A year and a half after the launch of EUTOPIA (European Universities Transforming into an Open Inclusive Academy for 2050), the representatives of the 10 universities of the alliance met in person for the first time in Barcelona, from 22 to 26 November 2021.
EUTOPIA Week 2021, organised by Universitat Pompeu Fabra, focussed on Planetary Wellbeing. It was also an opportunity to consider the results of the first part of this collaboration and to establish future strategic policies with a view to participating in the new Eramus+ European Universities Initiative funding programme.
In Barcelona, the University of Babeș-Bolyai — the largest university in Romania — officially joined the EUTOPIA Alliance, which already involved over 200.000 students, 760 research areas, and 900 research centres. The University of Babeș-Bolyai joined the University of Warwick, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, CY Cergy Paris Université, the University of Gothenburg, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Università Ca’ Foscari Venezia, Technische Universität Dresden, and Universidade NOVA de Lisboa.
Ca’ Foscari’s Rector, Tiziana Lippiello, participated in EUTOPIA Week and thus represented our university — the only Italian university currently in the alliance. “We look forward to collaborating under the banner of research, internationalisation and student mobility and innovative activities,” said the Rector when Ca’ Foscari joined EUTOPIA in September 2021. “The challenges of EUTOPIA have always been Ca' Foscari's challenges, as well. I believe that only the sharing of knowledge, partnership and cooperation among scholars can truly contribute to facing the global challenges of our time, from environmental issues to social and economic inequality, from the impact of technology and digitisation to the management of innovation.”
EUTOPIA, an international network
In 2019, EUTOPIA (European Universities Transforming into an Open Inclusive Academy for 2050) was one of the first 17 Europian university alliances to obtain funding through the European Universities Initiative. There are currenty 41 alliances which have received funding from the European Commission. These transnational alliances have two main objectives: to increase the international competitiveness of European universities, and to contribute to the strengthening of the European identity.
The EUTOPIA alliance is student-centered and committed to reinforcing social cohesion. It focuses on excellence and inclusion, and looks beyond national and educational borders to develop innovative pedagogical models and to encourage the mobility of people and ideas. EUTOPIA’s partners share values such as integrity, academic freedom, the sharing of knowledge, and openness to the international community.
The project is currently in the middle of a three-year pilot phase which is the beginning of the universities of the future. The new contribution of the Erasmus+ programme would provide funds to EUTOPIA for 2022-2026 and 2026-2028. But the Alliance looks ahead as far as 2050.
The key elements of EUTOPIA in the short term
The pilot projects includes seven Work Packages, each with a different aim:
- Governance and management: to create a governance structure and strategy for managing a European University alliance
- Education: to create a common Learning Community
- Research: to establish common set of Knowledge Creation Communities (Research)
- Place-making: to promote place-making capacity, policies and practices
- Inclusion: to promote societal inclusion in policy and practice
- Internationalisation: to promote a grounded and global internationalisation
- Communication and Sustainability: to promote sustainability and dissemination in policy and practice
EUTOPIA’s mid-term mission
By 2025, EUTOPIA will establish the foundations of a federated university. This project has five main objectives:
- to prepare students, staff and learners to be empowered European citizens
- to adjust the university organisation and practices to the challenges of the 21st Century
- to increase and intensify the Europeanisation of programmes on offer
- to promote place-making by the universities in partnership with their regions, to strengthen the transformative effect of universities
- to serve as an example for other universities, in Europe and in the world, in order to share the objective of building universities that are transformative, challenge-driven, and truly contemporary
EUTOPIA’s long-term objective is the creation of a fully federated inter-university campus alliance by 2050. This alliance will be oriented towards future challenges and student-centred, committed to the potentiality of Europe’s regions and to the principles of openness and inclusion.
EUTOPIA is a shared mission that aims to create an alliance that is daring, passionate, engaged and transformative. EUTOPIA will support challenge-driven research and teaching; it will prepare empowered European graduates; it will foster regional and international engagement; it will support diversity, inclusion, and widening citizenship.
EUTOPIA is coordinated by the University of Ljubljana and includes the University of Warwick, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, CY Cergy Paris Université, University of Gothenburg, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Università Ca’ Foscari Venezia, Technische Universität Dresden, Universidade NOVA de Lisboa, University of Babeș-Bolyai.
Are you a student at Ca’ Foscari?
Are you a student at Ca’ Foscari? Then you can already contribuite to the EUTOPIA community with your papers, research project or dissertation excerpts: the EUTOPIA Student Think Tank (EUSTT) is a space where students can share ideas, knowledge and research inspiration. The platform is managed by a diverse group of students and researchers and it allows students from the 10 universities of the alliance to publish articles to share their research and research outcomes.
Feeling curious? Then check out the article EUTOPIA Student Think Tank: make your voice heard.