Policy papers

CG position on Horizon 2020

The Coimbra Group has published its comments on the Horizon 2020 proposal from the European Commission. The Coimbra Group welcomes Horizon 2020 because of its determination to strengthen the emphasis on research excellence, its support to open, basic research and the ambition to increase European and cross-sectoral research collaboration.

The policy paper also contains the concerns of the Coimbra Group, in many cases serious concerns, in particular of the negative funding trend regarding the future Marie Skłodowska Curie actions and the virtual absence, yet again, of the social sciences and humanities in most of the defined societal challenges. The member universities of the Coimbra Group put a strong emphasis on fundamental and blue sky research and see the Humanities and Social Sciences as equal and integral parts not only of their teaching and research portfolio, but also of their contribution to society and economic development.

With its particular awareness of regional differences and the varying impact of economic and financial instability on different higher education and research systems the Coimbra Group has also expressed its concern that the progress of the past decade and a half of creating a strong and cohesive ERA may be undermined in the present crisis and that this is not sufficiently taken into consideration.

This means that, unfortunately, comments earlier published by the Coimbra Group on the European Commission’s Green Paper From Challenges to Opportunities and in connection with the ERA consultation can only be repeated: “The Coimbra Group concludes that it has been a source of considerable concern that the complexity of innovation is underestimated and along with this the vital role and creativity of university research and the diversity of research disciplines. This has given rise to the concern that a future Common Strategic Framework might neglect the fundamental role in any innovation strategy of basic research, of the cross-feeding of ideas and knowledge through increased mobility of researchers, of the need to foster spaces for researchers to meet, exchange ideas and promote entrepreneurship”.

Coimbra Group position on Horizon 2020

e-Learning at the Coimbra Group Universities

The e-Learning Task Force of the Coimbra Group has produced a document on the current state of play on learning technologies and related practices at the different institutions of the Task Force.
This brief focuses on the current knowledge and experience regarding the good use of educational technology at our institutions and describes what it is, why it matters, how it works and where it is going.
The document can be used:

e-Learning at the Coimbra Group Universities

CG ERA Consultation Response

The European Commission published an on-line consultation on the ERA Framework: “Areas of untapped potential for the development of the European Research Area (ERA)” in September this year with a response deadline on 30 November 2011. The Coimbra Group response concentrated on three major issues, the training of doctoral candidates, the concept of mobility and the absence of the humanities and social sciences in the consultation document.

CG ERA Consultation Response

CG Position Paper on the European Commission's Green Paper “From Challenges to Opportunities: Towards a Common Strategic Framework for EU Research and Innovation Funding”

On 19 May 2011 the Coimbra Group Position Paper on the European Commission’s Green Paper, “From Challenges to Opportunities: Towards a Common Strategic Framework for EU Research and Innovation Funding” was submitted to the Commission.

The Position Paper was prepared by an expert group, chaired by Prof. A. Manthos, and the DSR TF Chair, Prof. Johnny Laursen, and DSR TF member, Prof. Maria Cunha participated together with the Culture, Arts and Humanities Task Force Chair, Prof. Jürgen Barkhoff. The Executive Board discussed the paper on 4 May and decided to forward the document to the Rectors’ Advisory Group and the members of the DSR TF for comments.

The Coimbra Group concludes that “it has been a source of considerable concern to the Coimbra Group that the complexity of innovation is underestimated and along with this the vital role and creativity of university research and their diversity of research disciplines.

This has given rise to the concern that a future Common Strategic Framework might neglect the fundamental role in any innovation strategy of basic research, of the cross-feeding of ideas and knowledge through increased mobility of researchers, of the need to foster spaces for researchers to meet, exchange ideas and promote entrepreneurship.”

CG Position Paper

Coimbra Group Response to the Green Paper on Learning Mobility for Young People of the European Commission

The Executive Board of the Coimbra Group has prepared a response to the European Comission's Green Paper in consultation with the Task Force on Education, Training and Mobility and the Rectors' Advisory Group.
The response stresses the need to focus on quality mobility, on content-related definitions of mobility and on mobility of students, doctoral candidates as well as academic and administrative staff in universities.

Coimbra Group comments to the European Commission’s Green Paper on Learning Mobility of Young People

The Coimbra Group and European Higher Education after Bologna 2010- Position Paper

The Coimbra Group Universities have enthusiastically embraced the Bologna Process, as they appreciated the added value of increased transnational transparency. With the present position paper they point towards a number of critical issues that need follow-up in the years to come.


They recommend a shift in attention from structures to contents, and encourage the Ministers of Education to take concrete measures to ensure that the degrees within the Bologna structure are based on internationally comparable learning outcomes. Alternative learning paths have to lead to certificates with titles that differ from those of the standard Bologna degrees.
Moreover they recommend that more transparency is introduced in institutional diversity, genuine support to mobility and permanent attention to the societal role of universities. They are confident that internationally attractive and competitive universities will emerge from the present process, ready to face the challenges of a globalising world.

CG Position Paper

Coimbra Group Response to the Commission’s Green Paper: "The European Research Area: New Perspective" (August 2007)

The Coimbra Group response to the Commission’s Green Paper on the European Research Area (AREA) focuses on thematic and systemic issues of importance to the CG Universities and their active contribution to an ERA, in particular.

CGResponse-Green Paper

CGResponse-GreenPaper-ANNEX

Coimbra Group - Doctoral Programmes Position Paper

On 19 January 2007, the Executive Board of the Coimbra Group approved the attached Position Paper on Doctoral Programmes submitted by the Task Force on Doctoral Studies and Research, “The Place and Role of Doctoral Programmes in the Bologna Process”. The approval by the Executive Board followed a discussion with the Rectors’ Advisory Board at their meeting in Brussels on 19 January.
The decision to present the views of the Coimbra Group Universities on doctoral programmes was taken at the Coimbra Group General Assembly in Tartu in 2006, and doctoral programmes will also be the main theme at the forthcoming Annual Conference of the Coimbra Group in Turku on 30 May to 1 June this year. To the thirty-seven long-established, multidisciplinary European universities that constitute the Coimbra Group the doctoral degree represents the ultimate expression of the inseparable link between the European Higher Education Area and the European Research Area.

As research universities of a high standing at national and international levels, the Coimbra Universities perceive the researchers who leave our universities with a doctoral degree as one of the most important contributions we can provide to innovation and development.
This is the background for the attached Position Paper, which has been prepared as the Coimbra Group contribution to the meeting of Ministers of Education in London in May this year within the framework of the Bologna Process.

The Coimbra Group Universities underline the specificity of the doctoral level as research training and encourage the Education and Research Ministers to acknowledge the definition of quality outcome at the doctoral level by the degree-awarding universities.
The full text or parts of it can be quoted freely with due reference to the origin of the quotes.

Doctoral Programmes Position Paper

Contribution from the Coimbra Group Universities to the discussion on the European Institute of Technology

"Whilst applauding the motives that lie behind the proposal for a European Institute of Technology (EIT), the Coimbra Group is concerned that the objectives for an EIT have not been clearly articulated, and that the processes that have so far been suggested are not designed to maximise the benefits that might flow from it, and might fundamentally undermine it."

GA2006-EIT Document

GA2006-Tartu Statement

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