European Union’s new Erasmus Loan Guarantee Scheme. The scheme, launched in June, offers loans of up to €12,000 for a one-year master’s degree in another European country or €18,000 for a two-year masters abroad. The initiative will eventually receive around €500 million from the budget of the huge Erasmus+ student mobility programme, which the European Commission says will help to raise up to…

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Communication is key to getting buy-in for mergers

NIC MITCHELL looks at a new study, which says effective communications is essential to securing the buy-in of staff, students and other stakeholders for university mergers. The report from the European University Association, or EUA, reveals a quickening of the pace of mergers and concentrations of higher education institutions across Europe. Timely then that EUPRIO made this a key theme of a masterclass at our last conference in Innsbruck, when…

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POLISH UP YOUR EUPRIO AWARD ENTRIES

Time to polish up your entry for the European higher education communications ‘Oscars’ and gain the recognition you deserve from PR and marketing peers across the continent. Gisella Bengtsson from Uppsala University (R) receiving the EUPRIO 2014 Award from Sys Christina Vestergaard. The annual EUPRIO Awards shine the spotlight on outstanding campaigns and projects and encourage the sharing of best practice by university communication teams all over Europe. Judging and…

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MOOCS AND UNIVERSITY COMMUNICATIONS

Guest blogger RÉGIS FAUBET looks at the communication challenges of promoting MOOCs now they have lost much of their novelty value. THREE years ago, when MOOCs started gaining attention, it was relatively easy for Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) to benefit from the novelty aspect and get several thousands of students to register for a MOOC. MOOCs growth trends In March 2015, the number of MOOCs, or Massive Open Online Courses…

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ARE YOU READY FOR PERUGIA?

Registration for EUPRIO’s 2015 annual conference in the heart of Italy’s Umbria region is now open and here NIC MITCHELL takes a look at what’s on offer.   The three-day event promises to be a great opportunity to share the latest thinking on university communications and marketing with colleagues from all over Europe in the splendid historical setting of Perugia. The conference is being organised by Università per Stranieri di…

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How did European universities do in U-Multirank?

European universities performed strongly in the second edition of U-Multirank, the global higher education rankings supported with €4 million funding from the European Commission. Here Nic Mitchell finds out who came top for what!   Reutlingen University of Applied Science in Germany had the highest percentage of ‘Co-publications with industry’ among all 1210 universities assessed worldwide. French business schools did also well, with EDHEC, ESSEC and IESEG School of Management…

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Why U-Multirank deserves a second look

With U-Multirank’s second world university rankings to be published on March 30,NIC MITCHELL and ANDREA COSTA look at why the EU-backed initiative is treated with suspicion by some higher education stakeholders. Opinion was very much divided when the European University Association, or EUA, asked European universities what they thought of U-Multirank’s first efforts to break the international higher education ranking mould. More on that a little later…. but first why…

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Can brain drain become brain gain for Lithuania?

Internationalisation is a key issue across European higher education. But it is often seen as a way to boost university revenue by attracting fee-paying students from abroad or recruiting foreign students to vital, but less popular science or engineering courses, writes NIC MITCHELL. But what happens to countries exporting their talent, particularly countries like Lithuania which are struggling to enrol sufficient numbers of bright students because of high levels of…

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France tops U-Multirank for internationalisation

France had the highest number of top-performing institutions in a new ranking produced by U-Multirank based on international orientation. Supported by the European Commission, U-Multirank is the new higher education rankings system that claims to reflect both the diversity of higher education institutions, or HEIs, and the variety of university excellence in an international context. The latest rankings use a range of ‘international orientation’ indicators. These include student mobility and…

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Turning university communications upside down!

Can we have any real idea of what the world of higher education will look like in 2020? The pace of change with developments such as digitisation, globalisation and privatisation is transforming the face of universities that have lasted pretty much unchanged for hundreds of years. With students travelling from one side of the world to the other for their degrees and MOOCs and online learning encouraging studying without leaving…

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Solidarity with Charlie Hebdo attack victims

Europe’s universities have expressed solidarity with Charlie Hebdo attack victims, with the European University Association (EUA) backing a statement from the French national rectors conference (CPU) saying freedom of expression is a core university value. The statement from Conférence des présidents d’université (CPU) said: “They targeted a newspaper, its journalists, policemen who were protecting them, but they also attacked the university’s values and those of the Republic: freedom of expression.”…

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Excellence schemes are blooming in Europe’s universities

The European University Association recently published a new report examining ‘excellence schemes’ and their impact on universities in Europe. NIC MITCHELL looks at the main findings. From Britain’s recent Research Excellence Framework, or REF, used to decide where public funded research is best spent to France’s €7.7 billion Excellence Initiatives designed to create up to ten multidisciplinary hubs capable of competing with the best universities in the world, ‘Excellence’ is…

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