Europe needs universities that dare to truly and continuously innovate education and maximise their societal impact. European Universities Networks offer an important opportunity to catalyse educational innovations, such as student-centred learning, flexible education and European curricula. The European Consortium of Innovative Universities (ECIU) supports the development of ambitious European Universities Networks by sharing ten criteria, including five ideas for activities to be funded.
The development of several European Networks of Universities offers an excellent opportunity to realise a strong European Education Area. European Universities Networks can help maximise the impact of Europe’s educational investments and stay internationally competitive in an ever faster developing world.
To enable the acceleration of new educational developments, European Universities Networks need to be ambitious. Safe surroundings where bold ideas are shared and tested in different contexts and cultures will move educational innovations to the centre of practice.
Furthermore, the networks need to be open to the surrounding communities and involve all parties of the knowledge triangle, to maximise their impact on society. European Universities Networks must invest in integrated education, research and innovation activities. To realise this, it is crucial that EU education, research and innovation funding is combined, so that there is one call for all activities.
The ideal number of partners can differ per network and activity. Although it is important that the number of partners in a network is manageable, this cannot be predefined by a specific number. The amount of twelve like-minded member universities has worked very well for the ECIU over the last twenty years. Based on the experience of this closely-knit network, ECIU is happy to share its position on European Universities Networks.