The 2019 Annual Meeting reviews the first milestones achieved over the past year in the building of a European University.
During the two-day meeting, the Alliance consolidated its structure and developed its work programme for joint activities in education, research and community building.
The 4EU+ Alliance was launched in March 2018. It aims to create together a truly integrated European University System in capacity to empower students, researchers and society as a whole, as we strive to address the great challenges of our time. To that end, we define and implement a common approach to education, research and service to society, and we foster the free circulation of students, researchers, staff and ideas among universities.
The Meeting brought together Rectors, Vice-Rectors and faculty engaged in the Flagships’ activities, as well as students and administrative staff involved in the 4EU+ Working Groups. The Annual Meeting enabled everyone to have a truly global vision of what is happening within the Alliance, to define the next steps, and allowed all involved in 4EU+ to take stock of the progress the Alliance has made over the past months.
With more than 100 expressions of interest for joint projects in education, research and staff development, the members of this European University pilot have shown both commitment and enthusiasm. The Annual Meeting gave the 4EU+ members the opportunity for a complete review.
The 4EU+ Flagships cover four broad themes on complex societal issues: 1. health and demographic change in an urban environment; 2. Europe in a changing world; 3. Transforming science and society by advancing information, computation and communication; 4. Biodiversity and sustainable development. They are currently moving forward with close to 50 activities. One of the activities, the 4EU+ Against Cancer, is developing multidisciplinary joint masters and doctoral programmes in the study of cancer for 2022. Their first 4EU+ Against Cancer summer school is to take place in summer 2020.
In education, the Alliance members have been implementing the API project (Academic Partnership for Innovation in Teaching and Learning). This ambitious project aims to develop a repository of state-of-the-art tools and techniques in teaching & learning to support the building of the 4EU+ common education framework.
The Annual Meeting was also an opportunity to announce the governance of the Alliance and the establishment of the 4EU+ headquarters in Paris with a Secretary General soon to take up the post.
These two days of meetings will be quickly followed by the first 4EU+ student representative conference. On the 24-25 October, more than 30 students will meet at the University of Copenhagen to discuss student perspectives and student representation for the Alliance.
At the conclusion of the meeting, the rectors expressed their appreciation of how fast this ambition has taken hold in their universities and started to be transformed into reality.