Trinity among newly announced European University alliances in pioneering initiative

Posted on: 26 June 2019

Trinity College Dublin was today announced as one of the higher education institutions that will pioneer a “European University” alliance.

Trinity is one of only two Irish institutions selected for this new EU initiative that will enhance the quality and attractiveness of European higher education and boost cooperation between institutions, their students and staff.

Earlier this year, Trinity signed a foundational agreement to form part of the CHARM-EU (Challenge-driven, Accessible, Research-based, Mobile European University) alliance, along with partners Eötvös Loránd University (Hungary), the University of Barcelona (Spain), the University of Montpellier (France) and Utrecht University (Netherlands). Today, CHARM-EU was confirmed as one of 17 pioneer alliances selected by the European Commission.

As part of CHARM-EU, Trinity will form part of an inter-university campus around which students, doctoral candidates, staff and researchers can move seamlessly. Alliance members will pool their expertise, platforms and resources to deliver joint curricula or modules covering various disciplines. These curricula will be very flexible and allow students to personalise their education, choosing what, where and when to study to get a European degree.

All European Universities in the alliances share a long-term strategy and promote European values and identity. They will also contribute to the sustainable economic development of the regions where they are located, as their students will work closely with companies, authorities, academics and researchers to find solutions to the challenges their regions are facing.

Speaking at the signing of the foundational agreement in January, Provost of Trinity, Dr Patrick Prendergast, said:  

Trinity is delighted to be part of this new network of European universities, cooperating together without frontiers. We will focus on the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), providing training to our European students in becoming global citizens. We need education programmes and research at the frontiers of knowledge to reduce poverty and the overall human pressure on our planet. A truly sustainable planet requires a global effort. As individuals, institutions, cities and countries, we all have an essential part to play and through this collective European network we hope our universities will make a significant impact.

In total, a budget of up to €85 million is available for the first 17 European Universities. Each alliance will receive up to €5 million in the coming three years to start implementing their plans and pave the way for other higher education institutions across the EU to follow.

Out of 54 applications received, a total of 17 European University alliances involving 114 higher education institutions from 24 Member States were selected, based on an evaluation carried out by 26 independent external experts, including rectors, professors and researchers, appointed by the European Commission.

Tibor Navracsics, Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, said:

“I am pleased to see the ambition of the first 17 European Universities, which will act as role models for others across the EU. They will enable the next generations of students to experience Europe by studying in different countries. I am convinced that this initiative, a key building block of the European Education Area, will be a real game changer for higher education in Europe, boosting excellence and inclusion.

For more information, see here.