Lack of Autonomy Seen for European Universities
Many European universities lack the autonomy they need to excel, according to a new report by the European Universities Association. The report notes that most governments voice support for autonomy (and cut back on the share of budgets they provide), but said that, in many cases, too much government oversight remains. Financial management is a key area where government controls remain, the report says. "The main issues mentioned were related to the low levels of public funding, short funding contracts which made planning difficult, line-item budgets and a lack of independent financial capacity, such as lack of ownership of university buildings or limitations on universities’ employment policies," the study says. In addition, it says that "reporting procedures were also perceived to be heavy and cumbersome, and, in a number of cases, irrelevant." The report also bemoans "a lack of ability to determine the level of tuition fees or to decide on their introduction."