On 3rd June 2021, the European Commission organised an on-line consultation meeting with representatives of the Knowledge Alliances to discuss the European Strategy for Universities, a new policy initiative that should be launched at the beginning of 2022. In the context of this consultation, the participants were also asked to respond to a brief survey before the event.
This report summarises the findings of this online survey, which consisted of 19 questions in total and was open for a four-week period between 29th April and 26th May 2021. The total number of replies obtained is 245 including representatives of HEIs or enterprises participating in the Knowledge Alliance or other participants.
|According to the replies received, 25% of Knowledge Alliances collaborate with other Knowledge Alliances. Of those that didn’t, 44% expressed the will to join forces in the future, something that can be further fostered under the new Alliances for Innovation in the new Erasmus+ 2021-2027.|
In the survey, participants were asked to address a set of challenge areas based on their importance to them against the background of their experience in the Knowledge Alliance, as well as on the difficulty of addressing them. Responses showed a strong linkage between the issues considered the most important as well as the most difficult to address, with sustainability, meeting the demands of the changing labour market, and promoting new forms of teaching and learning being considered the most important and most difficult to address by both HEIs and their business partners. Moreover, the respondents indicated, as both important challenges and difficult to address, guaranteeing staff and student well-being due to COVID-19, which was not included in the challenge areas.
Another important result is regarding the aspects that participants to the survey indicated as necessary to foster innovation in higher education and the entrepreneurial skills of students. Among them, innovation and entrepreneurship in higher education, supporting cooperation between higher education institutions and their surrounding communities followed by fostering innovative learning and teaching methods and mainstreaming entrepreneurship into all higher education programmes at all levels all figured highly.
In addition, from the analysis, only 7 % of respondents, both HEIs and businesses, are also HEInnovate users. HEInnovate could be a valid support for the self-assessment of the results of the KA projects. There is thus a potential for the increase of its usage.