The eight-member European Digital UniverCity (EDUC) Alliance was established in 2019 as one of 17 pilot consortiums that received the first grants awarded by the European Commission as part of the European University initiative. Currently, there are 44 such alliances in Europe; their goal is to create a more deeply integrated European higher education area. Current alliances receive financial support from the EU for a fixed period. However, there is fierce competition between alliances to gain further funding.
“Thanks to the EDUC Alliance, Masaryk University has been part of this prestigious network of European alliances from the very beginning. I am very glad that we will continue to be a part of this network. I consider it a major success that we were awarded, despite the great competition, another grant to continue working on our joint activities. I am already looking forward to what this new stage in the life of EDUC will bring,” says Martin Bareš, rector of Masaryk University.
The Czech Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports has congratulated Masaryk University on receiving the grant. “I congratulate all of Masaryk University on its successful continuation of involvement in the EDUC consortium, and I wish it great success in its joint activities,” says Radka Wildová, deputy minister and head of the Higher Education, Science and Research Section of the ministry.
EDUC has opened the door for developing international cooperation at MU
Besides MU, the EDUC Alliance is made up of seven other universities from France, Germany, Italy, Hungary, Norway, and Spain. The alliance’s activities are focused mainly on providing an international education to students in various formats, from traditional student exchanges to virtual mobility. The alliance also concentrates on cooperation in science and research and support for employee mobility and training.
In total, the alliance has nearly 200,000 students and 31,000 employees. Its main goal is to more closely connect all eight participating universities, open them up to deeper cooperation, and harmonize processes in various spheres of university life.
Greater connections between the universities are fostered at the virtual interuniversity campus, where students can choose from dozens of virtual and hybrid interuniversity courses and thus gain international experience without leaving Brno. Several teachers from MU are involved in interuniversity courses, which they teach in tandem with their colleagues from partner universities.
“Our three years of involvement in EDUC have opened up many new opportunities for us. We have connected not only in teaching, but also in research and career centre activities, and we have opened joint summer schools. I firmly believe that in the next programme period, joint study programmes will be established, whose graduates will receive not only a diploma from MU but also diplomas from foreign universities,” says Vice-Rector for Internationalization Břetislav Dančák.
In the following four years, the alliance plans on deepening cooperation in student mobility of different types, internationalizing the curriculum, and further developing a shared virtual campus and interuniversity courses.
In 2027 the alliance would like to be a closely integrated European university and also a new type of international university community based on fundamental values such as interdisciplinarity, inclusion, multilingualism, knowledge transfer, and the use of digital technologies, which will prepare students for future societal challenges.