The Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) organized, in partnership with the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research of Egypt, a regional meeting on higher education cooperation on 1 December in Cairo. Building on inputs received through prior consultation, the purpose of the meeting was to initiate reflection on a renewed strategic agenda for higher education regional cooperation in the Mediterranean. It has gathered representatives from Ministries for Higher Education and Research, regional networks of universities and of students, higher education institutions and research centers.
The discussion stressed the need to consolidate comprehensive data on higher education across the UfM region – including but not only on the internationalisation dimension of higher education, and to undertake a mapping exercise of resources and opportunities available at national and regional level. This information should be made easily accessible to policy makers and international relations offices.
South-South cooperation emerged as a major issue of interest to participants for further coordinated actions. They notably recommended concrete improvements in the recognition of higher education qualifications at regional level as well as to study the creation of a regional mechanism for accreditation.
Participants also discussed the strategic importance for Southern Mediterranean universities to rapidly connect to the first university alliances selected by the European Commission under the recently launched European Universities Initiative.