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Warwick and EUTOPIA partners awarded grant to build a European university of the future

On 26 June it was announced that EUTOPIA, an established alliance of six European universities, has been successful in its bid for a €5m grant from the Erasmus+ ‘European Universities’ programme. This recognition confirms EUTOPIA as a chosen alliance of institutions working to build a European University of the future, creating a new model for higher education in Europe. The grant will act as a springboard for EUTOPIA to achieve its mission of working as a network of European campuses addressing global and local challenges – through collaborative research, increased mobility of students and staff, and with shared innovations which serve the wider public in regional communities.

EUTOPIA group2

EUTOPIA is comprised of Vrije Universiteit Brussel, the University of Gothenburg, l’Université Paris Seine, the Pompeu Fabra University – Barcelona, the University of Warwick, and is led by the University of Ljubljana. The alliance unites over 165,000 students, 30,000 members of staff, and research centres in 760 areas of knowledge.

The Right Honourable Baroness Catherine Ashton, Chancellor of the University of Warwick and former First Vice President of the European Commission, said:

“EUTOPIA is an initiative of which the Warwick community and our fellow members can be rightly proud.

“Universities across the continent must strive together to increase mobility between nations, use their combined expertise to address global issues, and offer fresh opportunities to improve the lives of European citizens — and EUTOPIA is a sector-leader.

“I am thrilled that our university has led the way in the foundation of EUTOPIA, and I congratulate our alliance for its success in the Erasmus+ programme, as well as its ongoing determination to develop an open, collaborative, cross-border academic community.”

EUTOPIA partnersCo-created in partnership with academics, students and non-academic partners, EUTOPIA will test innovative methods of collaboration, going beyond existing models to progressively increase the quality, international competitiveness and attractiveness of European higher education.

Since the alliance’s official launch at the Solvay Library in Brussels, in February 2019, staff and students from the EUTOPIA partners have built a strong foundation of collaborative activities, which include:

  • The establishment of co-tutelle PhD Scholarships, which will enable up to eight PhD candidates to be co-supervised by academics at Vrije Universiteit Brussel, l’Université Paris Seine and University of Warwick – benefitting from teaching and academic supervision across two countries. This is been made possible thanks to a £500,000 joint investment from Vrije Universiteit Brussel, l’Université Paris Seine and University of Warwick, the founding members of EUTOPIA. The scholarships will support PhD projects in research areas including Complexity Science, Reproductive Medicine and Arts, Humanities and Cultural Heritage. The first cohort will begin in October 2019.
  • The creation of a double Master’s degree between Warwick’s Department of Politics and International studies and Vrije Universiteit Brussel’s Institute for European Studies in ‘International Studies and Integration’, which will launch in 2019. Prior to this, the Department of Political and Social Sciences at Pompeu Fabra – Barcelona and the Department of Politics and International Studies at University of Warwick have offered a double degree since 2014. Other collaborative courses are also under discussion.
  • Students from the EUTOPIA partners will spend up to four weeks this summer at the Barcelona International Summer School (Pompeu Fabra University – Barcelona), where they will take courses in Spanish and English.
  • Students from Vrije Universiteit Brussel and from Pompeu Fabra Univeristy – Barcelona will be participating in the Warwick-run International Conference of Undergraduate Research in September 2019.
  • A number of academic mobility schemes, including the Fernandes Fellowships programme (University of Warwick), and the EUTOPIA International Fellowships programme (l’Université Paris Seine) provide the opportunity for EUTOPIA academics to undertake research visits at partner universities. The EUTOPIA partner institutions are also developing exchange programmes for students and professional administrative staff.

  • Numerous academic workshops continue to take place across the EUTOPIA partner institutions, including one recently hosted by University of Ljubljana in the area of Computer and Data Science. Further collaborations continue in the areas of Complexity Science, Theoretical Physics, Political and Social Sciences, and Arts and Cultural Heritage

Professor Stuart Croft, Vice-Chancellor and President of the University of Warwick, commented:

“We in the University of Warwick and EUTOPIA community are delighted to have been successful in the Erasmus+ ‘European Universities’ programme.

“Our alliance of six European universities has already taken bold steps to create a new form of inclusive, innovative, international higher education - and this recognition from the European Union will help us to advance our mission.

“Warwick has been an international university since its foundation, and, together with our EUTOPIA partners, we continue to strengthen links across the continent, provide global opportunities for staff and students, and to transform our local region through collaborative research.”

Professor Seán Hand, Deputy Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Europe) at the University of Warwick, commented:

"I am truly delighted that our EUTOPIA alliance has been asked to develop a transformative environment for international research and education. We want to address and overcome the invisible boundaries limiting our experience, potentiality and originality.

"Our mission of providing integrated and inclusive learning, research opportunity and team-building, and cross-regional connectedness will enable us to collaborate on common grand challenges, nurture a creative culture of enquiry, and champion a spirit of innovation, involvement and empowerment."

Warwick in Europe - hear the latest news and funding opportunities

Staff and students are invited to join us to learn more about our activities in Europe and the funding schemes that are available to support collaborations with our partner institutions. Find out about the exciting new developments for the Warwick Brussels Office and how you can utilise European Strategy Funding to host events and reach European policy makers, NGOs and experts from industry.

We would like to invite you to join us for an informal lunch afterwards with the opportunity for discussion.

The session is open to all and will be led by Professor Sean Hand, Deputy Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Europe) and members of the International Strategy and Relations team.