What is a European University?

Ever since universities were created, they had the tradition to cooperate with each other.
But in June 2019, the European Commission, through the European Universities Initiative, decided to push this kind of cooperation forward to more integration. It selected 17 pioneer alliances – consisting of 114 Higher Education Institutions – to be the future European Universities.
The European Commission defines European Universities as such:
“European Universities are transnational alliances that will become the universities of the future, promoting European values and identity, and revolutionising the quality and competitiveness of European higher education. In order to achieve this major step forward, the Commission is testing different cooperation models for European Universities with two calls for proposals under the Erasmus+ programme. The alliances will:

  • include partners from all types of higher education institution and cover a broad geographic scope across Europe
  • be based upon a co-envisioned long-term strategy focussed on sustainability, excellence and European values
  • offer student-centred curricula jointly delivered across inter-university campuses, where a diverse student bodies can build their own programmes and experience mobility at all levels of study
  • adopt a challenge-based approach according to which students, academics and external partners can cooperate in inter-disciplinary teams to tackle the biggest issues facing Europe today.”

Thanks to this initiative, the European Universities have the objective to “bring together a new generation of creative Europeans able to cooperate across languages, borders and disciplines to address societal challenges and skills shortages faced in Europe.”
These alliances are deeply rooted in the European values and the innovative aspect of their foundation is that they are co-created by students & staff. Indeed, this project was thought as a highly student-centred project.
European Universities will try new formats and new ways of experiencing the university life. We hope that they will be considered as role models in the transformation of the European landscape of higher education.
The EPICUR alliance is deeply thankful to the European Commission for its trust and the opportunity it gave us to move change the way we experience our universities.
If you want to learn more about the initiative of the European Union, click here.

Who is addressed by EPICUR?

We are developing an integrative approach and we address in and beyond our alliance and universities.

Our alliance is based on a Staff and Students approach. It means that all our activities are oriented towards the demands of our students (Bachelors, Masters, PhD) and our staff members (researchers, academic, administrative). Most importantly, we want to include our students and staff members to the process of creation of the alliance and its implementation.

On a different level, EPICUR has the ambition to be connected to the great actors of its different regions and to Unify its Regions. The regions are part of our DNA. Therefore, EPICUR will be tackling the challenges our regions are facing in matters such as the society, the economy, etc, hand-in-hand with its partners thanks to new collaborations.

Who are the EPICUR partners?

The EPICUR alliance is composed of 9 Higher Education Institutions:

  • University of Strasbourg – France
  • Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznań – Poland
  • Aristotle University of Thessaloniki – Greece
  • University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna – Austria
  • Karlsruhe Institute of Technology – Germany
  • University of Haute-Alsace – France
  • University of Freiburg – Germany
  • University of Amsterdam – The Netherlands
  • Southern Denmark University – Denmark

Our partner universities are part of different regions unfolding 4 main cultural areas of Europe:

  • Latin (France)
  • Mediterranean (France, Greece)
  • Slavic (Poland, Eastern Europe)
  • Anglo-Saxon (Austria, Germany, The Netherlands)

They are also part of multiple regional networks:

  • EUCOR – the Upper Rhine Network
  • ICA Central and South Eastern Europe (CASEE)
  • BSUN – the Black Sea University Network
  • BUP – Baltic University Program

The diversity of each university background allows us to learn from our differences and exchange about the changes we can do to improve our collaboration.For further details, please visit the profiles of our University partners.
In order to enhance and improve the alliance’s impact, we are establishing synergies between the higher education system and the private sector in Europe through associated partners. These associate partners or organisations will contribute to the development of specific topics that the Alliance is working on at a global level. EPICUR associated partners are organisations that:
• contribute to the implementation of specific tasks/activities
• and/or support the dissemination and sustainability of the EPICUR alliance results.

What is the relation between EUCOR and EPICUR?

As mentioned above (Who are the EPICUR partners?), EUCOR is one of the regional networks of EPICUR.EUCOR and EPICUR have 4 partner universities in common:

  • Albert-Ludwigs University, Freiburg, Germany
  • Karlsruhe Institute for Technology, Karlsruhe, Germany
  • Université de Haute-Alsace, Colmar-Mulhouse, France
  • Université de Strasbourg, France

However, they do have different visions and objectives. EUCOR aims to stay a network whereas EPICUR is leading a process of inclusion and integration between its universities.
EUCOR has a clear focus on the Upper Rhine region and the development of the scientific space. It defines its aim as such: “to build a scientific space with a clearly defined profile, without walls or borders and with international outreach. Common structures, common governance and a common strategy for research and training are the foundations of the close cooperation.”
EPICUR works on a much wider scope thanks to its diverse regions. Moreover, EUCOR and EPICUR don’t have the same strategy. EPICUR has the objective to showcase the importance of mobility and multilingualism, but also interculturality and innovative-thinking.