Harmonisation of the Danube Higher Education Area
On 4th – 7th of November 2015, the annual meeting of the Danube Rectors' Conference took place at the University of Maribor, Slovenia.
The Annual DRC was attended by 46 participants from 24 member universities, and another 25 participants from Slovenia, among them University of Ljubljana and Student representatives.
On the first day, Prof. Dr. Curaj from Romania held a presentation on research and academic databases for a better cooperation in the Danube region.
The annual conference on November 5th, 2015, was composed of the following modules:
- an opening module with keynote speeches and contributions by the EU Commissioner Tibor Navracsics (video message) and the Slovenian minister of Education, Science and Sport Dr. Maja Makovec Brenčič;
- a module on undergraduate studies discussing the problem of joint study programmes and difficulties in the organisation of mobility facing closed systems in the Danube region;
- a module on master studies with emphasis on bringing studies closer to the labour market and financing of the research pert of post-graduate studies. Contributions to the topic were made by the rector of TU Graz Prof. Dr. Harald Kainz and the Director of the European Foundation for Education Dr. Wolfgang Schuster from Stuttgart;
- the module on the new doctoral studies scheme (innovative doctoral studies scheme) addressed by Prof. Dr. Melita Kovačević, Chair of the Committee for Doctoral Education at EUA (European Universities Association) and Prof. Dr. Bernhard Rinner from Klagenfurt, who presented cases of good practice in this field;
- finally, individual success stories of good practice in cooperation in the region were presented, as the European master in Life Sciences, DEMOLA project on knowledge transfer and KIC Inno Energy.
The discussions were very vivid after each presentation. Reactions to the conference were very positive.
All contributions by the speakers are available on the intranet.
Parallel conversations between several participants of the conference were very productive.
An important step forward in the networking of DRC and the increase of cooperation in the region was the signing of the cooperation agreement with the Alps-Adriatic Rectors’ Conference. This opens additional opportunities to an active work in both macro-regions. Five new member universities were welcome to DRC – it now has 74 members.
The conference was accompanied by the Presidency and Permanent Committee meetings and the proposals of these were discussed and adopted by the General Assembly on November 6th, 2015, which concluded the gathering at the 24th Annual Danube Rectors’ Conference in Maribor.