Empower European Universities (EEU) was a NGO based in Maastricht (the Netherlands) that undertook research aiming at assessing the state of higher education policies in Europe. The organization was established in 2010 as a Foundation under Dutch law and terminated in 2015.
Its activities revolved around a Manifesto signed by former ministers for education and higher education experts in Brussels in June 2010. The Manifesto received wide attention. Many individuals joined the thrust of the Manifesto. This was done by creating an Empowerment Forum for all those interested in commenting on drafts of EEU publications.
The foundation was directed by a board of four member: Jo Ritzen (chair and founder), Tessa Blackstone (secretary), Bálint Magyar (treasurer), and Eduardo Grilo. Its staff consisted of a few experienced researchers (Cecile Hoareau, Gabriele Marconi, and Simone Sasso) and by a number of part-time student assistants. Furthermore, EEU could count on a network of about 30 national experts on higher education (typically one for each country covered by the assessment) collaborating as volunteers to assess their country’s progress in Higher Education.
The structure of the EEU operated as follows:
- The Board initiated and coordinated;
- Correspondents for each EU country assessed their country’s progress in Higher Education;
- Signatories/partners were closely involved in conceiving publications;
- The Empowerment Forum was used for discussion on draft publications.
EEU produced two assessments of the state of European Higher Education policies (in 2012 and in 2014), as well as other conference reports and briefs (available in the section Publications). The research was based on a combination of quantitative analysis of available data with qualitative information and feedbacks provided by its network of national experts on higher education.
EEU received financial support from the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO), the Educational Testing Service (ETS), and was based at UNU-MERIT, Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology, where both the Chair and Project leader hold appointments.