The Council adopted conclusions on this subject, primarily in response to a Commission communication from last September, which stressed the need for reforms in higher education in order to maximise the sector's potential, as well as its contribution to ensuring economic recovery and sustainable growth.

The conclusions also acknowledge that higher education - through its links with research and innovation - plays a crucial role in achieving the goals of the Europe 2020 strategy, which set an ambitious target specifically in this field, namely that "by 2020 the share of 30-34 year olds who have completed tertiary or equivalent education should be at least 40 %".

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