Ms Mariya Gabriel delivers a keynote speech, via pre-recorded video-message, at the “EURASHE Annual Conference”

(Source: European Commission)

“Check against delivery”

Dear friends,

I cannot be there with you, but I couldn’t miss this chance to send a word of appreciation and support for the work you are doing at EURASHE.

Professional higher education is fundamental. You provide so many people with the skills they need to face the difficult challenges of their time. Skills that are specifically geared to help our community.

Research Universities get the limelight for making incredible discoveries. But you train problem-solvers, implementing these amazing things on the ground.

And problem-solvers is precisely what we need to recover from the pandemic. To be resilient, capable of tackling what is thrown at us.

Of course, you know that very well – you have dedicated this Annual Conference to that very topic.

For over two years, we have been trying to address these questions. And your institutions have been a key part of our response.

When the EU put together the Recovery and Resilience Facility, who was training the people that would drive those funds into concrete solutions for Europe? You were.

We have 60 billion euros dedicated to education and skills across the continent.

That’s a big investment. Because we know your institutions have the goods to multiply it. Because your students have the vigour to turn it into concrete solutions.

The vigour, and, of course, the values to channel that force for good. And these values are as important as ever. As Russia invaded Ukraine, your institutions were there to stand up for our principles. For peace. For freedom. For human dignity.

And I am happy to see how aligned you are with our own initiatives, especially with the European Strategy for Universities.

Relevant skills, inclusion, digitalisation and innovation: I could not have found better priorities myself.

From promoting living labs to making sure we have gender equality in all areas, especially STEM, there is a lot that we do that I can immediately see will benefit your work.

Of course, as I said, your institutions train problem-solvers. And so our work on innovation and entrepreneurship will support your institutions particularly well.

Every innovation hub, every initiative to boost an innovation ecosystem – they will connect directly to institutions like yours. They will make sure that the professionals you train find a community with open arms to put their skills to use.

So let me thank you for all that you do. This June we are organising the first ever Education and Innovation summit. I hope you will be there to represent the innovative, problem-solving power of professional schools.

This, during the European Year of Youth, is even more important. Because you represent the innovators of tomorrow.

Have a fruitful annual conference, and I hope you will continue your great work.

Thank you.

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