Universities of Edinburgh, Warwick and Essex to be involved in new European Universities alliances

Three UK universities are among 114 higher education institutions from across the continent that will be part of the first European Universities alliances. 

The University of Warwick will be part of the Transforming to an Open, Inclusive Academy for 2050 alliance; the University of Edinburgh is set to be involved in the UNA Europa alliance; and the University of Essex will become a member of the Young Universities for the Future of Europe alliance. 

There will be 17 alliances in total, designed to strengthen student and staff mobility and support the inclusiveness, competitiveness and quality of European higher education. Each one will become an inter-university campus, enabling students, doctoral candidates, staff and researchers to move easily between the member institutions. 

Professor James Smith, Vice Principal International at the University of Edinburgh, said: "Partnerships make the University of Edinburgh what it is today – a global institution, influencing the world and helping to change lives for the better. 

“Joining UNA Europa underlines Edinburgh’s commitment to working with our European colleagues and ensuring continued international experiences and collaboration for our students and staff."

Tiber Navracsics, Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, said: “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 higher education institutions, the alliances will provide opportunities to combine expertise, platforms and resources in order to deliver joint modules. Students will benefit from a more personalised education, being able to choose what, where and when to study.

A budget of 85 million euros is available for the European Universities, with each alliance receiving up to 5 million euros over the next three years to start implementing their plans. The Commission has proposed to roll out European Universities fully under Erasmus+ with an increase in funds under the next long-term EU budget, which runs from 2021–2027.