27th of July 2022.- The European Commission has announced the selected European universities alliances to receive funding from the Erasmus+ programme and continue with the full deployment of their projects. Unite! University Network for Innovation, Technology and Engineering
, which was one of the first 17 European alliances selected in the first call in 2019 has received again the support of the EC to continue its path within the next four years.
This second funding phase will start in November 2022 and coincides with the addition to Unite! of two new partners: Graz University of Technology
and Wrocław University of Science and Technology
. The funding of 14M€ is a clear acknowledgement from the European Commission that validates and reinforces the commitment of Unite! and all its partners to become a long-term strategic collaboration.
Over the past three years the alliance's working groups with more than 500 active members (faculty, staff, administration and students) have deployed the pilot phase. The new phase, which starts in November, builds on the work and projects already initiated and is inspired and guided by the alliance's new Mission Statement 2030, which was adopted this year and sets the way forward for the following years.
Plans for the next four years
In the now granted proposal, Unite! makes explicit its will to be a model European university of innovation, technology and engineering that addresses the Sustainable Development Goals through a digital and green transition. To achieve it, the alliance will foster bottom-up community development and strengthen student participation and engagement in all its working groups.
Among the various projects that the alliance is working on, a more concrete output is to advance in the implementation of the European Degree and the development of a European Doctoral School around its focus areas: Sustainable Energy, Artificial Intelligence, Industry 4.0 or Entrepreneurship.
In the new proposal the nine working groups, each led by one of the partner universities, will continue to build the umbrella for all these projects covering the areas of Management, Governance and Quality Assurance (TUDa); Digital Campus (TU Graz); Inclusion, Diversity and Well-being (ULisboa); Innovative Teaching and Learning (Aalto); Flexible Educational Provision (KTH); Professional Development and Training (Grenoble INP-UGA); PhD for Research, Innovation and Society (PoliTO); Open Innovation Community for Green Transition (Wroclaw Tech) and Strategic Outreach, Impact and Dissemination (UPC).
- The European Universities Initiative
The European Universities Initiative was launched in 2019 to push for the establishment of a European Education Area by 2025. European Universities are transnational alliances of higher education institutions from across the EU that share a long-term strategy, promoting European values and identity. The initiative is designed to significantly strengthen student and staff mobility and to foster the quality, inclusion and competitiveness of European higher education.
In response to a first call of the Erasmus+ Programme in 2019, the first 17 alliances were selected for a 3-year pilot phase to lay the foundations for future European universities. Unite! has been among these first 17. Another 24 alliances followed in the 2nd call in 2020.
Unite!’s new funding starting end of 2022 falls into the calls of the further roll out of the European Universities Initiative. It plans to increase the number of European Universities to 60 with more than 500 universities by mid-2024, supported under Erasmus+ with an indicative budget of EUR 1.1 billion for the period 2021-2027. The aim is to develop and share a common long-term structural, sustainable and systemic cooperation on education, research and innovation, creating European inter-university campuses where students, staff and researchers from all parts of Europe can enjoy seamless mobility and create new knowledge together, across countries and disciplines.