One year of European Strategy for Universities marks important achievements

Today marks one year since the European Commission and EU countries have agreed on the European Strategy for Universities, empowering higher education institutions for the future of Europe.

The European Strategy for Universities aims at supporting and enabling universities to adapt to changing conditions, to thrive and to contribute to Europe’s resilience and recovery. It is a call to EU countries and higher education institutions across Europe to join forces. It seeks to develop a genuine European dimension in the higher education sector, built on shared values. The strategy recognises excellence and inclusion as a distinctive feature of European higher education, exemplary for European way of life.

Progress on the 4 flagship initiatives

The strategy has proposed 4 flagship initiatives to take transnational cooperation to a new level of intensity and scope, contributing to shaping a true European identity and fostering a strong sense of European belonging. Great progress has been achieved after 1 year:

  • 44 alliances of European Universities supported by Erasmus+ covering 340 higher education institutions from across Europe
  • 90 universities and 17 ministries involved in 10 Erasmus+ pilot projects are developing a joint European degree label and testing EU cooperation instruments, such as a possible European legal status for alliances of higher education institutions
  • European Student Card initiative: the deployment of a unique European Student Identifier facilitating a smoother mobility experience for the students and institutions involved

Other key deliverables of the European strategy for universities

  • EU countries adopted the European Approach to Micro-credentials for lifelong learning and employability following a Commission proposal
  • Erasmus+ supports more than 100 000 traineeships per academic year
  • Erasmus+ calls now open to new innovative approaches to learning and teaching, including living labs, student incubators, green and digital skills, and innovators at school
  • Erasmus+ supports future-proof skills development and entrepreneurship competences of graduates
  • Digital Europe supports multi-disciplinary courses in artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, microelectronics, and high-performance computing
  • The European Commission is introducing the Seal of excellence under Erasmus+
  • A new Erasmus Student Charter that raises awareness among mobile students about their rights and responsibilities related to academic freedom, values, and integrity.
  • The Commission published a state of play on the implementation of the Council Recommendation on promoting automatic mutual recognition of higher education and upper secondary education and training qualifications and the outcomes of learning periods abroad, and supports EU countries
  • Horizon Europe financial support for a network of education, research and innovation experts to address the under-representation of women in STEM fields (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) and to elaborate a concrete roadmap
  • The European Institute of Innovation and Technology initiated the European Battery Academy in February 2022 with a budget of €10 million
  • The Commission initiated MSCA4Ukraine to support a fellowship scheme for displaced researchers from Ukraine (at doctoral and postdoctoral level) to continue their work in a host organisation in Europe. The first fellowships are starting in April 2023
  • Annual European Talent Fair had its first edition in Leiden in 2022. It brought together students, early career researchers, scholars, start-ups, industry and investors to promote young people’s talent and job opportunities in the research sector across the EU

Next steps

The Commission will continue to cooperate with EU countries and the higher education sector on the co-implementation of the European strategy for universities. It will use both policy and funding instruments to achieve the objectives of the European strategy for universities.

Source: EC


European Higher Education Organization

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.

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