The EPICUR alliance's 2030 strategy towards a Federation of European universities has received an 18 million Euro grant (80% EC funding and 20% co-funding) from the European Commission under the ERASMUS+ programme for its deployment through the EPICUR-SHAPE-IT project.The grant will be used to start its roll-out-phase, to be completed in 2028.
Now composed of 9 universities from 7 European countries, the EPICUR alliance has been designed to achieve together what each of our universities cannot achieve alone.
Europe is facing more complex challenges than ever before, ranging from climate change, a global pandemic, an ageing population and digital transformations to daunting geopolitical tensions. Its universities have a crucial role to play in this context, and they need to undergo far-reaching transformations to answer renewed societal needs and boost their contribution to the public good. This requires unprecedented efforts and creativity within our academic communities. The EPICUR European alliance is in a unique position to address these challenges. EPICUR brings together the distinctive and complementary forces of its 9 member universities as well as the experience and creative potential of their regions.
The EPICUR alliance’s core ambition is to transform education, research and transfer practices and opportunities across its member universities in order to develop original cutting-edge solutions and train new generations of European change makers able to shape a European society in transition and help overcome these formidable challenges.
This ambition relies on a shared set of values which stand at the core of the European project: academic freedom, sustainable transformation, multilingualism and interculturality, and equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) throughout all aspects of life.
Our strategy is structured through 6 core missions aiming at deepening and scaling-up our ability to offer a European training, learning and research experience on the EPICUR multilingual, research and transfer - inspired and stakeholder-engaging inter-university campus:
- Deepen and widen the EPICUR European learning experience.
- Boost research and innovations beyond borders.
- Advance societal engagement.
- Empower digital transformation.
- Achieve boundless mobility.
- Develop inclusive and agile governance structures.
Building on the vision expressed by its members, EPICUR’s long-term joint strategy for education involves a systemic approach to developing flexible curricula, building on embedded mobility formats and training offers for all learners. By 2030 EPICUR's offer will include seamless student pathways, as well as services and support structures for staff involved. Thus enabling all students and staff to gain a European personalised learning and work experience.
‘We are happy to have succeeded with this first step because we have been working for many months to create this European university alongside our partners,’ says Christelle Roy, project leader of the EPICUR alliance and vice president of strategies and developments at the University of Strasbourg. We all share the same vision and ambition for the alliance: our goal is to build bridges between the academic communities of the eight partner universities, thus serving as intellectual hubs for research and innovation.”
‘We are very proud of the support of the European Commission, which proves once again the ability of the University of Strasbourg to innovate in the face of the major challenges we face,’ says Michel Deneken, President of the University of Strasbourg. ‘We now hope to obtain the support of the French State, which has announced its wish to support, as part of the third programme of investments for the future (PIA3), the French universities that are committed to this great challenge which is European universities.’
The EPICUR alliance is made up of 8 partners of higher education in Europe:
- Adam-Mickiewicz University of Poznań, Poland;
- University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands;
- Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece;
- University of Freiburg, Germany;
- University of Haute-Alsace, France;
- Karlsruher Institute for Technology, Germany;
- University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna, Austria;
- University of Strasbourg, France
The EPICUR alliance is now committed to building a project deeply rooted in the values of a Europe with knowledge exchange across borders.
This article was first published on 27 July by University of Amsterdam.