On 26th of June, The European Commission announced the higher education institutions from all over Europe that are part of the first ‘European Universities’ alliances. Through these institutions, European higher education will be impoved in terms of quality, attractiveness and will increase the cooperation between institutions, students and academic staff.
Among the 54 received applications, 17 were selected to create the so-called ‘European Universities’, involving 114 higher education institutions from 24 Member States. The selection was based on an evaluation of 26 independent external experts, including rectors, professors and researchers appointed by the Commission.
Tibor Navracsics, Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport said: ‘I am pleased to see the aspiration of the first 17 'European Universities', as these universities will act as role models for other institutions across the EU. These universities allow students to continue their studies in several countries, so that they can gain experience across Europe. I am convinced that this initiative, which is a key building block of the European education area, will bring a real change for higher education in Europe and will encourage excellence and inclusion.’
‘European Universities’ will be inter-university campuses, which students, doctoral students, workers and researchers can move smoothly within and combine their expertise, platforms and resources to develop common curricula or modules covering different educational areas. These curricula will be very flexible and will allow students to personalize their studies, choose where and when to continue their studies, and finally obtain an EU accredited degree. European universities will also contribute to the sustainable economic development of the regions in which they are located in, as students will work closely with companies, municipal authorities, academics and researchers to address the challenges facing the regions.
A total of EUR 85 million is at disposal for the establishment of the first 17 ‘European Universities’. Over the next three years, each institution will receive a maximum of € 5 million in funding to implement its plans and prepare the ground for other European educational institutions. The Commission will closely monitor the results achieved by the institutions.
This call – along with a second to be launched this autumn, will test the different models for implementing the new concept of ‘European Universities’ and the extent to which this new concept is suitable for transforming higher education.
The concept of "European Universities" was developed jointly by the Member States, higher education institutions and student organizations. With the participation of more than 300 higher education institutions from 28 Member States and other countries covered by the Erasmus + program, a total of 54 applications have been received for the Erasmus + Call for European Universities in October 2018.