E³UDRES² Representatives Participated in European Universities Coordinators’ Meeting in Brussels

From 07-08 February, the European Commission DG EAC together with the European Education and Culture Executive Agency invited coordinators of European University Alliances to Brussels for a coordinators’ meeting. Michal Karpíšek, Irene Auffret, and Edita Struplova, members of the E³UDRES² Head Office based at St. Pölten UAS, participated on behalf of the alliance, taking in valuable insights and exchanging with fellow coordinators. The event brought together 150 participants from 50 different alliances, along with representatives from the European Commission and the European Education and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA).

The primary focus of the meeting was to present the progress and challenges of existing European University alliances, as well as engage in discussions regarding the 2024 Commission priorities, specifically addressing the upcoming higher education package. The European Commission presented insights and sought input from the participating alliances on the challenges and opportunities they anticipate. The event facilitated an open dialogue to enhance the understanding of the unique circumstances faced by European University alliances. The meeting included several networking sessions and interactive opportunities for participants to exchange ideas, fostering collaboration among the diverse European University alliances. Additionally, the second day of the event offered the possibilty to have bileteral meetings with the responsible Project Officers for the alliances.

Left: Michal Karpíšek, Irene Auffret and Edita Struplova participating in the event. Right: Sophia Eriksson-Waterschoot welcoming participants on the first day of the meeting.

Joint Degrees, Student Engagement & best practices

Renowned speakers at the meeting included Sophia Eriksson-Waterschoot (Director for Youth, Education and Erasmus+ at the European Commission), Vanessa Debiais-Sainton (Head of Unit B1 Higher Education at European Commission), and Walter Zampieri (Head of Unit A1 European Higher Education at EACEA), with each input bringing valuable insights into the discussions, contributing to a comprehensive understanding of the challenges and possibilities in European higher education.

The event discussed many crucial topics of the European Higher Education Area, including Joint European Degrees as well as the Investment Pathway for the European University Alliance Initiative, providing continuous support to the alliances in the period 2028-2034. Special attention also came to the topic of student engagement within the alliances: Participants explored best practices as well as new ways to enhance the involvement of students in decision-making processes and activities, recognizing the integral role they play in shaping the future of higher education in Europe. These discussions were also enhanced by the experiences of Rita Dias (President of the Erasmus Student Network (ESN)) and Tanguy Guibert (Vice-President of the European Students’ Union (ESU)). The collaborative atmosphere of the event underscored the commitment of the alliances, the European Commission, and EACEA to strengthen higher education networks and address the evolving needs of European Universities.

The insights gained and collaborative efforts made during this event are expected to contribute to the development of effective strategies and policies for the European higher education landscape in the years to come.


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