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Higher Education Reform and the Renewed Lisbon Strategy: Role of Member States and the European Commission


  • Frederick van der Ploeg
  • Reinhilde Veugelers


Discussions on problems in higher education in Europe typically focus on rising enrolment rates, access, governance, underperformance in research and teaching, lack of internationalisation, the lack of private and public funding. Our proposals for reform are based on more autonomy for universities, higher tuition fees, more private funding, introduction of income-contingent loans, better governance, more competition and internationalisation. Taking a subsidiarity perspective, the role of the EU in reforming the higher education sector in Europe is providing mutual policy learning opportunities on higher education reforms across Member States and supporting the building of higher education infrastructure in Member States (through the Structural and FP Funds). But beyond the support to Member States policies, the EU should further develop the European dimension, through furthering the goals of the Bologna reforms, cross recognition of qualifications, funding and promoting intra-EU mobility of students, researchers and teachers. The EU should take more initiatives to facilitate global mobility and cooperation. Finally, consistent with the subsidiarity principle, the EU can develop "flagships" initiatives.

Suggested Citation

  • Frederick van der Ploeg & Reinhilde Veugelers, 2007. "Higher Education Reform and the Renewed Lisbon Strategy: Role of Member States and the European Commission," Economics Working Papers ECO2007/33, European University Institute.
  • Handle: RePEc:eui:euiwps:eco2007/33

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. repec:oup:cesifo:v:54:y:2008:i:2:p:229-247. is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Bas Jacobs & Frederick Van Der Ploeg, 2006. "Guide to reform of higher education: a European perspective," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 21(47), pages 535-592, July.
    3. Gordon Winston & David Zimmerman, 2004. "Peer Effects in Higher Education," NBER Chapters,in: College Choices: The Economics of Where to Go, When to Go, and How to Pay For It, pages 395-424 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Richard Blundell & Lorraine Dearden & Costas Meghir & Barbara Sianesi, 1999. "Human capital investment: the returns from education and training to the individual, the firm and the economy," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 20(1), pages 1-23, March.
    5. Hessel Oosterbeek & Dinand Webbink, 2006. "Assessing the returns to studying abroad," CPB Discussion Paper 64, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
    6. Rothschild, Michael & White, Lawrence J, 1995. "The Analytics of the Pricing of Higher Education and Other Services in Which the Customers Are Inputs," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(3), pages 573-586, June.
    7. Ana Rute Cardoso, 2008. "Demand for Higher Education Programs: The Impact of the Bologna Process," CESifo Economic Studies, CESifo, vol. 54(2), pages 229-247, June.
    8. Laura Thissen & Sjef Ederveen, 2006. "Higher education; time for coordination on a European level?," CPB Discussion Paper 68, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
    9. Martins, Pedro S. & Walker, Ian, 2006. "Student Achievement and University Classes: Effects of Attendance, Size, Peers, and Teachers," IZA Discussion Papers 2490, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    10. Dosi, Giovanni & Llerena, Patrick & Labini, Mauro Sylos, 2006. "The relationships between science, technologies and their industrial exploitation: An illustration through the myths and realities of the so-called `European Paradox'," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(10), pages 1450-1464, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Marcel Gérard, 2008. "Financing Bologna, the Internationally Mobile Students in European Higher Education," CESifo Working Paper Series 2391, CESifo Group Munich.
    2. Philippe Aghion & Mathias Dewatripont & Caroline Hoxby & Andreu Mas-Colell & André Sapir, . "Higher aspirations: an agenda for reforming European universities," Blueprints, Bruegel, number 1, August.

    More about this item


    higher education; enrolment; access; governance; research; teaching; funding; tuition fees; income-contingent loans; open market for the EU; Bologna reforms; mobility; competition; subsidiarity; flagships;

    JEL classification:

    • H2 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue
    • H4 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods
    • I2 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education

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