How can European universities achieve a deeper, longer-term and flexible form of cooperation? With EU support, the European Consortium of Innovative Universities (ECIU) is set to explore this question and the possibility for a European status for European Universities.
The ECIU, a European consortium of 14 European universities, will build upon its existing network and pursue a higher level of systematic and sustainable cooperation. This will facilitate the path towards a full-fledged European University, a topic high on the education agenda for the European Union.
This week, the EU accepted an ECIU proposal on how to explore the matter. ECIU wishes to overcome legal obstacles to a deeper, longer-term and flexible transnational cooperation through the design of a suitable institutionalised cooperation instrument. The project will start on 1 March, will run for one year and entails 250.000 euro.
Màrius Martínez, President of ECIU University, explains:
“To achieve a more systematic cooperation, ECIU will investigate the needs of university alliances for a legal status. A legal status for European Universities will help to fulfil the high ambitions for European co-operation in education and beyond. It will help universities to make common strategic decisions, experiment joint recruitment and design joint curricula. It will also help to pool resources and human, technical, data, education, research and innovation capacities and more, covering all missions of universities and the full knowledge square.”
ECIU will work closely together with its member universities, national authorities and European organisations such as European University Alliances 4EU+, Una Europa, EU-Conexus, Charm-EU and the European Grouping of Territorial Cooperation (EGTC) Eucor.
In the ESEU (European Status for a ECIU University) project, ECIU will start from the question what a European alliance of higher education institutions implies in practice.
‘This includes its governance needs, and will be built upon the 25-year experience we have as ECIU, our network and knowledge’, says Martínez. ‘We will then propose the best options for an institutionalised cooperation instrument, also delivering recommendations for the required improvement of existing EU instruments.’
Next to the important involvement of the partners mentioned above, and relevant stakeholders, the University of Twente, Kaunas University of Technology, INSA Rouen and the ECIU foundation have leading roles in the ESEU project.
List of formal partners of the ESEU project: University of Twente (The Netherlands, coordinator), Kaunas University of Technology (Lithuania), INSA Rouen (France), Dublin City University (Ireland), Linköping University (Sweden), Tampere University (Finland), Hamburg University of Technology (Germany), Lodz University of Technology (Poland), Universidad Autonoma de Barcelona (Spain), Universidade de Aveiro (Portugal), University of Stavanger (Norway), Università di Trento (Italy), Aalborg University (Denmark), ECIU Foundation, Ministry of Education, Science and Sports (Lithuania), Ministry of Education and Science (Portugal), 4EU+ European University Alliance E.V., Una Europa, EU-Conexa, Charm-EU (via Universitat de Barcelona), EUCOR-The European Campus (EGTC), Ministry of Education and Culture (Finland), Ministry of University and Research (Italy), Ministry of Universities (Spain), Autonomous Province of Trento (EGTC, Italy), Cimea Association (Italy), Authority Of Ireland For Cauliochthaigus Derbhu (Ireland), Conference Of Directors Of French Schools (France). ESEU project received endorsement letters from 4 Member States (France, Germany, the Netherlands and Poland). Next to this list, many other stakeholders will be involved in the project to ensure strong support. Please contact ECIU if you want to be involved.