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European university leaders gather to debate ‘sustainability strategies’

Around 400 university leaders and representatives from the higher education sector will come together next week (22-23 March) at the Annual Conference of the European University Association (EUA), hosted by the University of Warwick (UK). The theme of this year’s EUA conference is ‘the sustainability of European universities’.

During two days experts from across Europe will discuss strategies to ensure the future sustainability of the higher education sector in Europe in the context of the current global economic downturn, and public funding cuts to higher education in a number of European countries.

Keynote speakers in the plenary sessions will include Anne Glover, the recently appointed Chief Scientific Advisor to the European Commission, Sir Richard Lambert, Chancellor of the University of Warwick, and Sir Alan Langlands, Chief Executive of the Higher Education Funding Council for England.

In break-out sessions, university leaders will also address sustainability in its different dimensions, relating to funding, campuses, research, as well as innovative teaching and learning. This will enable participants to explore the diverse aspects of sustainability and to shed light on the possible pathways to achieving this.

The conference will end with reflections from Tony Chan, President of Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, and from Allan Päll, Chairperson of the European Students’ Union.

Since 2008 EUA has been monitoring the impact of the economic crisis on public funding for European higher education and has published regular updates on the topic. EUA plans to feed the outcomes of discussions on funding at Warwick into its next monitoring report that will be published later in the spring. This work will also inform the discussions that will take place at the EUA’s first Funding Forum in Salzburg, Austria, from 11 to 12 June.

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For further information or for conference press passes please contact Andrew Miller: +32 2 743 1 159 or +32 473 748 785, email:, or Stephanie Friedrich: +32 2 743 11 81, email:

To view the programme of the EUA Annual Conference, please visit the Conference website: note that during the conference Professor Helena Nazaré will take up her new role as EUA President. She will take over from the outgoing President Professor Jean-Marc Rapp, who has held this post since 2009. If you would like to interview the outgoing or incoming EUA President, please contact Andrew Miller (details above).The main sponsors of this year’s Annual Conference include: Cisco (Gold sponsor), and Ede & Ravenscroft (Silver sponsors).

The European University Association, as the representative organisation of both the European universities and the national rectors' conferences, is the main voice of the higher education community in Europe. EUA's mission is to promote the development of a coherent system of European higher education and research.