Funding cuts, immigration controls and higher tuition fees are just three of the challenges facing European universities in 2014 and beyond.
But there are exciting developments, too, with the internationalisation of higher education and the opening up of online learning, which offer fresh opportunities for European universities to spread their influence far and wide.
So, it is not surprising that EUPRIO’s next conference will be around the theme ‘How to communicate in a world dominated by change’.
Indeed, EUPRIO President Denis Ancion believes: “Change and the consequences of change for communication and marketing professionals in higher education will be dominating EUPRIO’s agenda in the years to come.”
In a New Year message to members and EUPRIO’s friends in the international higher education environment, Denis said:
“We have to respond to the ongoing shift of the powerhouses towards the East, the ongoing economic crisis in the West, the increasing costs of education combined with the perception of a decreasing value of a university degree, together with the free availability and ubiquitous nature of content and the entrance of new providers- for example via MOOCs.
“But that’s not all. We also have to prepare for the revolutionary changes which society can expect within five to ten years as a consequence of the spectacular developments in the sciences and IT technology and the integration of the two.
“These developments could lead to a complete new societal infrastructure.
“By discussing all the issues within our EUPRIO framework, our members can help each other to understand what needs to be done.
“These are exciting and challenging times. Let’s experience this together under the EUPRIO umbrella again in 2014.
“For all the EUPRIO members: have a very good year, constructive and exciting national meetings and hope to see you all in Innsbruck.”
+ EUPRIO’s 2014 annual conference ‘How to communicate in a world dominated by change’ takes place in Innsbruck, Austria, from 4-7 September 2014. Programme details are being developed by the EUPRIO Task Force. Keep a look out here, and on the EUPRIO Facebook page or via EUPRIO News on twitter for updates.
* Photo shows Denis Ancion, centre, with Innsbruck 2014 conference organiser Uwe Steger (L) and EUPRIO treasurer, Paola Scioli, at the Task Force meeting in Milan held just before Christmas.
Words: Nic Mitchell
Photo: Véronique Eloy