European Universities scheme is poised to expand - but Widening countries still face barriers to taking part

20 Sep 2023 | News

The aim is to build networks across the EU, but universities in eastern Europe say structural problems make it harder for them to get involved - and some fear it promotes brain drain

Vice rector of the University of Bucharest, Sorin Costreie. Photo: University of Bucharest

On 3 October the European Commission is due to issue a new call for the European University Initiative, with the aim of expanding the current fifty transnational networks of universities by ten. Universities in central and eastern Europe say they want to play a bigger role, but some are still struggling to become influential players in EU’s higher education sector and there are concerns the scheme promotes brain drain towards the richer member states.

As things stand, the 50 European Universities involve 430 higher education institutions across Europe. Students enrolled at one of them can earn degrees through coursework at multiple partner universities.

While heavily weighted towards partners in the EU15 countries, the initiative has attracted universities from eastern and central Europe, despite greater challenges to participating. These include the more…

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