European Universities Initiative

The aim behind this initiative is to bring together a new generation of creative Europeans, who are able to cooperate across languages, borders and disciplines to address the big societal challenges and skills shortages that Europe faces.

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The education landscape across Europe is changing. At the 2017 Gothenburg Summit, EU leaders outlined a vision for education and culture. In its December 2017 Conclusions, the European Council called on Member States, the Council and the Commission to take forward a number of initiatives, including:

'…strengthening strategic partnerships across the EU between higher education institutions and encouraging the emergence by 2024 of some twenty 'European Universities', consisting in bottom-up networks of universities across the EU which will enable students to obtain a degree by combining studies in several EU countries and contribute to the international competitiveness of European universities'.

Co-developed by higher education institutions, student organisations, Member States and the Commission, the European Universities Initiative responds to this call. Today, it is one of the flagship initiatives of the EU’s ambitions to build a European Education Area.

What is a European University?

These transnational alliances will be the European universities of the future, promoting European values and identity, and revolutionising the quality and competitiveness of European higher education. In order to achieve this quantum leap, the European Commission has launched a new call to test different cooperation models based on the following principles:

  • An alliance of chosen partners from all types of higher education institution covering a broad European geographic scope;
  • With a co-envisioned long-term strategy focussed on sustainability, excellence and European values;
  • Offering student-centred curricula jointly delivered across an inter-university campus, where a diverse student body can build their own programmes and experience mobility at all study levels;
  • Taking a challenge-based approach where students, academics and external partners can cooperate in cross-disciplinary teams to tackle the biggest issues facing Europe today.

Applications

For the 2019 call, thirty million euros of European funding is available to six experimental models to test the concept and its transformative potential. Applications are now open through the 2019 Erasmus+ call.

More information on how to apply can be found on the Education, Audiovisual and Cultural Executive Agency (EACEA) website.