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Latest EUI call aims to hit target of 60 university alliances

European Universities Initiative for financing cross-border collaboration to expand with new call

The EU has launched a new funding call worth €189.2 million for financing cross-border collaboration in higher education and research, aiming to hit its target of creating 60 such university alliances.

The European Commission announced on 3 October that it was opening a fifth call under the European Universities Initiative, which funds groups of universities to work together on activities such as joint campuses and courses.

Funded by calls in 2019, 2020, 2022 and 2023, there are currently 50 EUI alliances involving more than 430 higher education institutions across Europe.

With the new call, the Commission said it is hoping to have at least 60 alliances with more than 500 universities participating by the middle of next year.

The EU research and education commissioner Iliana Ivanova said the Commission’s commitment to the EUI is “strong”. The latest call comes as the Commission is working on an investment pathway for the alliances, which have complained that their existing funding does not match their ambition.

Funding for sharing best practice

“[The new call] offers opportunities to set up alliances with open, green and connected inter-university campuses, where mobility and cooperation experiences are an integral part of every higher education programme,” Ivanova said.

“Where students can work across borders with professors, researchers, companies and innovators on transdisciplinary international projects.”

In a break from previous funding rounds, the new call is giving alliances the opportunity to set up a so-called Community of Practice to help them share experiences with each other, with an allocation of €1.5 million.

According to the 2024 programme of work for Erasmus+, which is the EU’s academic mobility scheme and is the main funding source for the alliances, the Community of Practice is meant to help the alliances address common challenges.

The deadline to apply to the EUI call is 6 February 2024.