What started earlier this year as a structural collaboration between the University of Warwick, the Université Paris Seine and the Vrije Universiteit Brussel, resulted in the foundation of a single European university alliance in which six leading European universities joined forces. The three new partners are the University of Gothenburg (Sweden), Pompeu Fabra University Barcelona (Spain) and the University of Ljubljana (Slovenia).
Confirmation of the European Idea
The new alliance is called EUTOPIA; referring to the strong European idea of the participating universities. At the time Brexit comes into force and supranational collaboration is increasingly being forced to give in to national interests, this is a call for more European cooperation, says Caroline Pauwels, rector of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel:
"Through education and research programs such as Erasmus, Horizon 2020 and the European Research Council (ERC), Europe proves that international collaboration and teamwork are the best recipe for success. The launch of the European Universities Initiative is an even greater incentive to start long-term partnerships based on jointly developed curricula and a permanent exchange of students and staff. The name EUTOPIA refers to the ambition of all partners to realize the European dream. By jointly setting up programs that transcend national borders, we aspire to train the Europeans of the future."
Proposals at the European Commission
Igor Papič, rector of University of Ljubljana, will present this alliance to the European Commission in February 2019 on behalf of all partners. From all candidates six alliances will be retained in September 2019, to start a pilot process and receive a total of 30 million euros additional support over three years. It is the intention that twenty alliances will emerge by 2024 to strengthen European inter-university cooperation.
For more information about the new European university alliance, EUTOPIA, please contact Luk Van Langenhove, Assignment Holder for International Institutes and Networking, at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel at:
For more information on the European Universities Initiative, go to: