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Panel discussion on the future of European Universities

Event information

Date & location

From 9:30am to 10:30am CET

Virtual event


Dr. Sonja Yeh

Project Manager Una Europa, Freie Universität Berlin

The “European Universities” initiative has captured Europe's Higher Education landscape over the last four years. Inspired by a speech on the Future of Europe by French President Emmanuel Macron at the Sorbonne University in September 2017 and adopted by the EU as driver to achieve the European Education and Research Area, 41 alliances have received EU funding for a pilot phase of three years.

The European University - One Idea, Different Models

Amongst these alliances, there seems to be a proliferation of models, programmes and formats. The aims and objectives of the various alliances are very heterogeneous. Some concentrate their co-operation on specific research themes, others on student mobility; some aim to create a unified European Campus, others plan to create “only” joint programmes. Most of them hope to enable students at some point to obtain a degree by combining studies in several EU countries. Some chose partners who were very much like themselves, others went for more different partners.

2021 represents an important year to launch the debate on the future roll-out of the European Universities initiative. The Portuguese Presidency of the EU plans to launch Council conclusions on this topic in May, which will feed into the European Commission’s recommendation. In this high-level panel discussion, we have invited representatives of the three networks Una Europa, EUTOPIA and UNITE! to discuss the different paths these networks are currently going. We will talk about challenges we all have to face and the hopes we share and how future policies and funding can support us.

On the panel:

  • James Smith, Vice-Principal International of the University of Edinburgh, and member of the Una Europa Board of Directors,
  • Eva Wiberg, Vice-Chancellor at the University of Gothenburg, and Representative of EUTOPIA,
  • Jens Schneider, Vice President of Transfer and International Affairs at Technische Universität Darmstadt, and Representative of UNITE!.


  • Verena Blechinger-Talcott, Vice-President International, Freie Universität Berlin, and Chair of Una Europa's Board of Directors

This event is embedded in the Una Europa Staff Week organized under the 1Europe project co-funded by Erasmus+.