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A new initiative, a new cooperation, a common ambition

CIVIS is the result of a new collaboration between European Universities which have in common to share fundamental academic excellence and promote human rights and civic values such as equality, liberty and solidarity. All CIVIS member universities are closely connected to their cities and regions and are fully committed to solving societal challenges.

It is naturally that eight CIVIC universities decided to join forces and form a European University alliance, called CIVIS.

The first six months were focused on better knowing each other, sharing best practices, assessing each other's strengths and weaknesses, and identifying the challenges our ambitious initiative will tackle. Many physical and virtual meetings were organised across the CIVIS alliance and our teams started digging in the project in no time!

CIVIS is now an ambitious alliance of eight prominent universities who will work hand in hand to transform higher education in Europe and offer the best to our students and university staff, and contribute to solving major societal challenges.

Launch of CIVIS in 3,2,1...

CIVIS was officially launched on 18 November 2019 during the kick-off meeting hosted by our member university, Sapienza University of Rome, in Palazzo Baleani. Rectors and presidents, ambassadors and city representatives, colleagues and friends attended the event to celebrate this historical moment. This occasion also marked an important cornerstone for CIVIS as our universities signed umbrella Erasmus agreements which will facilitate the mobility of our students, academics, researchers and admin staff, and allow them to study, work, and share their knowledge and experience as freely as in their institutions of origin.
3 weeks later, on 6 December 2019, we inaugurated the CIVIS representative office in Usquare campus in Brussels with our key partners and the participation of specials guests: Ms Themis Christophidou, Director-General of the European Commission for Education, Youth, Sport and Culture, and Mr Pascal Smet, State-Secretary of the Brussels-Capital Region.
Let's rock-et!
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Laying the first stones towards a participative and inclusive governance structure

CIVIS is an ambitious and far-reaching initiative, and to ensure its long-term sustainability, we will develop a strong, integrated and legitimate governance and administrative structure over the first 3 years.
Our European University initiative will be inclusive, participatory and open to all key stakeholders including, students, university staff, city representatives, businesses and members of the civil society. To this extent, we have established three participative and inclusive governance bodies who will help us assess our work, bring innovative ideas to the table and foster collaboration between cities and universities. All three councils will meet in September 2020 during the Global CIVIS days.

Student mobility is on the move!

CIVIS aims to create a unique European interuniversity campus where students will be able to design their own curriculum and study in any of the eight-member universities. To get to this ambitious goal, the team in charge of student mobility (led by the University of Athens) first drew a roadmap and collected information from all CIVIS member universities on academic prerequisites for Erasmus mobility, established a table with common scientific subjects and created promotional content to inform students on the mobility opportunities offered by our European University initiative.

In February 2020, we launched short term mobility calls to academics and researchers to enhance the collaboration among the partner universities and set up short-term courses for Summer 2020 onwards.

To learn more:

CIVIS for students:

CIVIS call 1:

CIVIS call 2:

Establishing CIVIS open labs to engage with our local communities

CIVIS will be developed through a bottom-up and challenge-based approach to tackle our society's biggest challenges. To engage with our local communities as well as generate ideas and solutions which will lead to new research and educational projects and programmes, eight open labs will be established in the eight-member universities.

During the first six months, we developed a methodology and guidelines for creating CIVIS open labs and celebrated the launch of the first CIVIS open lab at the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (UAM) in February 2020. 

The next six-month period will focus on the development, implementation and evaluation of projects in the UAM open lab. We will also set up four open labs at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Université libre de Bruxelles, University of Tübingen, and the University of Bucharest. By 2021-2022, we will launch the remaining open labs in Aix-Marseille université, Sapienza University of Rome and Stockholm University.

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CIVIS hubs: fostering challenge-driven study programmes and cutting-edge research

CIVIS hubs are cross and interdisciplinary thematic research and education areas which will act as the backbone of our European University. Through them, we will design new study programmes and foster research collaboration at the European level to tackle societal challenges.
To start building the foundations of these hubs, a group formed by experts from all 8 member universities was established in the end of 2019.
In March 2020, Stockholm University (leader of the project on CIVIS hubs) organised a workshop with all eight partners to map and identify all courses related to climate, environment and energy (first CIVIS theme) offered in the CIVIS members universities with a focus on English taught courses.
A call for hub 1 (Climate, environment and energy) as recently been launched with the aim to identify opportunities for student mobility opening in the spring term of 2021.
To learn more on CIVIS hubs:

Innovative pedagogies: at the heart of teaching and learning

We will develop innovative instruments and training methodologies for teachers, design virtual mobility courses and set up a wide array of multilingual tools to better prepare our students and provide them with the skills and knowledge needed for the jobs of tomorrow and support their entrepreneurial mindset.

3 groups of experts have been established on innovative pedagogies, multilingualism and virtual mobilities, and a first workshop was organised at the University of Bucharest in October 2019. The teams collected examples of innovative pedagogies and pedagogical practices across the CIVIS alliance to design advanced training courses on innovative pedagogies for CIVIS academic staff.
Presentations of educational programmes, discussions on teaching excellence and sharing of best practices on innovative pedagogies and multilingualism animated the working sessions which led to fruitful future collaboration opportunities between the member universities.
A transversal task force on education was also set up to discuss and exchange experiences on adapting pedagogy to new learning situations across our countries as well as stimulating virtual mobilities. 

Hello community, this is CIVIS. Do you copy?

Introducing the CIVIS European University initiative to our university communities and our stakeholders has been a priority since the launch of CIVIS. To raise awareness and create a sense of belonging among our students, academics, researchers and administrative staff, our communication team developed a strategic plan, created informative content and set up a number of communication channels including a Twitter and a Facebook accounts. We also recently gave the website a little facelift with a more user-friendly interface and more informative content.

You can now like our posts, share your thoughts, engage with us and get involved in CIVIS! So stay tuned and make sure you follow us for new exciting news!