At the core of the ECIU University is the challenge-based approach where multi-disciplinary teams work on real-life challenges and co-develop ideas and solutions. ECIU University adopted a challenge-based approach cross-cutting activity in Education, Research and Innovation, a novelty at the European level.
In the pilot phase (2019-2022), we have sourced over 160 cases for European wide challenges from over 100 providers. More than 600 learners worked on challenges on real-life problems, and more than 150 teachers co-created the ECIU University offers.
Together with our partners, we developed and offered 285 micro-modules in total during the project period, including 28 language learning modules with 11 languages.
The ECIU University will change the way of offering education from being degree-based to being challenge-based. Our learners and researchers will contribute to solving climate crises and other urgent challenges that Europe will face. The ECIU University will constitute be a real European university where learners, teachers and researchers cooperate with cities and regions, businesses, and citizens to solve real-life challenges in a unique and, flexible way. Furthermore, the challenges will focus on the UN Sustainable Development Goal 11: Sustainable cities and communities. This means learners at ECIU University will be tackling real and important problems in society and help shape a better world.
We are the largest European University alliance with 12 members and extensive European coverage. Today, we see the European Universities initiative as a historical opportunity. For ECIU, building a European University is a fundamental change and a long-term process, not a project.
Already in 2017, the ECIU Board members, staff and students of the ECIU Universities started to discuss the future of innovative Universities in Europe. Within the ECIU network, first ideas on a joint and future-proof European university were developed. In September 2017, French President Emmanuel Macron proposed the idea of the creation of networks of European universities as “drivers of educational innovation and the quest for excellence”. The EU education and mobility programme Erasmus+ became the central programme for the implementation of the initiative.
ECIU was involved in the process of developing the call by participating in stakeholder consultations and published a position paper, and, later on, the call for proposals for the first pilot in October 2018 to which the ECIU network with all its partners submitted the ECIU University project. In June 2019, it was announced that ECIU got the three-year funding to pioneer with the ECIU University.