DCU joins other universities in creation of European University alliances

Tadgh McNally

Image Credit: Jonathon Lynam

Dublin City University is one of 114 higher education institutions that will form multiple “European University” alliances, the European Commission announced last Wednesday.

This comes as part of the Commissions’ plan to create a European Education Area (EEA), that will allow for the improvement of European higher education.

There are currently 17 “European University” alliances planned, with both DCU and Trinity College Dublin being the only Irish universities involved.

Tibor Navracsics, Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport said, “I am pleased to see the ambition of the first 17 European Universities, which will act as role models for others across the EU”.

These universities are planned to be inter-university campuses which will allow for students, staff and researchers all to move easily from one to another.

“It is really exciting for DCU to be part of this exciting experiment, to shape a new model of university education”, said Professor Daire Keogh, Deputy President of DCU.

“The proposal offers unprecedented flexibility to students, especially life-long-learners, and it will allow researchers, students, and society to find solutions to real life challenges to create a better, more sustainable world”, said Professor Keogh.

A budget of €85 million has been allocated for the 17 university alliances, with each receiving €5 million in the next three years. This will allow them to begin implementing their plans, so that future alliances will have a path to follow.

The first call will allow testing of different models to see which has the most potential to boost higher education in Europe. According to the Commissions’ timeline, the first European Universities are scheduled to begin cooperating between September and November of 2019.

A full rollout of the European University alliances is scheduled to launch in 2021, under the Erasmus+ programme, with a significantly increased budget.

According to the Commission, some of the university alliances will be comprehensive and cover diverse topics of study, others will be more focused, covering social sciences, global health etc.

These initiatives were first proposed at the Gothenburg Social Summit in 2017 and was endorsed by the European Council later that year. They called for 20 European Universities by 2024 which would open the path to creating a European Education Area by 2025.

Tadgh McNally

Image Credit: Jonathon Lynam