Issues, Models and Cases
Edited by Carmelo Mazza, Paolo Quattrone and Angelo Riccaboni
Foreword: University reform – a prerequisite for success of knowledge-based economy?
Foreword. University reform – a prerequisite for success of knowledge-based economy? Kari Raivio The European Union (EU) set in Lisbon in 2000 the goal of being the leading knowledge-based economy in the world by 2010. To achieve that goal, at least 3 per cent of GDP would be invested in research and development (R&D) (European Parliament, 2000). In an interim evaluation (Kok, 2004) the conclusions were dismal: the European economy is falling behind compared to the USA and Asia, and the 3 per cent R&D investment target is being met only in Sweden and Finland. Enlargement is making matters more diﬃcult, since the EU-25 is performing worse than the EU-15. Despite disappointing progress, European heads of state decided to stick to the Lisbon target but without a time limit for its attainment. Growth and jobs became the new slogan, and speciﬁc measures to resuscitate the Lisbon process were agreed upon (European Commission, 2006), including increased R&D spending, tax stimuli to promote innovation, and public procurement to open lead markets. An essential task was seen in the reform of universities. Their funding should be improved, bureaucratic meddling in their activities abandoned, and their relations with industry fostered. The Commission was mandated to draft plans for modernization of European universities (Commission of the European Communities, 2006). Great expectations are thus placed upon universities by the EU and national governments. Why this sudden attention? Are European universities really underperforming and if so, why? Are they to be blamed for...