Applied sciences universities: a new player in EU research

There’s a new player in Horizon Europe: the universities of applied sciences, a broad term for second-tier higher education institutes such as polytechnics, regional colleges and institutes of technology that were set up as teaching-only bodies but which over time have moved into research, writes Goda Naujokaityt for Science|Business.

Given their roots, universities of applied sciences were historically left out of the European Union’s research programmes but are slowly improving their standing as EU-funded research becomes more policy-heavy and market-oriented. Now these institutions need a leg up to give it their best, according to University of Lugano researcher Marco Cavallaro, who has studied how policy-makers can best support them.

“We see that in most countries they are expected to do research and to internationalise, but they often lack capacities and resources to do so,” Cavallaro told Science|Business. Cavallaro’s recent analysis shows the institutions that do best in EU framework programmes are those that are most research focused. While this seems self-evident, it can be difficult for universities of applied sciences that have prioritised teaching to pivot, even given that the focus of teaching has shifted in recent years with universities of applied sciences putting more resources into research in order to give students a more adaptable skill set in an ever-more complex world.
Full report on the Science|Business site