The Commission announced the results of the 2023 Erasmus+ call for the European Universities initiative, which provides support to alliances of higher education institutions. These European University alliances are bringing together a new generation of Europeans who are able to study and work in different European countries, different languages, and across sectors and academic disciplines. Thanks to these alliances, students can obtain a degree by combining studies in several European countries, which contributes to the international competitiveness of higher education institutions in Europe.
With these results, adding seven new European Universities alliances, the total of 50 alliances now involve more than 430 higher education institutions in 35 countries. These comprise all EU Member States and Iceland, Norway, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia, and Türkiye.
The students of these institutions can benefit from a unique transnational and innovative educational offer, allowing them to acquire essential skills and competences for the future. Furthermore, by partnering with almost 1 700 associated partners among NGO’s, enterprises, local and regional authorities, the 50 European Universities alliances bring broad-scale innovation to Europe’s regions.
With a record overall budget of €402.2 million from the Erasmus+ programme for this call, each alliance receives a budget of up to €14.4 million for four years.
The 2023 call opened the possibility to higher education institutions from Western Balkans countries, not associated to the Erasmus+ programme to participate as full partners in the call. As a result, higher education institutions from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro have joined the initiative, on top of those from North Macedonia and Serbia.
As last year, the alliances can involve higher education institutions from Bologna Process countries as associated partners. Under the 2023 call, close to 30 higher education institutions from Ukraine have also joined the alliances.
In the fall of 2023, the Commission will launch the next Erasmus+ call for proposals, with the aim of reaching the goal of the European strategy for universities to expand to 60 European Universities alliances with more than 500 universities by mid-2024.
The European Universities initiative supports 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). These institutions develop a long-term structural, sustainable and systemic cooperation on education, research and innovation across borders. 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.
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. Presented in 2022, 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 EUR 1.1 billion under Erasmus+ is foreseen under the current programming period 2021-2027. Support for the research dimension of European Universities can be sought under the European Excellence initiative under Horizon Europe.
The 2023 Erasmus+ European Universities call was structured around two strands. It offered to provide sustainable funding for already existing successful alliances of higher education institutions to pursue their long-term vision; the successful existing alliances have expanded with more than 50 new higher education institutions. And the call also supported the creation of new European Universities across Europe, gathering diverse higher education institutions around common strategic visions.
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Source: European Commission I Press Corner (https://shorturl.at/AIST8)