Aristote was asking what the purpose of education was. He gave the following answer: education has to produce learned men, education has to be done in virtue and finally, education has to satisfy the material needs of society. Centuries after this Aristote's definition, there is no doubt that education has still a key role in modern societies. Since the mid 50's, representatives of the universities of fifteen European countries have begun to met together in a way to exchange their ideas and experiences. In 1964 they created the European Conference of Rectors. Today more than twenty-seven European countries have joined it. This conference aims at the reconstitution of the history of universities in Europe. Therefore, one could not deny the fact that Higher Education in Europe has a history before the creation of Europe as a political entity.
[...] Of course, there are many points related to that “relationships” and we have chosen only several ones which seem to be a good drawing of the fact that Higher Education in Europe could be seen as an Institution. Higher Education and The European Community are linked even if the European Community does not have a higher education policy of its own. Since the Treaty of Maastricht in 1992, the principle for education is based on subsidiary. The idea is to set goals but to let flexibility for how to reach the goal. [...]
[...] Education is considered as an EU policy area. As mentioned below The Treaty of the European Union is the first European text which has evoked Higher Education. Community actions should be aimed at developing the European dimension in Education, encouraging the mobility of students and teachers and promoting cooperation. During the 80's, the European Commission developed different projects. The European Community Action Scheme for the Mobility of University Students (Erasmus) belongs to theses projects. In 1995 the Socrate Program was established to encourage innovation. [...]
[...] Les orientations de plusieurs réformes de l'enseignement supérieur entreprises depuis lors en Europe témoignent de la volonté d'agir de nombreux gouvernements. Les établissements d'enseignement supérieur en Europe ont, pour leur part, relevé le défi en jouant un rôle clé dans la construction de l'espace européen de l'enseignement supérieur, suivant aussi les principes fondamentaux énoncés en 1988 dans la Magna Charta Universitatum. Ce point est d'une importance capitale, puisque l'indépendance et l'autonomie des universités sont garantes des capacités des systèmes d'enseignement supérieur et de recherche de s'adapter en permanence à l'évolution des besoins, aux attentes de la société et aux progrès des connaissances scientifiques. [...]
[...] The second one designs the fact that even if a consumer does not pay, it is impossible to exclude him from the consumption of the public good. But this concept of public good has evolved since the past fifty years. The new tendency to recognize public goods as social constructs but also as products with a global dimension stresses the analogy between a public good and Higher Education. Another point related to Higher Education and Economics is the process of internationalization of Higher Education. This international dimension of Higher Education in Europe is still in development but a shift is currently observed. [...]
[...] A studium generale an institution of higher education founded on, or at any rate, confirmed in its status by, an authority of a universal nature, such as the pope or (less frequently) the emperor, whose members enjoyed a certain numbers of rights, likewise universal in their application, which transcended all local divisions”. Nevertheless, this notion of studim generale is nowadays seen as not enough precise to qualify the European universities of that time. Medieval universities were organized communities. A university was a group in which everybody was free to join. [...]
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