Our new position urges that excellence-driven alliances must have generous financial resources, balanced selection criteria, and be open to all countries in the European Higher Education Area (EHEA).
While the concept of European Universities is a work in progress, we reiterate our support for the pilot is an important step towards deepening strategic collaboration among universities, and present our findings and recommendations for the further development of the initiative.
The first call indicates that innovative approaches to higher education cooperation are being funded, rather than already established and functioning models. In our view, the networks do not necessarily need to be new, but must demonstrate excellence, effectiveness and efficiency, and have adequate and generous financial resources to be able to meet the high ambitions set.
We underline the need for European Universities to be open and inclusive, thus higher education institutions from all countries in the EHEA should be eligible to participate in the programme. Furthermore, we feel that more clarity is needed about evaluation of geographical representation of the partners.
The future evolution of the concept and the selection criteria of European Universities should be based on a comprehensive evaluation of the pilot calls and the experiences of the selected alliances. We underline that the alliances should be compared on an objective basis, striking the right balance between qualitative and quantitative indicators.
Rik Van de Walle, President of CESAER, said "European Universities carry the promise of reinforced strategic cooperation among Europe's higher education institutions to the benefit of our societies, and can constitute an excellent instrument to concretise synergies in education, research and innovation policies, provided that they are sufficiently funded."
Read the full position here.
For more information and enquiries, please contact our Advisor for Higher Education Indrė Antanavičiūtė.