European University AllianceJoining Forces to Create a “European Comprehensive Research University”

Press Release No. 109/2021
3 November 2021

Annual meeting of the 4EU+ European University Alliance in Heidelberg

With the aim of mapping out ways to continue developing the 4EU+ European University Alliance, the six partner universities are meeting at Heidelberg University on 4 and 5 November 2021. Attending the annual meeting are the rectors and presidents of the member universities, from Prague, Heidelberg, Sorbonne (Paris), Warsaw, Copenhagen and Milan, along with the responsible vice-rectors, the members of the Academic Council, the programme convenors of the flagships as well as members of 4EU+ working groups. A total of about 180 participants are expected.

The gathering in Heidelberg is the third annual meeting of the 4EU+ Alliance. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the annual meeting could only take place online in 2020. Now, however, the alliance can again come together in person. On the agenda are meetings of the various committees and working groups, which engage with different aspects of the alliance and take up key issues connected with research, education, student affairs, mobility, and communication. In addition, the four Flagship Programme Committees will confer. The work fields of these four flagships are health and demographic change in an urban environment, Europe in a changing world, the transformation of science and society through new information and communication technologies, and questions about biodiversity and sustainable development. The participants will have the opportunity to contribute to think-tanks, as well. Here they will also discuss selected topics in connection with the European higher education area and the future development of 4EU+.

The general assembly of the alliance will take place in the afternoon of 4 November. Prof. Dr Bernhard Eitel, Rector of Heidelberg University, will open it as the host of the annual meeting. The next two speakers will bring greetings: Themis Christophidou, Director-General for Education, Youth, Sport and Culture of the European Commission, and Theresia Bauer, Baden-Württemberg’s Minister of Science, Research and the Arts. The keynote speaker is Prof. Dr Joybrato Mukherjee, President of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). During the event, Ruperto Carola will also award the university’s Large Medal to Prof. Dr Jean Chambaz, who was President of 4EU+ member university Sorbonne until August this year.

The 4EU+ European University Alliance, a transnational group of six research-intensive universities including Heidelberg University, has, since June 2019, been one of the 17 university alliances receiving funding in the context of the Erasmus+ pilot call “European Universities”. The alliances receive financial support in order to take the first steps towards long-term transnational cooperation. The vision of the 4EU+ Alliance is that of a “European University” on the pattern of a comprehensive research university that seamlessly connects the students, teachers and researchers at the partner universities. With the support of strategic higher education partnerships, the European Commission pursues the goal of clustering research and teaching in Europe in new structures and strengthening the European Education Area.