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The LOTUS project aims to contribute to capacity building and strategic change management for learning and teaching at higher education institutions across Europe. The project also aims to discuss and demonstrate the potential of various actors (ministries, university associations, student and staff unions, etc.) to support transformation and innovation in learning and teaching.

LOTUS is led by EUA in partnership with a diverse consortium of higher education institutions, national rectors’ conferences, education ministries and organisations actively involved in learning and teaching across Europe.

LOTUS is co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Commission, as an initiative to support the implementation of European Higher Education Area (EHEA) reforms. LOTUS will run until November 2022.

For further information, please contact


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Available now: Leadership and Organisation for Teaching and Learning at European Universities - Final report from the LOTUS project. This publication summarises the main outcomes and lessons learnt from the LOTUS project. The publication is complemented by the following appendices: 

Appendix 1: Leadership and change management in higher education. A Working Paper for developing the LOTUS methodology, by O. Vettori

Appendix 2: Implementation Plan template of the LOTUS Leadership Development Programme

LOTUS builds on the results of and follows up the EU-funded EFFECT project, and in particular the 10 European Principles for the Enhancement of Learning and Teaching, devised as a framework to support the development of institutional strategies in learning and teaching. LOTUS aims to carry this work forward and focus on advancing implementation of such institutional strategies through a participatory approach that involves leadership, staff and students across the institution.

LOTUS also addresses the need to enhance cooperation in learning and teaching across the European Higher Education Area, as underlined in the Bologna Process (see the 2020 Rome Communiqué and annexed Recommendations to National Authorities for the Enhancement of Learning and Teaching) and several European level studies on developments in learning and teaching (such as “The changing pedagogical landscape” and “Trends 2018: Learning and Teaching in the European Higher Education Area”).

Foster higher education institutions’ capacity to develop and implement structured and systematic approaches to enhance learning and teaching.

The project carried out a Leadership Development Programme to address processes and conditions at higher education institutions to implement learning and teaching strategies. A total of 54 higher education institutions benefited from this Leadership Development Programme, while supporting each other through a peer-learning and problem-solving approach. The Leadership Development Programme addressed the key challenges and priorities in learning and teaching that institutions face, such as student-centred learning, digitalisation, teachers’ professional development, institutional organisation, and sought ways to build them into an overarching institutional framework and with a focus on leadership in teaching.

Explore how learning and teaching can be best supported by national and European policies

The project explored how different stakeholder groups in learning and teaching can support institutional developments, facilitate interinstitutional exchange and collaboration, and contribute to national and European policy development. A series of policy dialogue workshops and meetings were organised – fed with findings from a study on national initiatives in learning and teaching across the EHEA, and lessons learnt from the Leadership Development Programme.

Provide a set of recommendations for supporting learning and teaching development through inter-institutional cooperation, at regional, national and European levels

Building upon the results from the participating higher education institutions under the Leadership Development Programme and from the policy dialogues, LOTUS proposed recommendations on key challenges in learning and teaching at European higher education institutions, and leadership approaches to them.


Preparation of the Leadership Development Programme

(September 2020-December 2020)

  • Desk research and literature review
  • Content preparation for the Leadership Development Programme

Leadership Development Programme

(September 2020-June 2022)

  • Two rounds of a one-year Leadership Development Programme, benefiting a total of 40-60 higher education institutions
    • Round 1 (28 HEIs) from February to October 2021
    • Round 2 (26 HEIs) from October 2021 to June 2022
    • Primary target: Vice-rectors for learning and teaching, who will involve a team with different profiles and key roles in strategy implementation (students, teachers, administrators)
    • Under each round, institutions have been grouped in small leadership working groups
    • Each round starts with an induction workshop, and finishes its work with a debriefing workshop
    • Self-learning modules on specific topics proposed to LDP participants

Policy Dialogue

(December 2020-June 2022)

  • A series of policy dialogue events and workshops:
    • Target groups: representatives from ministries, national rectors’ conferences, higher education institutions, staff and student unions, university networks, and other organisations and institutions of relevance for learning and teaching
    • Purpose: to discuss how, at the European level, different types of actors can contribute to learning and teaching development
  • 1-15 September 2021: Webinar series open to public organised by the Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture aiming to start the policy dialogue strand of the project.
    • Webinar 1: Leading transformational change, 1 September
    • Webinar 2: Future-proof higher education, 8 September
    • Webinar 3: Re-valuing higher education teaching, 15 September
  • 25-26 October 2021: European Policy Dialogue on Supporting the enhancement of learning and teaching (online): Please see here the summary outcomes of the Policy Dialogues event.
  • 17-18 February 2022: Second policy dialogue - Learning and teaching in the Bologna Process: the state of play.
    The event, organised as a lunchtime session at the European Learning and Teaching Forum 2022, focused on how the Bologna Process addresses learning and teaching. The co-chairs of the Working Group (WG) on Learning and Teaching of the Bologna Follow-up Group gave an update on the policy work done so far, shared their insights on learning and teaching under the Bologna Process, and opened a dialogue with the audience.


(September 2020- November 2022)


Leadership and Organisation for Teaching and Learning at European Universities - Final report from the LOTUS project

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