Ideas on Europe

Informed analysis, comment and debate

Monthly Archives: September 2013

Can regions shape university performance?

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During the last twenty years researchers and policymakers have focused their discourses on the important role that universities play in stimulating the development of regions under the umbrella concept of “knowledge economies”. Universities contribute to the region generating research and consultancy income, embedding knowledge in students and employees, upgrading regional business environments and potentially improving this process of regional value capture. This approach has emphasized the vision of Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) as active drivers of regional economic growth and innovation policy change.

Should UK leave EU to stop ‘Roma beggars’?

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Yes, Britain should end its EU membership to solve the problem of ‘Roma beggars’, according to prominent Tory Eurosceptic MP, Douglas Carswell, reported The Telegraph this weekend. The newspaper complained that, ‘more than 20 Roma beggars living rough in London’ were given tickets home funded by the taxpayer, but they ‘have already returned.’ Yes, six of […]

The UKIP class of ’09: Where are they now?

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The removal of Godfrey Bloom’s whip this week, in the wake of his comments to the annual conference, reminds me that the role of MEPs in UKIP has long been an unhappy one. In the party’s earlier days, it was the MEPs who held a lot of the financial and human resources, to the point that they constituted […]

Surprise, surprise

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Germany has voted. And – surprise, surprise – the voters have confirmed the first female Chancellor ever of their Republic for the second time. Surprising then that there was next to no mention of gender equality among the major topics of the election campaign. Not so surprising when one recalls that only last April the […]

The Science and Research Factor: Policy Deficit in Australia or a Failure to Articulate Impact?

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What does allocation of cabinet portfolios tells about the priorities of the government (and society)? An opportunity to reflect on the need for a science minister is provided by a new Australian government, where such portfolio does not exist.   This week a new Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott and his cabinet were sworn in […]

The closing space for pro-EU arguments

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A couple of pieces this week have brought me to consider how difficult the non-sceptic side of the EU debate has become in theUK. My rather awkward choice of ‘non-sceptic’ is used advisedly, following Jon Worth’s line about the pointlessness of being ‘pro-European’. As I have discussed before, there is no one euroscepticism, but rather […]

Comments please: How can social sciences and humanities be better integrated in research on ‘Societal Challenges’?

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In an earlier post, Thomas Koenig wrote about the upcoming Lithuanian EU Presidency conference ‘Horizons for Social Sciences and Humanities’, which reacts to the so-called ‘integrative approach’ the European Commission proposed in the preparation of the ‘Horizon 2020′ research funding programme; more precisely the third pillar known as the ‘societal challenges’. Seven such challenges have […]