The alliance is made up of seven universities and will promote the creation of sustainable and transformative European universities
The goal is to jointly train a new generation of "knowledge entrepreneurs" who will lead the transformation of the world under the SDG paradigm
Alicante, Thursday 9 July 2020
The European Commission has just announced the selection of the consortium "Transform4Europe - T4E" —which includes the University of Alicante, the only Spanish member of the project— as one of the alliances that will be present in this second call for the European Universities initiative within the framework of the Erasmus + Programme. The T4E consortium brings together seven European universities that will be led by the University of Saarland (Germany): the University of Alicante (Spain), the Estonian Academy of Arts, the University of Silesia in Katowice (Poland), the University of Sofia St. Kliment Ohridski (Bulgaria), the University of Trieste (Italy) and the Vytautas Magnus University in Kaunas (Lithuania).
The goal of the project is the creation of sustainable European universities with joint structures of government and administration, making up a strategic network of universities and regional social agents, as University of Alicante Vice President for Studies Planning and Training Actions Enrique Herrero explained with great satisfaction. In a globalised and digitised world, universities are increasingly joining together in networks to provide their students and teachers with greater and better opportunities. This is why this consortium will train a new generation of “knowledge entrepreneurs", a term that goes beyond the classic concept of entrepreneurship since it focuses on changing the structural paradigms governing today's world by aligning actions and knowledge with the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals, as Herrero stated.
T4E partners have joined forces to transform themselves and also to transform the ways in which they work together to drive the transformation of Europe. That is the objective of this strategic and sustainable alliance that will train a new generation of highly motivated and skilled European knowledge entrepreneurs: change agents with the interdisciplinary, digital, multilingual, intercultural and entrepreneurial skills needed to actively contribute and shape the next challenges related to the necessary transformation processes both in Europe and in this globalised world.
To achieve this, the T4E alliance will integrate a strong transnational organisation of universities into a network of social agents in the regions where they are located, creating an interregional ecosystem of knowledge and innovationwith the T4E alliance as the core structure. Within this ecosystem, students, researchers and regional agents across Europe will collaborate to generate new applied knowledge on digital transformation and intelligent regions, environmental transformation and sustainability, and social transformation and inclusion, jointly promoting the development of Europe and the European education area, the University of Alicante Vice President said.
The T4E alliance will have a far-reaching impact on students, universities, regions, Europe and the European Education Area and will serve as a model for mutual university-regional development anywhere in Europe.
Enrique Herrero says he is looking forward to starting this ambitious project. The first actions are to implement transformative activities with joint structures of government and support services with which to advance towards this sustainable European University that will in turn converge with another strategic network between the universities themselves and the main social agents in their regions. Also, they will develop joint academic programmes seeking to meet the challenges of today's society, integrating entrepreneurial and language learning skills with innovative models for creating knowledge among students, faculty, and employers and professionals. In the same line, innovative teaching methods and learning environments will be implemented with simple gateways and mutual recognition between the degrees of the different member universities.
Another highlight of the project will be transparent and inclusive mobility around the T4E transnational ecosystem and a living European campus spirit. According to Herrero, the project includes global mobility, which brings together a blended system of online and onsite modes, integrating knowledge transfer, training and skills in a broad sense.
The alliance encompasses approximately 116,000 students and 18,500 employees (including faculty, administration and service staff), all committed to a common European idea. Each of the European university alliances will be funded with 5 million euros from the Erasmus + programme, as well as up to 2 million euros from the Horizon 2020 programme over the next three years.
Together with the project in which the University of Alicante is included, 24 of the 62 applications submitted to the second call for European Universities 2020 pilot initiative have been selected. These are partnerships made up of universities from all over Europe selected by independent experts and covering a total of 165 higher education institutions from 26 Member States and other countries participating in the Erasmus+ programme. Other than the 17 alliances already selected in the previous call, there are now 41 European universities with around 280 higher education institutions. In total, a budget of up to €287 million will be available for these 41 European universities.
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