New ECIU presidium leading the way towards ECIU university 2030

Mari Walls elected by the ECIU Board as new ECIU Vice-President and Jan-Ingvar Jönsson (Vice-Chancellor Linköping University) as ECIU treasurer. Yesterday at the online Executive Board meeting, the ECIU Board confirmed the new ECIU Presidium led by the ECIU President Màrius Martínez (UAB) for the term of three years. The Presidium consists of Màrius Martínez (ECIU President), Mari Walls (ECIU Vice-President), Jan-Ingvar Jönsson (Treasurer) and Tom Veldkamp (Coordinator Erasmus+ ECIU University). The ECIU Board thanked the leaving ECIU Vice-President Per Michael Johansen from Aalborg University for his dedication, reflections and efforts as Vice-President. Johansen will stay in the ECIU Board.

Mari Walls stated after her election as new ECIU Vice-President:

It is a great honor to join the ECIU Presidium and to have this opportunity to contribute to the strategic choices needed to turn the ambitious ECIU vision into reality. Questions like the resilience of societies and enabling research-based higher education for life are shared by all European universities. I believe that we have a lot to gain through working together and untapping our unique synergies.

The new Presidium will work closely together on the transition of the network of universities towards a joint future as a functioning European University, interacting in an open European ecosystem of industry and SME’s, learners NGO’s, regions and municipalities. The ECIU Presidium has a crucial role in conveying the ECIU University Vision 2030 internally in the ECIU and externally to stakeholders and accelerate it.

During the following months, important strategic directions need to be set by the ECIU Board. The ECIU President Màrius Martínez is confident that he can rely on a strong Presidium leading the change:

I’m very excited about this new Presidium since it will have to manage a huge challenge which is leading ECIU to build and make ECIU University a reality, a new reference on Higher Education in Europe and globally. The new Presidium is reinforced, now with four members and I’m very honored to have onboard three great rectors of our universities. Together we will work to build an innovative European University based in our DNA: challenging conventional thinking and making a true and real impact in Europe and beyond.

About Mari Walls

Professor Mari Walls is President of Tampere University, Finland. The multi-disciplined University was formed from the merger of Tampere University of Technology and the University of Tampere in 2019. The priority areas of the University, the second-largest in Finland, are technology, health and society. Prior to joining Tampere University, Mari Walls served as President and CEO of LUKE Natural Resources Institute Finland, Director of the Marine Research Centre in the Finnish Environment Institute SYKE and Professor of Biodiversity and Environmental Sciences at the University of Turku. Professor Walls holds several positions of trust, including member of the Academy of Finland research infrastructure committee, board member in Technology Academy Finland, and chair of board of the Finnish Meteorological Institute.

About Jan-Ingvar Jönsson

Jan-Ingvar Jönsson is Vice-Chancellor of Linköping University since 1 July 2020. He is professor in Medical Cell Biology at LiU. Jan-Ingvar was member of the Scientific Council for Medicine and Health at the Swedish Research Council during the period 2013-2015, and from 2016 until the summer of 2020 he was Secretary General of the Swedish Research Council, with scientific responsibility for medicine and health. In addition to work with the grant-awarding process, he has served on national committees and in international organisations, advised the government on research issues, and helped develop future research policy. He has also played an important role as coordinator for corona-directed research, reporting directly to the director general.

About the ECIU University  

The ECIU University is one of the seventeen international initiatives to be selected by the European Commission under its European Universities call of the EU Erasmus+ pilot programme, and received five million euros Erasmus+ funding. Lately, the ECIU University received an additional two million euros fund under the Horizon 2020 SWAFS call to strengthen its research component. On 1 February 2021, the ECIU University Virtual Institute for Smart European Regions (SMART-ER) kicked off.

Source: European consortium

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European Higher Education Organization is a public organization carrying out academic, educational and information activities on higher education in Europe.

The EHEO general plan stresses that:

  • Higher education systems require adequate funding and, as an investment in economic growth, public spending in higher education should be protected.
  • The challenges faced by higher education require more flexible governance and funding systems, which balance greater autonomy for education institutions with accountability to stakeholders.

Thus, EHEO plans:

  • improve academic and scientific interaction of universities;
  • protect the interests of universities;
  • interact more closely with public authorities of European countries;
  • popularize European higher education in the world;
  • develop academic mobility;
  • seek funding for European universities.