Out of a pool of around 180 international experts, Attila Pausits was elected to the advisory body for "Quality Investment in Education and Training ", established by EU Commissioner Marija Gabriel on 4 May 2021. Based in the Directorate-General for Education, Youth, Sport and Culture, the group is expected to contribute to evidence-based policymaking on issues including inclusion, spending efficiency and evaluation.
Although EU member states have the overall authority for education and training, the EU aims to support and complement national efforts in this area. The EU sees broad access to high-quality education and training as a way to promote economic growth and social cohesion, stimulate research and innovation, and offer citizens opportunities for development. One of the EU Commission's goals is to create a European education area in which school and university degrees are recognized throughout the EU, and study periods spent abroad and language acquisition are promoted. Furthermore, it is intended to raise awareness of a European identity and the cultural heritage of Europe. For these purposes, the European Union will provide more funds for education and training in the next seven years than ever before.
A broad range of topics
The expert group, staffed by private and public sector luminaries from across Europe, will help national authorities make the best use of available resources. It will also contribute to evidence-based policymaking by producing a guide for member states with solid evidence on the impacts, costs and challenges of implementing key policies. The first meeting of the expert group has already shared views and perspectives on three main areas that account for the largest share of education spending and can have a significant impact on learning outcomes. One focus is on teachers and educators, as they are key drivers of innovation, inclusion, and transformative educational experiences. To address the pressing challenges of the 21st century, attention is also focused on the management of educational infrastructure and related material and human resources. This includes access to broadband internet and information technology infrastructure, as well as the transition to green, sustainable technologies. This leads to the third focus, digital education, which is used to guide young people into Europe's digital age.
In accordance with § 98 UG2002, Prof Attila Pausits was appointed University Professor for Higher Education Research and Development as of 1 October 2020 and is Head of the Department for Higher Education Research at the Faculty of Education, Arts and Architecture. He is chairman of the board of the European Higher Education Society (EAIR), co-founder and spokesperson of the Austrian Network for Higher Education Research, and board member of AUCEN (Austrian University Continuing Education Network). In addition, Pausits serves as scientific director and coordinator of the Erasmus Mundus Master Program "Research and Innovation in Higher Education, MSc (MARIHE)". Currently, the researcher in education is among other things involved in the Erasmus+ project "Steering Higher Education for Community Engagement" (SHEFCE), the project "Academic Profession in the Knowledge Society" (APIKS) and a project on Distance Learning at Austrian universities.
The University of Continuing Education Krems holds higher education research high on its agenda, which is also reflected in the organization of the 3rd Conference of the Higher Education Research Network on the topic "Uncertainty in Higher Education: Higher Education in a World Characterized by Volatility". The conference addresses uncertainties at the macro, meso and micro levels and is planned as a hybrid event for 18 and 19 October 2021.