The Université libre de Bruxelles (ULB) is the first higher education institution in French-speaking Belgium to participate in the first European university alliances, the European Commission announced last week.
These university alliances must share a long-term strategy and promote European values and identity. They will enhance the quality and attractiveness of European higher education and stimulate cooperation between institutions, students, researchers and staff.
Seventeen alliances of "European Universities" have been formed. They include 114 higher education institutions from 24 Member States. The selected European universities include all kinds of higher education institutions from across the EU: universities of applied sciences, technical colleges, schools of fine arts and polyvalent and research-intensive universities.
In the Wallonia-Brussels Federation, a university participates in this first selection, within an alliance of 8 higher education institutions. The Université libre de Bruxelles (ULB) is part of the "CIVIS" ("a European civic university alliance"), alongside the universities of La Sapienza (Rome), Stockholm, Tübingen, Bucharest, Aix-Marseille, the Capodistrian University of Athens and the autonomous university of Madrid.
European universities will become true inter-university campuses where students, doctoral students, university staff and researchers will be able to evolve with complete fluidity. They will share their expertise, platforms and resources to provide common curricula or modules across disciplines. These programmes will be very flexible and will allow students to personalize their education, choosing what, where and when to study.
Finally, European universities will participate in the sustainable economic development of the regions in which they are located, with their students working hand in hand with companies, municipal authorities, academics and researchers to find solutions to the problems faced by their regions.
A second call for applications will be launched in the autumn.