EUA: University Sector Must Use the Window of Opportunity Provided by EU Recovery Plan

EUA

The European University Association (EUA) has suggested the university sector should use the opportunities provided by the EU recovery plan (Next Generation EU) in order to present enduring solutions for campus development and innovation and come up with green and digital institutional transformation projects.

In a press release, EUA restated that the recovery plan would provide opportunities for investment in higher education and research as well as fill the gaps of years of investments without losing “sight of the alignment of different funding schemes.”

It further points out that the European Commission is expecting more member states will manage to submit national recovery plans by the end of this month in order to be able to spend money from the recovery fund this summer.

“The instrument allows the European Commission to raise up to €750b (2018 prices, €800b in current prices) to fund Next Generation EU, the biggest part of which comes through the Recovery and Resilience Facility,” EUA notes.

Borrowings from the markets will be permitted for European Commission just after the first national recovery plans are adopted and the Own Resources Decisions ratified by 27 member countries. Ten member states still need to ratify the decision, whereas the release emphasizes that transfers are expected to begin during the second half of July in 2021 if the legal conditions are met.

EUA further adds that some member states may receive payments in July and others in September if there is a lack of resources, whereas regarding which institution will receive the payment first, the European Commission said that such a thing would be decided based on which member state collects the best scores on its national recovery plan.

“National recovery plans are based on a set of criteria that considers the country-specific recommendations (from the European Semester) and, among others, the effective contribution to green and digital transitions (precisely, the extent to which each national plan contains 37 percent green and 20 percent digital objectives),” EUA highlights.

EUA announced that this topic would be the point of discussion during the next EUA webinar on university funding in 2023, the focus of which will be the latest university funding trends across Europe.

Earlier this month, EUA announced the opening of the second round of training for the online training platform of Science, Technology, Religion, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STREAM).

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