This unprecedented collaboration among European University Alliances will enable Unite!, Una Europa, 4EU+, CHARM-EU, EC2U and EU-CONEXUS to make bold steps towards realizing the transformative potential of the European Degree label. Pooling their collective expertise, the consortium will seek to improve the process of developing joint degrees as a central strand of the project.
"The European University Alliances are a natural test-bed for the next generation of joint programmes. The Joint European Degree Label could be a game-changer, but only if accompanied by the will of relevant member states' decision makers to further harmonize their higher education systems and progressively remove the many obstacles that European universities face", says Anders Söderholm, President of KTH Royal Institute of Technology representing the Unite! Alliance.
The project applicants represent a diverse and high-powered consortium that unites a total of 51 higher education institutions from 22 different countries across the European continent. It is supported by 18 national and regional ministries in charge of higher education, as well as key players in the area of higher education, accreditation and quality assurance. The participating universities are deeply rooted in their respective ecosystems, have a long tradition of international collaboration and a strong track record in the development of joint programmes. Together, the universities represent a combined student and staff body of nearly 2 million people. This community of students, professionals and academic staff will be actively empowered to take part in the project activities.
Representatives of all six European University Alliances involved stress the enormous potential of this initiative toward the development and implementation of joint degrees in Europe.
Over the course of one year, the project consortium will take a comprehensive look at the state of joint programmes, conduct an in-depth mapping exercise on its extensive portfolio, and organise strategic activities both at national and European levels to facilitate an open dialogue between universities and their national/ regional legislators. The consortium aims to gain further insights into the most pressing challenges that exist in the development of joint programmes today and initiate the exchange of best practice at European level. It is this process of mutual learning between stakeholders across Europe that may ultimately lead to the development of transnational strategies to overcome these hurdles.
The project consortium sees the European Degree label as a unique vehicle for boosting transnational collaboration in European higher education more broadly, which is crucial to positively impact the attractiveness and competitiveness of the European Higher Education sector on the world stage.