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Parliamentary questions
31 May 2012
Answer given by Mrs Vassiliou on behalf of the Commission

One of the strengths of European higher education is its diversity. As stated in the Commission's Modernisation Agenda for Higher Education(1) Europe needs a wide diversity of higher education institutions and each must pursue excellence in line with its missions and strategic priorities. The main responsibility for achieving excellence rests with Member States and education institutions themselves. The Commission's role is to support higher education institutions, including by providing tools which enable them to assess their performance and more generally to support the Member States via the actions presented in the above Modernisation Agenda.

With regard to a possible favouring of private institutions, one of the main benefits of the new ranking system is the possibility to compare ‘like with like’. Public and private institutions must pursue excellence in terms of their own priorities; it is neither a Commission task nor a Commission goal to ensure that either public or private institutions reach the highest positions in the ranking, but rather that the performance of all should become more transparent.

The Commission agrees that is it important to ensure the quality, transparency and independence of the ranking system and to protect it from any private interest. That is why the ranking will be run by an independent body, overseen by an advisory board consisting of relevant stakeholders and the Commission to ensure this. First results will be published end 2013, via a project funded by the European Commission.

(1)COM(2011) 567 final.

OJ C 247 E, 28/08/2013
Last updated: 11 June 2012Legal notice