CREST PLA reaches a successful end
The CREST (Comité de la Recherche Scientifique et Technique) Peer Learning Activity started in October 2009 with the aim of supporting the development of European higher education institutions by learning about each other’s research management and policy processes. How do you create attractive career conditions for young researchers? What does striving for research excellence actually mean and are there any risks and side-effects involved in this? Such questions represent a major challenge for Europe’s higher education institutions. The aim of the CREST PLAs is to help them cope with these challenges by exchanging examples of good practice and new ideas. The project was also a test run to see how the innovative presentation and discussion techniques involved in peer learning can be used effectively at a European level.
To achieve these goals, five different PLAs were organised in 2010 in five different countries, covering the following topics: research excellence, young researchers, new funding models, reform of institutional structures and research capacity building. Up to ten different countries have participated in the project, each country putting forward one governmental and one higher education representative who presented their own country’s individual strategies and measures to cope with the above-mentioned challenges. This paved the way for international exchange and promising ideas.
The detailed results and the recommendations from the CREST PLAs are given in the final report that was published in December 2010. It also contains the peer learning methods that have proved suitable.
The CREST PLA emerged from a working group dealing with the topic of “mutual learning on approaches to improve the excellence of research in universities“. The CREST committee, which has in the meantime become the European Research Area Committee (ERAC), advises the European Commission on research, development and technology policy matters. Working with the EU Commission, the CHE is involved in the entire process as facilitator and in relation to planning and organisational matters and the documentation of results. The final report as well as the reports of the five workshops can be downloaded from the Internet for free.