LERU universities concerned about the future of Europe

Investment in university education and research is a way of improving the competitiveness of the economic area.

Main building of the University of Helsinki LERU, the League of European Research Universities, is concerned about the future of Europe. According to LERU’s position paper, the slow economic growth of Europe is endangering the social wellbeing in the area and the successful expansion of the EU.

There is a danger that the vision, drawn up by the European heads of state in Lisbon 2000, of Europe becoming the world’s most dynamic and competitive knowledge-based economic area by 2010 will not be achieved.

In its position paper, LERU emphasises the significance of universities’ education and research in improving the competitiveness of Europe. Active research is believed to bring about innovations, which in turn boost the economy and other positive development.

Europe needs to reinvent its prestigious universities and encourage specialisation so that they could develop into cradles of top research in their own respective fields, according to LERU. From the perspective of competitiveness, it is important for universities to be able to compete for talented students and researchers.

“Finnish universities have every opportunity to reach the top internationally but only if they concentrate on their strongest fields. The best way to facilitate specialisation is by subjecting a significant amount of research financing to competition,” says Kari Raivio, Chancellor of the University of Helsinki and Chairman of LERU.

LERU’s position paper Growth, research-intensive universities and the European Research Council is available at http://www.leru.org

Text: Simo Salmela
Photo: Ida Pimenoff

Translation: Valtasana Oy

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