Selected from 62 applications, the 24 newly selected European Universities involve 165 higher education institutions from 26 Member States and other countries participating in the Erasmus+ programme (see Annex). They will deepen cooperation between their institutions, their students and staff and pool online and physical resources, courses, expertise, data and infrastructure. Working closer together will leverage their ability to tackle the challenges they are faced with during the recovery, and beyond. It will help them to foster inclusive green and digital transitions for the benefit of their students and all Europeans.
European Universities show first results
The Commission recently conducted a survey of the already existing 17 European Universities selected last year. The results show that 96% of the institutions think they would have been better prepared to face the coronavirus pandemic if their European University had already been fully operational (they only started 6 to 9 months ago). More than 60% of them consider that being part of a European University 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. European Universities also aim to further support lifelong learning by providing learners of all ages with the opportunity to obtain micro-credentials, awarded after the completion of short courses or modules.
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. They will involve around 280 higher education institutions from all Member States and beyond, located not only in capital cities but also in more remote European regions. Each alliance is composed on average of seven higher education institutions. While some alliances are comprehensive and cover all disciplines, others are for example focusing on sustainable development, health and well-being, digitalisation and artificial intelligence, art, engineering or space.
In total, a budget of up to €287 million is available for 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 to start implementing their plans and pave the way for other higher education institutions across the EU to follow. Funding from both programmes is an important step in strengthening the interactions between the European Education Area and the European Research Area. The progress of each alliance is closely monitored.
Under the next long-term EU budget for 2021-2027, the Commission proposed to roll out European Universities under the Erasmus programme, in synergy with Horizon Europe and other EU instruments.