The European Commission recently presented a new agenda for higher education reforms across Europe which follows the priorities set in the Europe 2020 strategy and the Youth on the Move flagship initiative. In line with these framework documents, the new “Modernisation Agenda” aims to increase the number of tertiary graduates, boost human capital building for economic growth, to make governance and funding more flexible, to further strengthen the knowledge triangle (education – research - business), as well as to improve quality and relevance of higher education. In the spirit of the predecessor document from 2006, the European Commission directly addresses not only the EU Member States, but also higher education institutions and recognises them as “crucial partners in delivering the European Union's strategy to drive forward and maintain growth”.
At the launch of the new strategy, the European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth, Androulla Vassiliou, further supported the “knowledge economy” rationale behind the initiative: "Higher education is a powerful driver of economic growth and opens doors to better living standards and opportunities for people. It is also the best insurance against unemployment. Even so, too many graduates struggle to find jobs or quality work. We need to reform higher education - and vocational education - so that we equip our young people with the skills they need to reach their potential in terms of development and employability."