Home // University // News // Latest News // EURCrossBorderAlliance: a step further towards a European University

EURCrossBorderAlliance: a step further towards a European University

twitter linkedin facebook google+ email this page
Published on Wednesday, 13 March 2019

In a bid to stimulate cross-border higher education in Europe, the network UniGR (University of the Greater Region) has developed the EURCrossBorderAlliance, a pilot project spanning the European territory. The initiative was submitted to the project call “Erasmus+ European Universities Projects” of the European Commission.

EURCrossBorderAlliance unites eight universities: the six current members of UniGR (Technische Universität Kaiserslautern, Universities of Liège, of Lorraine, of Luxembourg, Saarland University and Trier University), plus two bridgeheads in the Balkan and the Baltic regions (University of St Kliment Ohridski in Sofia and Vytautas Magnus University in Kaunas). The initial project phase extends over three years, with a sustainable long-term vision.

EURCrossBorderAlliance also projects partnerships with seven additional institutions. The alliance will act on several levels to initiate new models for European higher education:

  • The alliance will facilitate and systematise student mobility, enhance the European character of their institutions and encourage the European identity among their communities.
  • Its members will pilot innovative tools to create real cross-border campuses with regional partners, such as the University of Applied Sciences in Saarbrücken, the universities of Niš in Serbia and Ss. Cyril and Methodius University of Skopje in the Republic of North Macedonia, as well as the University of Latvia.
  • Regional partnerships will ensure the dissemination and uptake of the projects’ results in other regions. Current associated partners include the University of Pau et des Pays de l’Adour, the University of Silesia in Katowice, the Luleå University of Technology and the Association for European Border Regions (AEBR).

The EURCrossBorderAlliance project touches roughly 173,000 students across the partner universities. They stand to benefit from increased mobility at all stages of their studies, from a concerted use of virtual tools supporting this mobility and their education, and from language learning and the acquisition of transferable skills.

Border regions: pioneers of European development and values

Europe’s border regions - which make up 40% of the EU’s territory and are home to almost 30% of its population - have always acted as laboratories, developing models of regional collaboration that seek to overcome barriers of all kinds, be they legal, economic, cultural or linguistic.

EURCrossBorderAlliance partners affirm their readiness to help define new standards for European cooperation in higher education and research, transferable in the whole European Higher Education Area (EHEA).

Professors Anastas Gerdjikov, président de l’Université St Kliment Ohridski; Tomasz Piertrzykowski, vice-président de l'Université de Silésie à Katowice; Manfred Schmitt, président de l'Université de la Sarre et vice-président de UniGR; Stéphane Pallage, président de l'Université du Luxembourg; Michael Jäckel, président de l’Université de Trèves; Pierre Wolper, président de l'Université de Liège; Arnd Poetzsch-Heffter, vice-président de la Technische Universität Kaiserslautern; Ineta Dabašinskienė, vice-présidente de l’Université Vytautas Magnus; Jean Winand, vice-président de l'Université de Liège; Maria Stoicheva, vice-présidente de l'Université Sofia St Kliment Ohrodski; Thomas Bousonville, l’École supérieure de techniques et d'économie de Sarre; Pierre Mutzenhardt, président de l'Université de Lorraine et président de l'UniGR.

© Université du Luxembourg

The “Erasmus+ European Universities Projects” initiative

The European Commission launched its pilot call “Erasmus+ European Universities Projects” in 2018 with the ambition to revitalise the EHEA. The concept of European universities aims to create strong alliances of higher education institutions, which will educate a new generation of European citizens, enable them to cooperate in several languages across borders and disciplines, and address future societal challenges. These alliances will play a key role for innovation and drive European competitiveness.

Selected projects will benefit from a financial support of the European Union of up to 5 million Euros. Implementation is planned for the beginning of the academic year 2019/2020. The University of Saarland submitted the application on behalf of UniGR network and acts as the lead partner of the project.