HRK Vice-President Burckhart elected to the Board of the European University Association

16. April 2015

The new members of the EUA-Board ((Burckhart (right), Tarrach (third from right), Photo: EUA))

Tackling international challenges with ideas and perspectives

Professor Dr. Holger Burckhart, Vice President of the German Rectors' Conference (HRK) for teaching and learning and Rector of the University of Siegen, was elected today in Antwerp to the Board of the European University Association (EUA). The EUA represents the interests of universities at a European level. It currently has 850 member institutions – universities and Rectors' Associations – from 47 countries. The Board is responsible for drawing up and implementing the EUA's strategy and planning its activities.

In his new role, Holger Burckhart intends to urge that the goals of the European Study Reform continue to be promoted. They include, first and foremost, greater international mobility of students and researchers, a more generous approach to recognising students' performance and a change of attitude towards an academic culture of teaching and learning. "Teaching and doctoral training have to be research-led; there is a tendency to take a less stringent approach which we have to stop. Graduates need to be more than just employable; the top priority has to remain the academic qualification," said Burckhart. Universities also need to take a stronger stance on inclusion, a responsibility that cuts across the whole of society: "Heterogeneity and Diversity should be regarded as opportunities for universities and be accorded greater importance."

The German Rectors' Conference has been a member of the EUA since the foundation of the EUA in 2001. Through the EUA and discussions with its partner universities in the EUA, the HRK influences the development of the Bologna Process (reform of the higher education system in Europe) and the future structure of the European Research Area (ERA). The European political landscape is steadily increasing in importance.

Holger Burckhart has been Rector of the University of Siegen since 2009 and a member of the HRK Executive Board since 2012.

The General Assembly of the EUA elected a total of five new members from ten candidates to serve on its Board for a period of four years (2015 to 2019).

Professor Dr. Rolf Tarrach, the founding rector of the University of Luxembourg, was elected as the new President of the EUA.