GRTU Council Member Michael Galea attended a conference in Brussels entitled University- Business Cooperation for Smart, Sustainable and Inclusive Growth between the 4th and the 5th May.
University Business Cooperation is a central driver in the changes that are being brought about in the knowledge economy. In March 2010 the European Commission launched the 2020 Strategy: A strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth in order to recover from the recession and to prepare the EU economy for the next decade. The strategy builds on three main reinforcing priorities that are to be implemented through concrete actions both at national and EU level.
Higher Education, the openness to the needs of society and the relations with business form an important part within this initiative. This third University Business Forum followed in the footsteps of its predecessors and this year it focused on three main areas for discussion and exchange of experiences:
University Business Cooperation: Cooperation with SME's and Regional Development
University Business cooperation and innovation
University Business Cooperation and quality of education.
Europe needs to adapt new skills with continuous training and knowledge exchange between universities and businesses. Adapt curricular and training methods. The importance of a well functioning knowledge triangle in the form of interaction between education, research and innovation has been emphasised by EU leaders since 2006.
Measures to strengthen the knowledge triangle play a major role in the process of modernisation that European universities are now engaged in. Such a process can help strengthen institutions of higher education, make the business sector more competitive and benefit the development of society in general
Increased demands are being made on universities to engage in education, research and innovation alike. This requires a new and more modern view of institutions of higher education and is an important part of the process of modernisation which has made varying degrees of progress in the countries of Europe. This development requires the support of coordinated measures at both national and EU level.
Today universities have to think ahead, they have to think 5 to 20 years forward. We have to change from a supply driven to a demand driven culture. Unfortunately Europe lacks this culture and we have to find ways of how to create a coherent demand driven culture.
When one is in business one needs to change every day. The environment changes and thus the only option is to change as well. This also applies to universities. European universities will have new competitors. Global competitors from Asia, US and everywhere. So they have to be innovative in their offering.