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newsErasmus+: 44 European Universities to cooperate across borders and disciplines

Today, the Commission has announced the results of the 2022 call for the European Universities initiative: with a record budget of €272 million from Erasmus+, 16 existing European Universities will continue to receive support, and four new alliances will be able to start their cooperation. Together with the 24 alliances selected in 2020, a total of 44 European Universities now involve 340 higher education institutions in capital cities and remote regions of 31 countries. European Universities are alliances of higher education institutions from across Europe that cooperate on education, research and innovation for the benefit of students, educators and society. 

Vice-President Margaritis Schinas said: “If you look at Europe's higher education institutions individually, you will see that each one of them is a centre of knowledge and innovation in its own right. By linking them and creating transnational alliances, we allow them to become European Champions of knowledge; to grow even further through cooperation on education, research and innovation. I am convinced that together, the European Universities will bring higher education in Europe to a new level. I warmly congratulate all successful applicants.”

Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth said: “Today brings us closer to achieving our vision for the higher education sector in Europe: campuses that span between universities and cross borders and disciplines, where students, staff and researchers from all parts of Europe can enjoy seamless mobility, and create new knowledge together. I am proud that we are able to provide higher and more long-term funding for the alliances with the Erasmus+ programme, and also that we have ensured an inclusive approach, giving opportunities to higher education institutions to join existing alliances or to form new ones.”

Each alliance receives a budget of up to €14.4 million from the Erasmus+ programme for four years. This represents a strong increase compared to the maximum of €5 million for three years under previous Erasmus+ calls.

The 2022 Erasmus+ European Universities call was structured around two topics: on one side, it offered to provide sustainable funding for already existing successful alliances of higher education institutions to pursue their long-term vision. The successful 16 alliances have expanded to about 30 new higher education institutions. On the other side, the call supported the creation of new European Universities across Europe, gathering diverse higher education institutions around common strategic visions.

Together with the 24 alliances selected in 2020, a total of 44 European Universities now involve 340 higher education institutions in capital cities and remote regions of 31 countries, including all EU Member States and Iceland, Norway, Serbia, and Turkey. A novelty under the 2022 Erasmus+ call is that the alliances can now accept associated partners from Bologna Process countries, including for example from Ukraine, the United Kingdom and Switzerland. By furthermore partnering with around 1300 associated partners ranging from NGO's, enterprises, cities and local or regional authorities, the European Universities are able to substantially increase the quality and scope of tertiary education.

In the fall 2022, the Commission will launch the next Erasmus+ call for proposals, with the aim to offer funding for existing alliances and to create new ones.

Background

European Universities are 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), and cover a broad geographic scope across Europe.

Together, these institutions are finding new ways of long-term structural, sustainable and systemic cooperation on education, research and innovation throughout Europe. They offer student-centred curricula jointly delivered across inter-university campuses, on which students, staff and researchers from all parts of Europe can enjoy seamless mobility.

Over time, European Universities will connect more and more faculties, departments, staff and students, offering more innovative pedagogies based on challenge-based and transdisciplinary approaches, implementing more joint programmes, being even more inclusive and engaging more with their communities.

The Commission proposed the European Universities initiative to European Union 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.

The European strategy for universities sets the ambition to support 60 European Universities involving more than 500 higher education institutions by mid-2024. For this, a record €1.1 billion under Erasmus+ is foreseen under the current programming period 2021-2027 to support European Universities. Support for the research dimension of European Universities will be covered by the European Excellence initiative under Horizon Europe.

For more information

European Universities Initiative

Factsheet

Copyright European Union