Sunday, July 21, 2024

New funding for additional European Universities alliances will boost cooperation in higher education

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The Commission announced the results of the 2024 Erasmus+ call for the European Universities initiative, which provides support to alliances of higher education institutions. With today’s results, 14 new European Universities alliances are joining the 50 previously selected alliances and will receive up to €14.4 million each over a period of four years.

These 64 European Universities alliances encompass more than 560 higher education institutions of all types, across all regions of Europe.

The results mark an important milestone, achieving the European strategy for universities’ goal to have at least 60 European Universities alliances with more than 500 universities involved by mid-2024.

The European Universities alliances bring together a new generation of Europeans and allow them to study and work in different European countries, in different languages, and across sectors and academic disciplines. Students can obtain a high-level degree by combining studies in several European countries, contributing to the international attractiveness and competitiveness of Europe’s higher education. These alliances also bring innovation to Europe’s regions by allowing students to work together with academics, researchers, enterprises, cities, authorities, and civil society organisations.

The 64 alliances span 35 countries, including all EU Member States, as well as Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Iceland, Montenegro, the Republic of North-Macedonia, Norway, Serbia, and Türkiye. They are solidly anchored in communities and innovation networks, bringing together almost 2200 associated partners ranging from non-governmental organisations to enterprises, cities, local and regional authorities, and higher education institutions from the Bologna Process countries. For example, almost 40 higher education institutions from Ukraine are associated partners.

The 2024 Erasmus+ call for proposals also supports the set-up of a Community of Practice for European Universities, reinforcing peer learning between the alliances and boosting dissemination of reusable results and models within the wider higher education sector.

The 14 new alliances of European Universities and the Community of Practice for European Universities will start their activities in autumn this year.

The Commission will continue supporting the European Universities alliances and any other type of partnership between higher education institutions to deliver joint degree programmes more easily, as also outlined in the blueprint for a European degree presented in March 2024.

Background

The European Universities initiative supports transnational alliances of, on average, nine higher education institutions that can include different types of establishments, such as comprehensive and research universities, universities of applied sciences, institutes of technology, schools of arts and higher vocational education and training institutions. These higher education institutions develop a long-term structural, sustainable, and systemic cooperation on education, in synergy with research and innovation, across borders, and contribute to solving societal challenges. They offer curricula jointly delivered across inter-university campuses, on which students, staff, and researchers from all parts of Europe can enjoy seamless mobility.

The Commission proposed the European Universities initiative to EU leaders ahead of the Gothenburg Social Summit in November 2017, as part of an overall vision for the creation of a European Education Area by 2025. Presented in 2022, the European strategy for universities sets out the ambition to support at least 60 European Universities alliances involving more than 500 higher education institutions by mid-2024. For this, a record €1.1 billion under Erasmus+ is foreseen during the current programming period 2021-2027. Support for the research dimension of European Universities alliances can be sought under the European Excellence initiative under Horizon Europe.

The 2024 Erasmus+ European Universities call was structured around two strands. It offered support to the creation of new European Universities alliances across Europe, gathering diverse higher education institutions around common strategic visions, as well as the creation of a Community of Practice for European Universities alliances.

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