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04 July 2019

EU European Universities initiative: 16 French institutions selected

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The purpose of the future European universities, which are designed to bring together institutions from at least three European countries, is to “attain an unprecedented level of cooperation among Europe’s institutions of higher education at all levels and in every field of activity (teaching, research, and innovation),” in the words of France’s Ministry of Higher Education.

16 French institutions involved in the 17 chosen projects

French institutions are the most numerous participants in the projects selected to pilot the European universities. Sixteen French institutions will have roles, compared with 15 from Germany, 12 from Italy, and 11 from Spain. 

Six French institutions will coordinate a European university project:

  1. Sorbonne University will coordinate the 4EU+ Alliance
  2. Sciences Po will coordinate CIVICA, the European University of Social Sciences
  3. University of Aix-Marseille will coordinate CIVIS, a European civic university alliance
  4. University of La Rochelle will coordinate Conexus, the European University for Smart Urban Coastal Sustainability
  5. University of Strasbourg will coordinate EPICUR, the European Partnership for an Innovative Campus Unifying Regions
  6. Paris-Saclay University will coordinate EUGLOH, the European University Alliance for Global Health

10 other French institutions will participate as members of a European university alliance:

  • University of Paris 1 Panthéon Sorbonne in UNA Europa
  • University of Lyon in ARQUS European University Alliance
  • University of Montpellier in CHARM European University (Challenge-driven, Accessible, Research-based, Mobile)
  • Rennes 1 and Paris Nanterre in EDUC, European Digital UniverCity
  • University of Haute Alsace in EPICUR, European Partnership for an Innovative Campus Unifying Regions
  • University of Cergy-Pontoise in UTOPIA, European Universities Transforming to an Open, Inclusive Academy for 2050
  • University of Bourgogne in FORTHEM, Fostering Outreach within European Regions, Transnational Higher Education and Mobility
  • University of Bretagne Occidentale in SEA-EU, the European University of the Seas
  • Polytechnic Institute of Grenoble in UNITE!, the University Network for Innovation, Technology, and Engineering

€5 millions over three years to finance the creation of each European university

The European Commission received proposals for 54 projects involving 114 institutions from 24 countries of Europe. Initially endowed with €60 million, the project financing was subsequently raised to €85 millions. Each project will receive €5 million in financing over three years. Joint activities by the partner institutions will begin in the fall term of the 2019–20 academic year.

France’s Ministry of Higher Education expects the European universities to “contribute to a Europe that is more unified, stronger, and open to the world, one capable of cooperating across cultures, languages, borders, and disciplines.” They should also make it possible to “significantly strengthen the quality, performance, recruiting power, and international competitiveness of European institutions of higher education.”

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