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Stick to facts when marketing to students

Nic Mitchell finds out whether lessons can be learned from a UK crackdown on misleading marketing messages to potential students “Higher education marketing and PR managers should be extra careful when making marketing claims based on rankings, league tables and graduate forecasts.” Jan Dries from the University of Antwerp So says EUPRIO Vice-President Jan Dries, Director of Communications at the University of Antwerp in Belgium, where we held our 2016…

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How do you reach international students and staff?

A pilot project for the new EUPRIO Mobility Programme, or EMP, is looking for partner universities to help find the best way to communicate with international students, staff and guests and make them feel at home and part of the university community.   The EMP initiative was launched this autumn to encourage EUPRIO members to work together, across borders, to solve real-life communication problems and develop case studies as a…

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Free EUPRIO workshop on fundraising

European universities are waking up to the potential of fundraising as part of alumni engagement and few more so than Italy’s Bocconi University, which hosts a free workshop for EUPRIO members on the subject on 17 November.   The Milan-based university aims to raise €120 million to support its 2015-2020 strategic plan and is leading a drive to change the culture among alumni, companies and foundations about the importance of…

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EUPRIO MOBILITY MOVE TO SUPPORT UNI COMMS

A new initiative to support innovative projects in university communications has been launched by EUPRIO. The EUPRIO Mobility Programme, or EMP, will give our members the chance to network and work together on specific projects that benefit university communicators across Europe, explains EUPRIO President Christine Legrand. “It is different in content and rules from the Erasmus+ Staff Mobility scheme and is not designed to finance mobility of individuals simply wishing to attend language courses, conferences or…

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EUPRIO winners show originality and imagination

EUROPEAN university communicators once again showed imagination and originality in their entries to the 2017 EUPRIO Awards, writes Nic Mitchell. This year’s overall winner was Brno University of Technology in the Czech Republic for their ‘I Belong Here’ campaign which demonstrated original and creative ways to encourage young women to apply to study technical science subjects. Winning Brno team, from L to R, Kateřina Tušarová, Renata Herrmannová, Pavla Ondrušková and Radana…

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June 20 deadline: Join us in Mannheim & enter EUPRIO Awards

  Following requests from EUPRIO members the deadline for registering for EUPRIO’s 2017 annual conference and entering the EUPRIO Awards is being extended by a week to Tuesday June 20. The conference opens with a welcome reception on the evening of Thursday June 29 and runs until 2 July and is being hosted by the University of Mannheim, Germany in cooperation with the German federal association of university communication professionals,…

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EUPRIO gets ready for Mannheim meeting

Not long now until the EUPRIO family comes together in Mannheim for our 2017 annual conference. This year’s conference is focusing on how universities can successfully network with their cities, regions and companies, writes Nic Mitchell, and the event takes place from June 29 to July 2. Registration is open until 12 June – the same date entries are required for this year’s EUPRIO Awards. Ideal venue to discuss networking…

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Places filling on EUPRIO conference sessions  

Places are filling up fast on some of the most popular workshops and masterclasses for EUPRIO’s 2017 annual conference in Mannheim, with the maximum number of participants limited to 40 per workshop or lecture. The event’s theme is Networking for a better future: Universities, Cities, Companies and Regions and speakers from all over Europe will be sharing examples of best practice in how universities can effectively network with society for…

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Time to enter the EUPRIO Awards

With less than two months before EUPRIO’s 2017 conference in Mannheim, Germany, it is time to polish up entries for the prestigious EUPRIO Awards. The EUPRIO Awards are a chance to showcase university communication projects that make a real difference and share best practice with colleagues across Europe, writes Nic Mitchell. Entry is free, but restricted to institutions with at least one representative attending EUPRIO’s annual conference. Judging and presentations…

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Networking is key theme for EUPRIO 2017

Registration for EUPRIO’s 2017 annual conference, which takes place from 29 June to 2 July in the German city of Mannheim, is now open. Here Nic Mitchell takes a first look at some of presentations and workshops on offer. The theme for the Mannheim conference Networking for a better future: Universities, Cities, Companies and Regions is built around the concept of universities as key connectors in wider local, regional, national…

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U-Multirank reveals ‘hidden gems’ in the world’s universities

European universities are once again able to compare and contrast their activities with rivals around the world and demonstrate that research is far from being the only way of measuring what makes a ‘good’ university. So says U-Multirank, the comparative global university ranking initiative funded up to now by the European Union’s Erasmus+ programme. The fourth edition of U-Multirank (UMR) – which claims to have broken the mould of international…

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What does Brexit mean for European higher education?

Britain is not leaving Europe. It is just starting divorce proceedings from the European Union. Here Nic Mitchell explores some of the implications for European higher education in his Brexit blog for EUPRIO members.   The starting gun for the official process of Britain leaving the European Union was fired on 29 March 2017 by UK Prime Minister Theresa May, pictured, and British and European higher education and research leaders…

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Happy birthday Erasmus!

Hundreds of EUPRIO members are familiar with Erasmus, either from going abroad as exchange students themselves and doing short work placement at other European universities, or by promoting the European Union’s mobility programme as part of their institution’s internationalisation strategy.   ERASMUS celebrates its 30th anniversary this year after being relaunched in 2014, with a budget of €14.7billion for the seven years up to 2020, when seven previous European Union…

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EUA response to British Prime Minister’s Brexit speech

The European University Association (EUA) issued a press statement on 17 January responding to British Prime Minister’s Theresa May’s Brexit speech. We publish the full text below for information. EUA applauds focus on science, research and innovation Despite its regret about the UK leaving the EU, the European University Association (EUA) is pleased that UK Prime Minister Theresa May explicitly highlighted science, research and innovation in a much-anticipated speech on Brexit…

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Networking under the spotlight in Mannheim

‘European networks on the rise’ proclaimed the headline in the Times Higher Education magazine on 3 November 2016.   So how timely that EUPRIO should be organising its next conference in Mannheim on precisely this theme, writes Nic Mitchell. Mannheim is the ideal venue to discuss networking Networking for a better future: Universities, Cities, Territories and Enterprises is the title of our 2017 annual gathering of higher education marketing and…

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Applying science to society wins EUPRIO Awards

A pattern emerged from this year’s EUPRIO Award winning entries – with a strong focus on increasing public understanding of what universities and their talented experts do for society at large, writes Nic Mitchell.   The two top slots were won by institutions of applied sciences, with Hogeschool von Amsterdam, the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences, or AUAS, being the overall EUPRIO Award 2016 winner for its series of ‘making…

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EUPRIO keeps on growing

Over 280 participants from the world of European university communications and higher education marketing came together for the 2016 EUPRIO conference hosted by the Belgium’s University of Antwerp in early September.   The conference, under the theme of Living the brand, saw representatives from Croatia and Montenegro take part for the first time as EUPRIO celebrated the 30th anniversary of its founding in Belgium back in 1986, writes NIC MITCHELL…

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Deadline soon for EUPRIO’s 2016 conference

The deadline is rapidly approaching to register for EUPRIO’s 2016 annual conference being hosted by the University of Antwerp in Belgium from September 1-3, writes Nic Mitchell   Waiting your arrival: Central Station, Antwerp The closing date to sign-up for this year’s event is Monday 22 August, which is also the revised deadline to enter the EUPRIO Awards. Unsurprisingly, the 2016 conference has attracted considerable interest as it is focusing…

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Rectors condemn attack on academic freedom in Turkey

European university leaders have condemned the crackdown on academic freedom following the failed coup in Turkey, writes Nic Mitchell. The European University Association (EUA), which represents 850 members in 47 countries, said the education sector, including higher education, has been targeted, with 15,200 education staff suspended and Turkey’s Higher Education Council (YÖK) ordering the resignation of all Deans from both Turkey’s public and foundation universities. Four university rectors in Turkey…

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New features for the EUPRIO 2016 conference

  With numbers signing up for EUPRIO’s 2016 annual conference in Antwerp topping the 200-mark last week, and growing every day, organisers are confident it will be a great event, writes Nic Mitchell Several new features are being introduced this year to help participants get the most out of #EUPRIO2016, which is being hosted by the University of Antwerp, Belgium, from 1-3 September. New for this year is the Open…

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In or out of the EU, EUPRIO will stay together

Speculation is mounting about the impact on universities of the UK’s #BREXIT referendum on European Union membership, especially in areas like student and staff mobility and research cooperation, writeS Nic Mitchell. But for EUPRIO the message is clear! “In or out of the EU, our European association of university communication colleagues will remain together”, said EUPRIO’s President Christine Legrand. “We are colleagues with same questions, exchanges and experience and we are…

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Clock ticking to EUPRIO Awards deadline

The clock is ticking towards the deadline for entries to the prestigious EUPRIO Awards, writes Nic Mitchell. Entry is free, but restricted to universities who will have at least one delegate attending EUPRIO’s annual conference, which this year takes place at Belgium’s University of Antwerp, from September 1-3, 2016. EUPRIO Awards offer members the chance to showcase professional excellence and originality in their public relations, marketing and communication activities and…

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Don’t miss out on EUPRIO 2016 in Antwerp

Sessions are filling up fast for the 2016 EUPRIO conference and organisers say those planning to join us in Antwerp, Belgium should register now and reserve their place at the workshops and talks that appeal to them, writes Nic Mitchell. This year the overall theme for the EUPRIO conference is branding – and how university communicators can, and need to, develop their brand to flourish in an increasingly competitive marketplace.…

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EUPRIO extends its reach to the South Pacific

Just as Australia is now part of the Eurovision song contest, so EUPRIO has extended its reach to the heart of the South Pacific Ocean by welcoming the University of New Caledonia as one of its newest members, as Nic Mitchell reports.   Sylvian Raffard-Artigue Sylvian Raffard-Artigue must be EUPRIO’s furthest flung member from the European heartlands of Brussels and Paris, but he is now very much part of our…

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Branding under the EUPRIO spotlight in Antwerp

Registration for EUPRIO’s 2016 conference in the delightful Belgian port city of Antwerp is now open. here Nic Mitchell takes a first look at what is on offer in the workshops and presentations. Why should fee-paying international students travel half way round the world to study with you? And what will make scientists and other research partners choose your institution as their preferred partner? The answer often rests on how…

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Branding was the focus for Italian communicators

Two EUPRIO presidents, one from the present and the other from the not so distant past, attended the annual meeting of the Italian association of higher education communication professionals, AICUN, in Rome. Current president Christine Legrand, from CPE Lyon in France, took part in a round table discussion on university branding with Paolo Pomati, from Università del Piemonte Orientale in Italy, who was out president from 2008-12. Also taking part…

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End of the one-way communication street!

Leading figures from the world of international higher education gathered at Groningen University in the Netherlands for the first ‘Student of the Future’ conference organised by Dutch-based study choice platform, StudyPortals. Here NIC MITCHELL looks at key issues raised for marketing and communication practitioners. The digital age means an end of the one-way messaging from universities to the next generation of students. Tony Lee from Study Group So says Tony…

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Universities want UK to stay in European Union

British and European universities have decided they can’t afford to stand idly by in the big debate about whether the United Kingdom should remain or leave the European Union, writes Nic Mitchell.   With a referendum on the matter called for June 23, and opinion polls showing the UK’s voting public pretty evenly split, the British rectors’ association – UniversitiesUK – has come down firmly in favour of staying within…

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Huge rise in English-taught courses across Europe

There has been a rise of nearly 1,000% in the number of English-taught programmes offered by universities in non-English speaking European countries since 2002, reports Nic Mitchell. The number has gone up from 725 when the Academic Cooperation Association (ACA) carried out its first study in 2002, rising to 2,389 in 2007 and 8,089 in 2014. The study, English-Taught Programmes in European Higher Education, can be accessed via the PDF…

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Living the brand at EUPRIO’s Antwerp conference

How can universities encourage their staff and students to live the brand? That’s the key question for EUPRIO’s 2016 conference at the University of Antwerp, Belgium, from September 1-3. Here Nic Mitchell talks to the organiser Jan Dries and Sofia Moestedt-Westerberg, chair of the conference programme, to find out more about ‘Living the brand’. Antwerp’s Cathedral clock is ticking towards #EUPRIO2016 Universities as corporate brands Universities are now often portrayed…

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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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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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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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Do the rankings have too much influence?

AS US News & World Report becomes the latest to offer its version of the world’s top 500 universities, complete with regional variations including Europe, we turn the spotlight on the higher education rankings with guest blogger ANDREA COSTA and ask whether they have got out of hand? THE ENTIRE global higher education system seems to have fallen into a giant trap: rankings. To be fair, this trap is in…

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A million babies and better job prospects – thanks to Erasmus!

Two new European reports have highlighted the importance of student mobility and internalisation to the continent. Here NIC MITCHELL looks at the Erasmus Impact Study. And in another blog he considers a paper from the European University Association (EUA) urging European universities to do more to integrate their foreign students.REVELATIONS that one million babies had been born to Erasmus students since 1987 caught the headlines when the Erasmus Impact Study…

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To internationalise – Start by integrating your international students

Increasing mobility is rising up the higher education political agenda, but how well are European, national and institutional goals for internationalisation aligned and what happens to international students when they arrive at our universities? NIC MITCHELL looks at a new EUA paper to find out. International students at SLU, Sweden   UNIVERSITIES must do more to integrate foreign students and staff if they want to ‘internationalise’ their campus and classrooms,…

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Should the West be so obsessed with international student recruitment?

A SWISS academic has urged western universities to do more joint research with developing countries in Africa and Asia to overcome man-made problems like climate change and focus less on international student recruitment. ETH Zürich’s Professor Gerhard Schmitt Gerhard Schmitt, Professor of Information Architecture at ETH Zürich and founding-director of the Singapore-ETH Centre, was speaking to  a workshop on ‘Moving Abroad’ at the European Public Relations and Information Officers association (EUPRIO) annual conference in…

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Spotlight: Swiss immigration vote hits education and research

Switzerland’s political elite were not the only ones taken aback by a popular vote against mass immigration, as NIC MITCHELL has been discovering for the latest in our ‘Spotlight…’ series. Swiss universities and research institutions were shocked by the swift response of the European Union to the ‘yes-vote’ – which saw a tiny majority of 50.3% support the introduction of quota-based immigration, including EU nationals to Switzerland. Within weeks of…

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UK universities pin their flag to the EU mast

In the run-up to elections for new European Parliament speculation was rife that Britain might be heading for the European Union exit door. But one group has not been afraid to pin their pro-European credentials firmly to the mast – and that’s the assembled ranks of UK universities, as NIC MITCHELL explains. AS WITH much of Europe, disillusionment with the way mainstream politicians handled the economic recession, banking crisis and…

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University comms in the age of Facebook posts and tweets !

Nic Mitchell (alias @EuprioNic) EUPRIO’s chief blogger Nic Mitchell drew on his experience managing the flow of news on the association’s website and social media pages when he spoke, via Skype, to the 4th UNICA PR and Communication Workshop this month. Here he highlights some of his key messages. My talk focused on ‘University communications in the digital age – where a feature is a blog and a news brief…

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Spotlight on Denmark

As reforms sweep across Danish universities, quality is replacing quantity as the top political priority, according to the politicians. Others are not entirely convinced, as Thomas Sørensen explains in our latest blog, which shines the spotlight on the country’s higher education sector. A SMALL country in the North of Europe, Denmark is probably best known abroad for having one of the world’s happiest populations. But a recent wave of reforms…

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EUPRIO’s 2014 conference will have a global outlook

The full programme for EUPRIO’s 2014 annual conference in Austria will be published later this month and it is going to be the strongest in the association’s 26-year history, with speakers from 15 countries, writes Nic Mitchell. The conference is being hosted by the University of Innsbruck, situated in the heart of the Austrian Alps, and takes place from September 4-7. The overarching theme is ‘How to communicate in a…

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Spotlight on Lithuania

Lithuania’s capital Vilnius holds a soft spot in the folklore of EUPRIO members for we held our 2006 annual conference there, the first in Eastern Europe. Now, having just played a key role in plotting the future path of the EU, it is timely for our latest blog from Nic Mitchell to shine the spotlight on trends in Lithuania’s higher education system. LITHUANIA has been at the heart of the…

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Is the EU relevant to university communicators?

EUPRIANS meet in Brussels to find out EUPRIO President Denis Ancion As university communications staff around Europe struggle with ever-increasing workloads, do they really have time – or the energy – to think about Brussels and the relative importance of what’s happening at the heart of the European Union? That’s the question Nic Mitchell put to EUPRIO’s President DENIS ANCION after the association’s Steering Committee organised a ‘Meet Brussels’ event…

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Resurgence or retrenchment for European universities?

The final instalment of the 2013 world university rankings season saw mixed fortunes for European universities, contrasting with talk of a ‘resurgence for continental European universities’ only a month ago, as NIC MITCHELL reports. THE Times Higher Education World University Rankings (THE WUR) is one of the big three beasts dominating the world of higher education rankings and their verdict on the pecking order of international universities is keenly watched…

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International spotlight on Sweden

It is not just England where much of the buzz around higher education is about tuition fees. For Sweden has started charging non-EU/EEA students around €10,000-a-year and the consequences could be far-reaching, as NIC MITCHELL finds out in the latest in our series of blogs looking at trends in HE around Europe. SWEDEN has had one of the best-resourced higher education systems for years, with Universitas 21 – a global…

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Spotlight on the unfinished higher education revolution in England

NIC MITCHELL gives EUPRIO members heading to the UK for the 2013 annual conference a quick overview of the “radical” or “bonkers” brave new world of English universities in the second of our occasional blogs shining the spotlight on higher education in different European countries. It’s been an ‘interesting’ 15 months since I wrote the first of my semi-regular blogs for the EUPRIO website in which I tried to explain…

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Don’t forget your ‘internal’ stakeholders!

NIC MITCHELL, our online news editor, welcomes the overarching theme for this year’s conference of European higher education communicators at the University of Kent at the end of June. IT CAN be all too easy to overlook one of the most powerful assets to a university’s brand in the rush to impress external stakeholders. University of Kent, Canterbury is the venue for EUPRIO 2013 For while we professional communicators are…

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Spotlight on Germany

Our online news editor NIC MITCHELL launches a new series of occasional EUPRIO blogs about higher education trends in different countries and issues facing European universities by focusing on Germany. If you would like to write about what’s happening in your country or comment on our blogs, we’d love to hear from you to help us increase the understanding of EUPRIO members about developments in research and higher education across…

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Good or bad news for EU education and research?

The European Union’s research and innovation Horizon programme is to be cut by €10 billion and over 700,000 young will miss out on study or work opportunities abroad under the Erasmus for All scheme over the next six years. That’s the bad news to emerge from the European Council summit when EU heads of state and government thrashed out Europe’s budget priorities for 2014-20. The good news, according to some…

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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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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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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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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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Andrea’s first blog…

by Andrea Costa I know what you think. “Another university blog?”, soon followed by “And where do I find the time for reading it?” Well, you would be right of course. But as far as we know there is no other blog in Europe specifically dedicated to university communication, and if there has to be one EUPRIO must be its host. This is the beginning of what we hope will…

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