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This year, the Coimbra Group celebrates its 25th anniversary. The network unites 38 ‘traditional’ universities from all over the European Union and the European Free Trade Association, such as Oxford, Cambridge, Heidelberg, Uppsala and Leuven. Founded at a time when the first major EU higher education collaboration schemes were launched (Erasmus, Comett), the Coimbra Group has ever since helped shape the evolution of academic cooperation in Europet. Originally focused on intra-European collaboration and relations with Latin America, the network’s outlook today is global.
All of 2010 will be marked by the birthday. The celebrations started in Leuven on February 1, when 18 rectors and mayors met for a seminar on the “impact of the university on regional economic development and the evolution of the knowledge economy”, with former European Commissioner for Regional Policy Danuta Hübner as one keynote speaker. They will continue with the Annual Conference of the consortium, to be held at the at the Alexandru Ioan Cuza University in Romania in June, devoted to the theme “research and values”.
The Coimbra Group has been a tireless motor of mobility and internationalisation in Europe ever since its creation. It is one of those pioneers without whose work academic cooperation on our continent would not be half as dense as it is. We congratulate the Chairman of the network, Guido Langouche, and the association’s secretariat under Director Inge Knudsen, on their fine achievements and look forward to the next 25 years.