The European Partnership for Innovative Campus Unifying Regions (EPICUR) alliance has secured the support of the European Commission for € 5 million over three years to become an attractive, innovative European university geared to a new generation of European citizens who will face the great societal challenges of the Europe of tomorrow. The EPICUR alliance consists of 8 partners across Europe, including the University of Amsterdam, led by the University of Strasbourg.
EPICUR is the winner of the call for European University pilot projects launched by the European Commission under the Erasmus+ programme. The EPICUR alliance places the teaching of "Liberal Arts and Sciences Education" at the centre of its project: one of the long-term objectives is the creation of a four-year European bachelor of liberal arts and sciences taught in English at several EPICUR universities.
The first three years of the project correspond to a pilot phase in the long-term process of creating the European University fully integrated with partner universities. The project consists of six action programmes, each led by a university member of the alliance:
- Project management, steering the alliance (Strasbourg);
- Promote multilingualism and inclusive governance (Amsterdam);
- Implement innovative methods of learning and teaching for the European citizens of tomorrow (Freiburg);
- Open the way to an interuniversity campus, using a student and staff-centred approach (Thessaloniki);
- Strengthen and connect regions through a European university: development within and between European regions (KIT);
- Dissemination and sharing of good practices, sustainable cooperation (Strasbourg).
Other priorities include the digital transformation of teaching formats and the development of student mobility: the challenge is to develop a new educational approach based on the concept of inclusive excellence.
By 2025, the new generation should be able to master at least two foreign languages. Multilingualism and inclusion should consolidate European linguistic diversity while ensuring access for all to university studies.
‘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 communication was first published 26 June 2019 by the University of Amsterdam.