Two universities from Norway and Spain joined the EDUC (European Digital UniverCity) Alliance in March. The alliance has now grown from six to eight member universities connecting seven countries across Europe. Both universities, like the existing EDUC members, place strong emphasis on international cooperation and travel opportunities for students and staff.
The founding members welcome the enlargement of the alliance and expect, among other things, the addition of the new universities to further deepen international cooperation across Europe and the vision of linking the eight schools into one common European university.
“I am very pleased that EDUC has expanded, with the addition of universities from Norway and Spain, which are among the favourite countries for MU students to study. I believe that the new members will not only improve and enrich international education, but will also be involved, for example, in the opening of new joint study programmes or summer schools and short-term courses,” said MU Rector Martin Bareš.
S oběma univerzitami Masarykova univerzita dlouhodobě spolupracuje. Do Norska každý rok posílá desítku studentů a přibližně stejný počet studentů z obou nových partnerských univerzit na MU přijíždí. Se španělskou univerzitou je MU členem mezinárodní sítě Compostela Group.
Masaryk University has been cooperating with both universities for a long time. Every year, for example, MU sends ten students to Norway, and approximately the same number of students from both new partner universities come to MU. As for the Spanish university, MU and UJI are both members of the international network Compostela Group.
The international community grows by 32,000 students and 4,000 employees
The alliance will grow by 32,000 students and nearly 4,000 employees with the addition of these two new members. EDUC’s international community will thus now have a total of 172,000 students and 24,000 employees, who will be able to meet each other in virtual classrooms and at a virtual inter-university campus.
The 18,000 students and 1,600 employees from the University of South-Eastern Norway (USN), the fourth largest university in Norway, will become part of EDUC. USN cooperates closely with local businesses, the public sector, and the local community to provide high-quality bachelor's, master's, and doctoral programmes. The university has eight campuses where over 300 programmes are taught in health and social sciences, engineering and technology, education, sports, humanities, business studies, and more.
"We are delighted to join the EDUC Alliance. We look forward to benefiting from and contributing to transnational cooperation. The alliance shares our values, priorities, and the vision and ambition of becoming an integrated European university, and we look forward to working together," said USN Rector Petter Aasen.
The EDUC community will also grow by 14,000 students and 2,000 employees from Universitat Jaume I (UJI), which was founded in 1991. In addition to education, this young, modern university focuses on research activities, and thanks to its technology, science, and business park, UJI connects the university world with industry. The university consists of four faculties, where over 150 programmes are taught in the fields of health, natural sciences, humanities, the social sciences, law, and economics.
"We are very honoured to be part of the EDUC Alliance. Our joining the EDUC reflects our willingness to participate in the development of higher education in Europe, to respond to the major social challenges facing Europe in a solid and forward-looking way, and to contribute to a new approach to European citizenship," said UJI Rector Eva Alcón Soler.
Thanks to EDUC, MU is a member of a prestigious network of European universities
The EDUC Alliance, which comprises eight European universities from France, Germany, Italy, Hungary, and the Czech Republic, was established in 2019 and is part of a prestigious network of European alliances financed by the European Union meant to create a more integrated higher education ecosystem in Europe and to compete with universities in the English-speaking world and beyond. There are a total of 41 such alliances in Europe; each concentrates on achieving different goals.
All EDUC activities centre mainly around providing students with an international education through various learning formats, from classic student exchanges to virtual mobility. The alliance has given birth to dozens of international virtual and hybrid courses that MU students can enrol in free of charge and get credit for. Thanks to these international courses, students can not only expand their knowledge but also get to know their peers from different countries and experience an international learning environment without leaving Brno.
All EDUC activities are funded by a four-year EU grant of €5 million, which ends this September. The EDUC Alliance, like other European alliances, will apply this March for a further four-year grant. An announcement on whether the alliance will receive funding to continue its activities will be made in early September.