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What’s next for the European Universities Initiative?

As 41 European Universities are trialing their new ambitious partnerships, the European Commission is preparing for the roll-out of the European Universities Initiative (EUI) under the budgetary period 2021-2027.

For this purpose, the Commission is engaging in a series of consultations with various stakeholder groups, member states and the coordinators of the European Universities Alliances till the end of this year. The aim is to co-develop the EUI and to define its future direction in strong synergy with Horizon Europe and other EU instruments as well as with national support. This process runs in parallel with the Commission’s consultation on the Higher Education Transformation Agenda. Concrete plans for the EUI will be outlined in the Annual Work Programmes 2022 and a new call targeting both the existing and new European University alliances is to be launched end of the year.

ACA continues to support the EUI as well as a more broader Higher Education Transformation Agenda through sharing the expert advice and policy evidence offered by its members. The Association advised on EUI’s foundational principles such as inclusivity, diversity, openness and innovation in its dedicated position paper. On 19 March, ACA provided first insights regarding the future of the Initiative via the Commission’s Stakeholder Group meeting and will continue to share its members’ views on the impact and sustainability of European Universities via this group throughout the year.

These key topics are also explored by other stakeholders. In one of its recent analyses, the European Universities Association (EUA) looks at the evolving governance arrangements designed by European university alliances in the context of their three-year EUI projects. The report called “Evolving models of university governance: The governance models of the European University Alliances” examines the characteristics and challenges of those alliances and offers conclusions on the sustainability of their governance models.