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Research and Higher Education in Europe: Opportunities and Challenges for Young Academics

First MWP-ACO Conference
San Domenico di Fiesole, May 24, 2007

The 7th Framework Programme of the EC, with its creation of the European Research Council, committed from its inception to support the research of young academics. Furthermore, new initiatives have emerged at the national and regional levels to retain, attract and support promising young scholars.

All these are encouraging signs for those embarking on an academic career in Europe. In fact, the new generation of scholars (those obtaining their Ph.Ds in the early 2000s) has the opportunity of replacing a relatively large generation of European scholars who will be entering retirement.

However, this opportunity could be lost, and the encouraging signs might turn into discouragement. In this respect, the main problem is that this new generation of scholars faces uncompetitive barriers (i.e. filters not based on excellence of research and teaching) in entering and advancing within the European Higher Education System. While in many European countries university reforms are underway, the final outcome - whether, for example, Europe will regain its intellectual leadership in the Social Sciences - is uncertain.

The first MWP-ACO conference on 'Research and Higher Education in Europe: Opportunities and Challenges for Young Academics' began to tackle and analyse these issues and problems from two perspective. One was to provide an overview of the available research funding opportunities in the Social Sciences and Humanities in Europe. The other was to do a comparison of different European Higher Education systems.

Page last updated on 18 August 2017

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