Rectors and Presidents of ECIU met with Mariya Gabriel, EU Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, on 11 February 2022 in Brussels. The ambitions of ECIU University for the European Degree, ECIU’s take on future fit universities, and ECIU’s legal and financial needs were discussed. Gabriel concluded that ECIU University is leading the way, inspiring the broader European higher education community, and she looks forward to continue working together with ECIU when shaping future EU policies.
During the meeting, the President of the European Consortium of Innovative Universities (ECIU) Màrius Martínez, Vice-President Mari Walls, Treasurer Jan-Ingvar Jönssen and the coordinator of ECIU University Vinod Subramaniam presented ECIU’s ambitions for the coming years.
Martìnez welcomed the European Strategy for Universities and the Council Recommendations on micro-credentials and building bridges for effective European higher education cooperation. Martínez also presented ECIU’s newest member: Lodz University of Technology. Furthermore, Martínez spoke about ECIU University’s ambitions to work towards a more central organisation, building on the deliverables of the past two pilot years.
Walls presented ECIU University’s take on the European Degree: A competence passport, built upon individual and flexible learning pathways based on learners’ choices and needs. The Commissioner welcomed this interpretation, and supported the ECIU slogan ‘Connects U for Life’, referring to ECIU’s lifelong learning ambitions.
Jönssen welcomed the Commissioner’s work towards a European legal statute for alliances and higher education institutions. To deliver European education, solve societal challenges in close cooperation with society, and to create a European network for knowledge, we need such a statute. Jönssen handed over the ECIU position on the Legal Statute to Commissioner Gabriel.
Subramaniam welcomed the new Erasmus+ 14,4 million euro call to further roll-out the ECIU University, which is very much aligned with our ambitions. Subramaniam underlined the need for a holistic approach to funding, supporting all universities missions in a sustainable and coherent manner. The Commissioner welcomed the call for a programmatic approach to funding. She also underlined her ambitions to work towards a digital platform for universities early next year, in line with the current work of ECIU University to build a digital platform for closer cooperation.
The meeting ended with an open dialogue between Commissioner Gabriel and all ECIU’s Presidents and Rectors.