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CIVIS voices concern about the sustainability of the European University Initiative

12 October 2023
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The European Universities Initiative (EUI) represents a pivotal project for the future of higher education in Europe. The European Union’s role in this process is crucial, enhancing the participation of the member states to a more cohesive and cooperative higher education community. The new future of the universities depends on the capacity to align to joint ideas and visions, and to strengthen cooperation and mutual trust across all sectors, not only for higher education, but with real impact in economy, social values, cultural enhancement, and others.

CIVIS contributes to the exchange of views initiated by the European Commission in developing a new investment pathway for European Universities. 

To consolidate and thrive, the European Universities Initiative requires:
• Longer financial support period for Alliances (at least 6 years phases) from the European Union and/ or member states, based on periodical evaluation.
• Embeddedness of mobility in European Joint Educational Programmes, through specific funding schemes in the Erasmus+ programme and more flexible rules for some categories of learning mobilities (short-term mobilities, blended programmes, Joint European Degrees, etc.).
• Closer cooperation with member states for updating the educational systems and supporting the participation of HEIs to the new transformative process.
• Joint European led campaigns and actions for promoting European HE offers outside Europe, as part of a European Strategy for Educational Outreach to Non-European Beneficiaries, further placing European HEIs in the global educational market, as competitive players with America and Asia.

The new paradigm set by the EUI affects all areas of academic life in Europe, from governance to administration, from academics to researchers, from students to stakeholders, as it sets new processes and practices, while addressing otherwise not so visible challenges. 

While the proposed document addresses some of these components, we would suggest that it moves the attention from ‘areas’ such as Education, Research & Innovation, Infrastructure, etc., to the people affected by each aspect: academics, researchers, students, citizens, HEI managers, public authorities, etc.

The full Position Paper prepared by CIVIS can be found below.