01 April 2011 | Position

Working together towards financial sustainability for European universities

Despite the tremendous diversity that exists in Europe, all universities face the challenge of sustainable funding more acutely than ever. Unprecedented massification has enormously benefited European society but is also one reason for rising costs for the sector. There is also growing awareness of the increasing costs of research. These, amongst many other factors, are driving the search for new sources of income and efficiencies to sustain the funding base.


Furthermore, the economic crisis continues to have an impact on higher education in Europe. Reduced investment capacities have triggered significant cuts in universities’ teaching and research budgets in many cases. Governments are also progressively rethinking the size and shape of higher education systems and calling into question the efficiency and sustainability of current funding models.

Universities, however, need to be able to keep investing in their future academic and research activities to continue to fulfil their role in society. Financial sustainability is crucial and conditional on reliable, sufficient public funding, and adequate autonomy to be able to explore additional funding options.

The purpose of this EUA position is to underline the key factors that constitute and contribute to promoting financial sustainability for Europe’s universities.

Credits: Frank Brüderli
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