Higher Education / Research : Potocnik & Figel' Set out Ideas for University Autonomy

Article excerpt

Entrepreneurship training, semesters abroad and time spent in industry are just three specific recommendations made for students by the European Commission, in its new Communication on how universities should be modernised.

The proposalsaemphasise the need for a better partnership between industry and universities. Speaking at a press conference, Science and Research Commissioner Janez Poto nik noted that improving cooperation is "quite vital for the growth and jobs agenda", to which this Communication is a contribution.aJan Figel', Commissioner in charge of education and training, was presenting the Communication alongside MraPoto nik.

The thrust of the Commission's message is that, on all three aspects of the knowledge triangle': research, innovation and education, Europe is falling behind its rivals. Universities are "power-houses of knowledge generation", insists Mr Poto nik, but what they generate is underused. In terms of industry, other steps advocated include establishing campus science parks and other facilities, although such ties should not be allowed to cross the line of autonomy, with corporate funding for faculty staff specifically ruled out.

On improving the employability of graduates, the Commission envisages not only entrepreneurship training for research candidates but also opportunities, in the course of their studies, for them to acquire skills in Intellectual Property Rights management, communication, networking and teamwork. …