CANCELLED - Seminar: University autonomy in Belgium: results of the EUA Autonomy Scorecard

26 May 2023 10h30

University Foundation, Egmontstraat 11, 1000 Brussels


University governance and the relationship between the state and higher education institutions are issues that have generated a renewed and intense debate and reflection over the past decade. Institutional autonomy is widely considered an important prerequisite for modern universities to develop institutional profiles and deliver efficiently on their missions.

Discussions around university governance and autonomy have emerged across Europe in different contexts as a response to new diverse challenges. As a result, it has become imperative to develop a conceptual framework of reference to address such an important topic and meet the increasing demand for comparability and benchmarking across borders.

The EUA Autonomy Scorecard, which was first launched in 2011, offers a methodology to collect, compare and weight data on university autonomy. A core set of autonomy indicators was developed to offer an institutional perspective on institutional freedom.

In this seminar, which is co-organised by the VLIR and the CRef, we will have a look at the state of university autonomy in both Flanders and Wallonia-Brussels Federation. The authors of the EUA Autonomy Scorecard will introduce their methods and findings, followed by an Q&A.


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10h: Registration and coffee

10h30: Welcome
by Koen Verlaeckt, Secretary General, Flemish Interuniversity Council

10h40: Presentation of the EU Autonomy Scorecard, with a focus on University Autonomy in Flanders and Wallonia-Brussels Federation
by Thomas Estermann and Enora Bennetot Pruvot, European University Association

11h40: Q&A

12h20: Closing remarks
by Sophie Dufays, Chargée de mission pour le Conseil des recteurs


Thomas Estermann is Director for Governance, Funding and Public Policy Development with responsibilities for EUA’s work aimed at strengthening universities’ autonomy, governance, management and their financial sustainability.

Before joining EUA in 2007, Thomas Estermann was Deputy Head of Strategic Development and Deputy University Director at the University of Music and Performing Arts, Vienna, a member of the universities’ senate and involved in several reforms in higher education in Austria. Before entering the University in 1997, he pursued a career as a lawyer.

Thomas is member of several European and national committees, expert groups, editorial boards, advisory groups and contributes on a regular basis to higher education management programmes and national higher education reform processes. He has published on the topic of university funding, governance and management.

He holds a Master’s degree in law from the University of Vienna.

As Deputy Director, Enora Bennetot Pruvot is responsible for implementing EUA policy on university funding and governance. Her work particularly focuses on financial sustainability and funding models for higher education and research, institutional autonomy, mergers as well as EU funding programmes. She is responsible for the organisation of the EUA Funding Forum and for the Public Funding Observatory, which monitors the evolution of public funding to higher education institutions throughout Europe.

Before joining EUA in 2008, Enora gained experience in the field of European research and development policy. Enora holds master’s degrees in Political Science and European Public Affairs, and in European Political and Administrative Studies from the College of Europe in Bruges, Belgium.

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