Out of 54 applications received, 17 European Universities involving 114 higher education institutions from 24 Member States were selected, based on an evaluation carried out by 26 independent external experts, including rectors, professors and researchers.
European Universities are transnational alliances of higher education institutions from across the EU that share a long-term strategy and promote European values and identity. The initiative is designed to significantly strengthen mobility of students and staff, and foster the quality, inclusiveness and competitiveness of European higher education.
Tibor Navracsics, Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, said: "I am pleased to see the ambition of the first 17 European Universities, which will act as role models for others across the EU. They will enable the next generations of students to experience Europe by studying in different countries. I am convinced that this initiative, a key building block of the European Education Area, will be a real game changer for higher education in Europe, boosting excellence and inclusion.”
European Universities will become inter-university campuses around which students, doctoral candidates, staff and researchers can move seamlessly. They will pool their expertise, platforms and resources to deliver joint curricula or modules covering various disciplines. These curricula will be very flexible and will allow students to personalise their education, choosing what, where and when to study and get a European degree.
European Universities will also contribute to the sustainable economic development of the regions where they are located, as their students will work closely with companies, municipal authorities, academics and researchers to find solutions to the challenges their regions are facing.
This call – along with a second to be launched this autumn – will test different models for European Universities, and for developing their potential to transform higher education, before it is up scaled under the next Erasmus programme 2021-2027.