Two Latvian universities join the European Universities Initiative
On Thursday, 9 July the European Commission (EC) announced that 24 additional alliances of the European Universities will join the first 17 alliances of higher education institutions selected already in 2019. Two Latvian universities - Riga Technical University and Vidzeme University of Applied Sciences - will join the consortia of the European Universities Initiative.
Degrees by combining studies in several EU countries
The European Universities Initiative is a network of universities, which aims at developing the mobility of students, academic staff and academic community across the EU with financial support from the Erasmus+ and Horizon 2020 programmes.
Being a part of the alliance allows students of the universities to obtain degrees by combining studies in several EU countries, and it is a contribution in the development of the international competitiveness of the European universities.
According to the survey conducted by the EC, more than 60% of institutions consider that being a part of the European University Initiative has already been helpful in addressing the current difficulties linked to the crisis. Good examples include the creation of virtual inter-university campuses, offering joint blended courses and common teaching units integrated in the curricula of all the member universities.
Four universities from Latvia in the European Universities Initiative
In 2020, Riga Technical University will join the alliance “European University of Technology” (EUt+), but Vidzeme University of Applied Sciences will become a part of the alliance “Engaged and Entrepreneurial European University as Driver for European Smart and Sustainable Regions” (E3UDRES2).
Selected from 62 applicants, the 24 newly selected European Universities involve 165 higher education institutions from 26 Member States and other countries participating in the Erasmus+ programme. More about the results of the 2nd call of the Initiative can be found here.
In 2019, the University of Latvia and the Art Academy of Latvia already joined the alliances of the European Universities Initiative.
The University of Latvia is a part of the alliance “Fostering Outreach within European Regions, Transnational Higher Education and Mobility” (FORTHEM), but the Art Academy of Latvia is a part of the alliance “For Common Fine Arts Curriculum” (EU4ART).
From the universities of the capital cities to more remote regions
European Universities include different types of higher education institutions, from universities of applied sciences, technical universities and film and media art schools to comprehensive and research-intensive universities from all Member States and beyond, located not only in the capital cities but also in more remote European regions. Each alliance on average is composed of seven higher education institutions.
In total, the budget of up to €287 million is available to these 41 European Universities. Each alliance receives up to €5 million from the Erasmus+ programme and up to €2 million from the Horizon 2020 programme for three years for implementing their plans and paving the way for other higher education institutions across the EU to follow.
The funding from both programmes is an important step in strengthening the interactions between the European Education Area and European Research Area.
More about the European Universities Initiative can be found here.
The European Commission proposed the European Universities initiative to the leaders of the European Union during the Gothenburg Social Summit in November 2017, as a part of an overall vision for the creation of the European Education Area by 2025.
The initiative was endorsed by the European Council in December 2017, which called for the emergence of at least 20 European Universities by 2024.
The concept of the European Universities was developed under the guidance of the European Commission, in close cooperation with the Member States, higher education institutions and student organisations.
Photo: the European Comission