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European Universities Initiative: applications from 54 alliances for the first pilot call

The number of applications received for the first pilot call under the European Universities Initiative (EUI) has been announced by Commissioner Tibor Navracsics, who praised the overwhelming interest in the initiative that demonstrates, in his view, the will of higher education institutions (HEIs) in Europe to “cooperate further across borders, sectors and academic disciplines and in different languages”. In total, 54 alliances, bringing together more than 300 HEIs from 31 European countries, including from all EU member states, presented their applications to become one of the min. 20 European Universities by 2024, in the context of the European Education Area.

Among the alliances aspiring to this status are: the 4EU+ Alliance – including Charles, Heidelberg and Sorbonne Universities, and the Universities of Copenhagen, Milan and Warsaw; the European Campus of City-Universities (EC2U) – comprising the Romanian University of Alexandru Ioan Cuza, the Italian University of Pavia, the Spanish University of Salamanca, the Portuguese University of Coimbra and the Finnish University of Turku; the U4Society network – composed of the Universities of Göttingen, Ghent, Groningen and Tartu; the Charm-EU – which includes the University of Barcelona, Trinity College Dublin, Utrecht University, the University of Montpellier and Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest; and the European Consortium of Innovative Universities (ECIU), to name just few.

The project applications will be assessed by three experts and the results will be announced by mid-July. The second call of proposals will be launched in October 2019 while the first 12 European Universities will start working between September and November 2019.

The initiative has already received an enthusiastic support by key actors and stakeholders. For example, on 18 December 2018 the European Commission organised an informative session on the EUI and the related application process which was attended by more than 1 300 participants both in person and livestream. In February, Commissioner Navracsics announced that an additional EUR 30 million would be allocated to this first pilot, thus reaching a total budget of EUR 60 million, within the Erasmus+ programme.

ACA has constantly monitored the initiative since its launch in 2017, by stimulating discussions and debates on the topic during two European Policy Seminars – What’s new in Brussels? (see ACA Newsletter – Education Europe, February 2018 and February 2019); by producing a position paper and by reporting on relevant developments in various editions of the ACA Newsletter (see for instance November 2017 and May 2018). ACA will continue to closely monitor, contribute with ideas in support of this initiative.

More information here.