The European Commission today announced the expansion of the 2023 Erasmus+ European Universities initiative, with the addition of seven new alliances of higher education institutions. These institutions are at the forefront of shaping the new generation of Europeans who are equipped with the skills to live, work, and study in various European nations and sectors.
The announcement takes the total number of alliances to 50, encompassing over 430 higher education institutions across 35 nations, including all EU member states, Iceland, Norway, and Western Balkans countries such as Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia, and Turkey.
The programme offers students an exceptional transnational and innovative educational experience. They can obtain a degree by combining studies in various European countries, which bolsters the international competitiveness of Europe’s higher education institutions. It also exposes students to different languages, academic disciplines, and sectors, thereby enhancing their future employability.
This project, backed by a record €402.2 million Erasmus+ budget, will enable each alliance to receive up to €14.4 million in funding over four years. This year’s call for the initiative opened up participation to higher education institutions from Western Balkans countries not previously associated with the Erasmus+ programme. Institutions from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Montenegro are now part of this initiative, joining their counterparts from North Macedonia and Serbia.
Under the 2023 call, the alliances can involve higher education institutions from Bologna Process countries as associated partners. Nearly 30 higher education institutions from Ukraine have also joined the alliances.
Further enhancing the programme’s reach, the 50 European Universities alliances are partnering with nearly 1,700 associated partners, including NGOs, enterprises, and local and regional authorities, to bring widespread innovation to Europe’s regions.
In line with the European strategy for universities unveiled in 2022, the Commission intends to extend the initiative to 60 European Universities alliances involving more than 500 universities by mid-2024. The next Erasmus+ call for proposals is slated for the fall of 2023.
The European Universities initiative, first proposed ahead of the Gothenburg Social Summit in November 2017, supports transnational alliances of diverse higher education institutions. This initiative is part of an ambitious vision for a European Education Area by 2025. To achieve this vision, a record EUR 1.1 billion has been allocated under Erasmus+ for the current programming period from 2021-2027. Further support for the research dimension of European Universities can be sought under the European Excellence initiative under Horizon Europe.