Glasgow University joins European universities alliance

The CIVIS association has eight EU members, with Glasgow joining as an associated member

The University of Glasgow has gained associate member status of CIVIS – a European university alliance.

Glasgow joined the eight-member association – established in June 2019 with European Union funding – as an associate member. Funding for CIVIS comes, in part, from the EU’s Erasmus+ budgets.

Spanning 384,000 students and 30,000 academics, CIVIS is one of 17 European University alliances funded by Brussels to create “integrated transnational European Universities“. The inter-university campuses allow students, doctoral candidates, staff and researchers to work seamlessly across borders. The EU targets that each “inter-university campus” will achieve 50% student mobility by 2025.

Moreover, we find that welcoming a Scottish university into a European alliance (with partners from Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Romania, Spain, and Sweden), at this particular time in European history is, by itself, utterly significant
– Prof Marian Preda, University of Bucharest

As an associate member, Glasgow will self-fund its participation in certain aspects of CIVIS, which comprises Aix-Marseille Université, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Universitatea din București, Université libre de Bruxelles, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Sapienza Università di Roma, Stockholm University and Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen.

Prof Sir Anton Muscatelli, principal and vice-chancellor of the University of Glasgow, said: “Like the CIVIS alliance, the University of Glasgow is a collaboration-oriented civic university with its roots in our local community, but with global ambitions and impact.

“We are an institution which has always been and will always remain proudly European. We celebrate our international outlook while committing to social transformation and civic engagement at a local level.”

CIVIS has research specialities in health; cities, territories and mobilities; climate, environment and energy; digital and technological transformation; and society, cultures and heritage.

It aims to boost international student exchanges, contribute to local societies and increase cooperation with African universities.

Prof Marian Preda, the rector of the University of Bucharest and president of the board of rectors of CIVIS, said: “The amount of talent, experience and reach of the University of Glasgow, will significantly strengthen the alliance at a time when CIVIS is developing a range of ground-breaking initiatives in education, research, innovation, and links with society.

“Moreover, we find that welcoming a Scottish university into a European alliance (with partners from Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Romania, Spain, and Sweden), at this particular time in European history is, by itself, utterly significant.”

Several other UK universities, Edinburgh, Warwick and Essex, are founding members of three similar networks of European universities. According to Warwick deputy pro-vice-chancellor Prof Seán Hand, UK member universities in ‘European University’ projects remain uncertain about their future since the UK withdrew from Erasmus+ in December 2020.


Read more: Erasmus: ‘unacceptable’ to force Wales and Scotland to leave, ministers say

Image via Flickr.

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