Universiteit Leiden

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‘Brussels: double the budget for research and education’

Ahead of the new Multi-Annual Financial Framework (MFF), the entire European academic world is calling upon Brussels to double the budget for education, research and innovation.

Doubling the budget to 160 billion euros would create 650,000 new jobs by 2040. The extra money would enable the EU to emerge as a global leader in such areas as the circular economy, infectious disease control and sustainable growth. In a joint statement, the 13 associations of universities in Europe also emphasise that a larger budget is needed to stimulate more resilient societies and reduce inequality given that the aim is not only to create jobs, but especially to find solutions to the major challenges facing our society and planet.

The current Horizon 2020 programme is successful, but it is actually underfunded, with less than 80 billion euros for 7 years. Only 1 out of 5 research proposals can be supported and student mobility, for example, is just 5%: far below the 20% target agreed in Bologna.

‘With substantial investment in education and research, we can ensure that European education and research will continue to be of the highest quality in the longer term,’ says Carol Stolker, Rector Magnificus of Leiden University. ‘It will enable us to work together with our European partners on fundamental research and innovative solutions to societal challenges. Knowledge is the driving force of our society and contributes to a world that is safe, healthy, sustainable, prosperous and fair. This really has to happen now. The world needs our research and education more than ever!’ At the European level, Leiden University is a member of LERU, an association of 23 renowned research universities.’

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