4EU+ European University AllianceTowards A European University
24 October 2019
Annual Meeting of the 4EU+ European University Alliance in Paris
The 4EU+ European University Alliance held its 2019 Annual Meeting with the aim to define the prerequisites for an integrated European university system and to flesh out the next steps towards realising that goal. The rectors and presidents of the six member universities – Prague, Heidelberg, Sorbonne/Paris, Warsaw, Copenhagen, and Milan – gathered in Paris (France). Other attendees of the two-day meeting included the Steering Committee, the vice-rectors and vice-presidents working in the fields of research, teaching, and international affairs, the representatives of the flagships, and members of the 4EU+ working groups.
As a transnational alliance of six strong research universities, among them Heidelberg University, the 4EU+ European University Alliance has belonged to the 17 university alliances supported by an Erasmus+ pilot programme since June 2019. The successful alliances receive financial resources to implement the “European Universities” project. With the support of strategic university partnerships within the framework of Erasmus+, the goal is to create new structures by bundling research and teaching in Europe, thereby strengthening the European educational area.
The Annual Meeting provided the opportunity not only to review the progress made so far but also to refine the overarching goals of 4EU+ and coordinate its further development and work steps. More than 100 expressions of interest for joint projects in research, teaching, and personnel development have already been submitted. The Alliance has defined four areas of activity as flagships: They cover health and demographic change in an urban environment, Europe in a changing world, transforming science and society through new information and communications technologies, and issues of biodiversity and sustainable development. Close to 50 activities have already been initiated, including the development of joint multidisciplinary master’s and doctoral programmes in cancer research; a summer school is scheduled for 2020. The five working groups of 4EU+, in which students and administrative representatives participate, are focussed on the key topics of education, students, mobility, communications, and support.
The Annual Meeting was held on 21 and 22 October 2019 at Sorbonne University in Paris.