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European University Initiative: transforming higher education in Europe

The European Universities Initiative is an initiative introduced and mainly funded by the European Union through the Erasmus+ programme with the aim to strengthen the strategic partnerships of European universities and increase the international competitiveness of European higher education.

European Universities

‘European Universities’ are cross-border alliances of higher education institutions from across the EU that share a long-term strategy to promote common European values and strengthen the European identity.


Towards inter-university campuses

European Universities will become inter-university campuses where students, teachers, researchers and administrative staff can move seamlessly. The universities part of the initiatives will work together to pool their expertise, infrastructures and resources to build new study programmes and research projects.



In June 2019, the European Commission announced the first selection of 17 European University alliances representing over 100 higher education institutions from all over Europe to create integrated transnational European Universities.


Pioneering the European University Initiative

Selected as one of the first 17 European universities, CIVIS will pioneer the initiative and build an inter-university campus between its member universities to increase the mobility of students, teachers and administrative staff and foster the collaboration of researchers, companies and cities to tackle society’s greatest challenges. We will design a new university model which is more inclusive, diverse and focused on civic engagement.


First 17 European University alliances

• The 4EU+ Alliance (4EU+)

• ARQUS European University Alliance (ARQUS)

• CHARM European University (CHARMEU)

• CIVICA – The European University in social sciences (CIVICA)

• CIVIS – A European civic university alliance (CIVIS)

• European University for Smart Urban Coastal Sustainability (CONEXUS)

• ECIU University (ECIU)

• European Digital UniverCity (EDUC)

• European Partnership for an Innovative Campus Unifying Regions (EPICUR)

• Alliance for common fine arts curriculum (EU4ART)

• European University Alliance for Global Health (EUGLOH)

• European Universities Transforming to an Open, Inclusive Academy for 2050 (EUTOPIA)

• Fostering Outreach within European Regions, Transnational Higher Ed & Mobility (FORTHEM)

• The European University of the Seas (SEA-EU)

• University Network for Innovation, Technology and Engineering (UNITE!)

• UNA Europa University Alliance Europe (UNA Europa)

• Young Universities for the Future of Europe (YUFE).


Second call on European Universities Initiative

In November 2019, the European Commission launched a second call for proposals on European Universities and announced a budget increase of 12% with a total of €3 billion. It is expected that 20+ more European Universities alliances will be created.

Discover the European University Initiative