The 35 German universities and higher education institutions that are represented in existing European University Alliances published a joint statement on the full roll-out of the European Universities Initiative (EUI).
The signatories strongly support the principles and values reflected by the EUI and the positive transformation processes towards long-term, intensive cross-institutional partnerships it facilitates. For the full roll-out of the EUI, they equally see the need to address several issues related to diversity, a holistic approach, evaluation, communication and timeline, as well as sustainability and resources.
- In order to maintain and further promote the diversity, which is one of the alliances core strengths, the EUI must allow for gradual enlargement or other forms of cooperation than full partnerships, e.g., between universities inside and outside the alliances.
- The EUI should be open to excellent higher education institutions from partner countries, regardless of type and size, especially from EU’s closest partners in Switzerland, the United Kingdom and Israel.
- Pursuing a holistic approach, the Commission’s Directorates-General for Education, Youth, Sport, and Culture, and for Research and Innovation should work together to align vision, scope and timing and merge funding schemes such as Erasmus+, Horizon Europe as well as innovation, talent and mobility programmes.
- It is important to evaluate the European University Alliances according to criteria that are both quantitative and qualitative.
- Transparent and timely communication on the key evaluation modalities and criteria of the Erasmus+ and Horizon Europe calls 2022 and 2023 are key to prepare for the full roll-out.
- Institutional funding, ideally offered from only one perhaps newly created EU source or programme, and structures and procedures is key to facilitate the transition from projects to sustainable organisations.
These points strongly echo ACA’s joint statement on the full roll-out of the European Universities Initiative published earlier this summer (see ACA Newsletter – Education in Europe, July 2021).