News News

Return to Full Page
Back

Beyond the Erasmus programme: the new European Universities. Pelegrí Viader

Beyond the Erasmus programme: the new European Universities. Pelegrí Viader

Pelegrí Viader, UPF comissioner for the EUTOPIA project and professor of the Economics and Business Departament

22.11.2021

 

Europe is experiencing a new revolution in its model of university education. The Erasmus programme, created in 1987, facilitated student mobility between EU countries and the Bologna process, in 1999, initiated the harmonization of European university systems. Now, the European Commission’s new EUI (European Universities Initiative) project goes further and seeks to create a new concept of university in Europe: confederations of existing universities to boost total mobility among members of their communities. 

By the end of the new consolidation phase, at the end of 2028, more than 500 universities in Europe -some 10% of existing universities- will be involved in one of the new universities. The idea is that none of these universities will lose their autonomy or their belonging to their country’s higher education system, but they will be able to act, to all intents and purposes, as a European University and provide European degree qualifications to their students of all levels: bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral.

The project is funded by the EU under the umbrella of the Erasmus+ programme and, in this second phase, 1,100 million euros are allocated to the consortia selected in the call that is to open this coming December to apply for the opportunity of become one of the new European universities.

Barcelona, together with Paris, is the European city to involve the most universities in EUI projects. The UB, the UAB, the UPC and UPF are in different consortia and, in Tarragona, the URV also belongs to one.

In the week of 22-26 November, one of the future European Universities, EUTOPIA, will be holding its first face-to-face meeting since the onset of the pandemic. It is an alliance of 10 universities that will unite their campuses to open their degrees, their research and their transfer and innovation activities to all their students, professors, administration staff and collaborating entities. 

EUTOPIA is an alliance of 10 universities that will unite their campuses to open their degrees, their research and their transfer and innovation activities to all their students, professors, administration staff and collaborating entities. 

This meta-university will be present in 10 countries and will unite 10 universities and their cities. Barcelona, through Pompeu Fabra University, will join universities in Lisbon, Paris, Brussels, Gothenburg, Venice, Dresden, Ljubljana, Coventry and Cluj-Napoca. In all, more than 300,000 students, 45,000 professors and administrators, 1,000 research groups and tens of thousands of alumni, as well as hundreds of collaborating institutions and companies.

EUTOPIA is one of the 41 alliances of universities in Europe that are currently piloting the most important educational experiment after the creation of the ERASMUS project which, as is well known, has allowed millions of European students to enjoy a few months’ mobility at European universities.

These universities must allow Europe to recover a predominant position in the world in terms of higher education, on equal terms with the big universities in the US or Asia-Pacific which today attract the large majority of international students who wish to study in the best universities in the world. 

These universities must allow Europe to recover a predominant position in the world in terms of higher education, on equal terms with the big universities in the US or Asia-Pacific which today attract the large majority of international students who wish to study in the best universities in the world. It is worth mentioning that almost all European Universities will be publicly owned and will be able to compete in quality with the best in the world, but at European public prices.

It remains to be seen whether EU member states are fully aware of the importance of this commitment and will indeed facilitate the elimination of legal and regulatory hurdles that divide us when it comes to managing our national universities. Successfully meeting this challenge will prove another triumph of the ERASMUS project and will act as a catalyst for the concept of Europe, as well as being a powerful social elevator for the new citizens of the European Union.  

Multimèdia

Multimedia

Multimedia

Categories:

ODS - Objectius de desenvolupament sostenible:

ODS - Objetivos de desarrollo sostenible:

SDG - Sustainable Development Goals:

Els ODS a la UPF Los ODS en la UPF The ODS at UPF