The University of Silesia in Katowice prepares to participate in the second edition of the call for “European Universities” – transnational alliances of higher education institutions from EU that share a long-time strategy and promote European values and identity. The initiative is designed to significantly increase the mobility of students and academic staff, and to support quality improvement, social inclusion and competitiveness of European higher education.
The University of Silesia applies for the funding of a joint European University together with the following universities:
- Saarland University (Universität des Saarlandes) – Germany (project coordinator),
- University of Alicante (Universidad de Alicante) – Spain,
- University of Trieste (Università degli Studi di Trieste) – Italy,
- Vytautas Magnus University (Vytauto Didžiojo universitetas) – Lithuania,
- Sofia University (Софийски университет Св. Климент Охридски) – Bulgaria,
- Estonian Academy of Arts (Eesti Kunstiakadeemia) – Estonia.
“European Universities” is a flagship initiative of the European Education Area, designed to create joint inter-university campuses. The participating universities are to combine their specialist knowledge, platforms and resources to develop joint curricula or modules covering various disciplines.
The European Universities are mainly expected to prepare and implement:
- a common integrated long-term education strategy, connected with research, innovations and society at large (where possible),
- a joint European inter-university “campus”,
- European knowledge-creating teams (challenge-based approach) composed of students and academics, with possible participation of researchers, companies, regional entities and civil society players (depending on the general alliance strategy and vision), adopting a multidisciplinary approach to face the selected social challenges.
The European Universities should also act as models of good practice to further increase the quality, international competitiveness and attractiveness of the European higher education, and become the key element of the European Education Area, promoting excellence in education and scientific research.
Erasmus+ Programme Action 2 will support higher education institutions in going beyond the existing cooperation models in higher education and gradually achieving the long-term ambitious vision of “European Universities”. The action will test different innovative and structural models for introducing and implementing visions developed by specific alliances.
The pilot project assumes 3-year funding of at least twenty European Universities, selected in two editions of the call, up to EUR 5 million, which should cover maximum 80% of the total eligible project costs. 17 alliances were selected for funding in the first edition.