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Voyage to a University of the Future: 1Europe Annual Report 2022

Introduction: One voyage. One community.

The Una Europa community spans more than half a million students, 100,000 members of staff and, over the course of 2022, has grown to include 11 partner universities; this year we warmly welcomed Universiteit Leiden, University College Dublin and Universität Zürich on board.

Transcending boundaries of geography, language, culture and discipline, this exceptional community is the true engine of our voyage to a University of the Future, fuelled by a shared purpose and a common vision. And, as we reach the culmination of our 1Europe pilot project, Una Europa’s momentum shows no sign of lagging. We pause to celebrate our community’s many achievements over the past three years before looking to the future, as we embark on the next leg of our voyage to a University of the Future.

" In just three short years, Una Europa has made significant strides towards our shared vision for a European University of the Future. We have launched Europe's first truly joint Bachelor's degree, advanced transdisciplinary doctoral education, and opened up flexible, inclusive learning pathways to address some of the world's most pressing challenges. Together, we will continue to push the boundaries of transnational collaboration, shaping Europe’s shared future for the better. "

Peter Lievens
Vice Rector, KU Leuven,
1Europe Coordinator

1. Mapping uncharted waters

As one of the first European University pilots selected by the European Commission in June 2019, Una Europa has been a pioneering force, shaping the international higher education landscape. With the knowledge and insights we have gained over the past three years, we have created manuals, handbooks and toolkits to shine a guiding light towards a European University of the Future – for our own community and beyond.

2. Nine pilot programmes launched

Una Europa partners share a vision for a European University of the Future with high-quality international education and mobility at the core. Our community’s passionate commitment to this vision is borne out not only by the quantity but the exceptional quality of educational programmes we have launched during our pilot phase. We have gone beyond simply pooling our resources, strategically maximising our impact to create an outstanding joint academic offer and a truly European learning experience.

Una Europa’s nine unique pilot programmes include our Joint Bachelor of Arts in European Studies, Europe’s first truly joint Bachelor’s degree, which welcomed more than 270 students in October 2022; our truly transnational Joint Doctoral Programme in Cultural Heritage, currently recruiting its second cohort; and our Micro-credential in Sustainability, which harnesses the potential of flexible, student-centred learning to tackle some of the world’s most pressing challenges.

3. New ways to communicate

Building our community means learning to communicate differently, weaving together over 1,000 years of collective heritage to tell new stories – with new faces, new voices and new perspectives.

4. New ways to work together

Our Clusters, Working Groups and Task Forces have sought to tackle the challenges faced by students, doctoral researchers, academics and professional services staff head-on:

  • Our Mobility Cluster, in collaboration with our student community, developed Student Guide to support Una Europa students embarking on a semester abroad.
  • In October 2022, the Una Europa Diversity Council published Engaging with Diversity in European Universities, a report consolidating key findings and recommendations on diversity across Una Europa universities.
  • Pioneering joint programmes and courses means rethinking how we implement quality assurance as an alliance. Our Quality Assurance Cluster spearheaded a novel quality assurance approach for Una Europa joint programmes.

The Una Europa student community has become a catalytic force for innovation in our alliance:

  • Created by students for students, the Una Europa Student Congress enables our student community to come together, build networks and work collaboratively to shape Una Europa’s vision for a European University of the Future. In October 2022, the Student Congress gathered at Uniwersytet Jagielloński and teamed up with our Future UniLab to devise creative solutions to fundamental challenges in academic life.
  • Our challenge-based learning initiatives have provided students with a platform to collaborate and innovate; in 2022, Una.Together gathered students from across Europe to develop concepts that advance diversity, equity and inclusion on Una Europa campuses.

5. New ways to learn from each other

The Una Europa community is brimming with potential. Together, we have pursued new formats to enable this potential to flourish.

  • Our Joint Innovative Formats (JIFs) for mobility are designed to be scalable and replicable by the Una Europa community and beyond. We developed an interactive tool that enables users to browse our mobility models and navigate to 'how-to' manuals based on their needs.
  • Una Europa Staff Weeks provide professional services staff with opportunities to enhance their specialist skill set, share best practice and grow their network. The Communications Staff Week held at the University of Edinburgh in September 2022 held seminars and workshops for the alliance's communications specialists in areas such as intercultural communication and engaging policymakers.
  • Live My Life is a joint job-shadowing programme that facilitates knowledge-sharing, mentoring and mobility among Una Europa's professional services staff. Each round focuses on specialisms addressed during Staff Weeks. Our Live My Life call in June 2022 invited applications from professional services staff working in the areas of Erasmus KA2 cooperation projects, psychological counselling and academic advising, Open Educational Resources and support for PhD students.
  • Una Europa aims to provide doctoral researchers with opportunities to build their network and profile as they establish their academic careers, exemplified by our Speed Networking for PhDs event in June 2022.

Conclusion: Looking to new horizons

Una Europa’s pilot phase has galvanised our community and propelled us towards our common vision of a European University of the Future, with significant milestones achieved along the way. We have launched truly European joint programmes and made tangible strides in fostering an ecosystem that places mobility, interdisciplinarity and innovation at its core. As we look to the future, we will be guided by our 2030 Strategy – a lodestar shaped with and for our community. Evolving to meet the demands of a rapidly changing Europe, and world, will be at the core of this strategy: bolstering environmental sustainability, acting globally to find global solutions, and equipping the European Graduates of the Future to take on the challenges of tomorrow.

The Una Europa 2030 Strategy will be published in early 2023. Receive the Una Europa 2030 Strategy hot off the press – and straight to your inbox. Sign up to receive our newsletter.

1Europe is among the first European University pilots selected by the European Commission in June 2019.

The European Commission support for the production of Una Europa content does not constitute an endorsement of the contents, which reflect the views only of the authors. The European Commission is not liable for any consequences stemming from the reuse of any and all publications of  Una Europa.

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