An alliance of universities from six countries, bidding to create a ‘European university of the future’, is officially underway.
Launched in Brussels on December 1, EUTOPIA is a next-generation teaching and research community, comprising a network of campuses aiming to develop a “new model of internationally connected, inclusive, student-led higher education that has not been seen before”.
The institutions signed up to the project – part of the Erasmus+ European Universities Programme – are Vrije Universiteit Brussel, CY Cergy Paris Université, the University of Gothenburg, the Pompeu Fabra University – Barcelona, the University of Warwick, and the University of Ljubljana.
We are creating a shared ‘multiversity’ with a strong multilingual, multidisciplinary and multicultural research and education agenda
– Caroline Pauwels, rector of Vrije Universteit Brussel
“EUTOPIA exists to build bridges throughout Europe,” said Professor Stuart Croft, president and vice-chancellor of the University of Warwick. “Our network of campuses is collaborating on research to benefit citizens across the continent, and is developing a new form of open, connected higher education that enables greater mobility for students, academics, and staff.
“We have already taken bold steps in creating our European academic community, with students and staff learning, working, and sharing ideas in multiple countries right now.”
The project seeks to formulate research and ideas “impacting the lives of ordinary citizens” by testing new methods of cooperative teaching, learning, and working beyond national borders.
Six PhD candidates, for example, are being given joint supervision from EUTOPIA participants on a co-tutelle scholarship programme, undertaking research in science, arts, humanities and cultural heritage.
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“Through open science and open education, with EUTOPIA we are creating a shared ‘multiversity’ with a strong multilingual, multidisciplinary and multicultural research and education agenda,” said Caroline Pauwels, rector of Vrije Universteit Brussel
“This is certainly a turning point in our understanding of the significance of cooperation between universities in Europe in the decades to come,” added Igor Papič, rector of the University of Ljubljana.