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The European Universities initiative towards a strong European identity

The European Universities initiative towards a strong European identity
10 February 2020

In November 2017, the European Commission proposed a vision for a European Education Area to be built by 2025. The European Universities Initiative constitutes the key pillar of the European education area. This initiative creates ambitious transnational alliances of higher education institutions enabling a new generation of Europeans to cooperate across languages, borders and disciplines. 

The vision combines a strengthened Erasmus+ programme, an ambitious framework for European policy cooperation in education and a better targeted use of European funds. It also contributes to the sustainable development of the places the institutions are located to face challenges and to find solutions. 

In October 2019, the European Commission launched the first call to higher education asking them to submit their proposals to start testing different models of European universities. In order to achieve this step, the Commission tested different cooperation models with two calls for proposals under Erasmus+ programme. 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 independent external experts, including rectors, professors and researchers, appointed by the Commission.

The European Universities initiative is funded by a budget up to €85 million. Each alliance will receive up to €5 million in the next three years to start implementing their plans and pave the way for other higher education institutions across the EU.

On 5th February 2020, the rectors of universities of Bilbao, Bochum, Cork, Istanbul, Liege, Oulu, Rotterdam and Zagreb signed a mission statement to boost mobility and inclusion for societal impact. This mission statement will contribute to many of the same societal challenges faced by post-industrial cities through Europe.

For the next long-term EU budget running from 2021-2027, the European Universities Initiative will be fully rolled out and scaled up under the Erasmus+ programme, with a significantly increased budget. While some alliances are comprehensive and cover all disciplines, others are, for example, focusing on urban coastal sustainability, social sciences or global health. 

If you wish to know more about the new Erasmus+ programme or have more information on the latest updates on European social and youth policies and initiatives in general, get in touch with us at: info@b2eu-consulting.com.

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