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Turku varsity to seek EU varsity status

Published : 30 Oct 2018, 03:55

Updated : 30 Oct 2018, 09:58

  DF Report

File Photo Xinhua.

The University of Turku will apply for the European University status as a part of an alliance with five other universities, said the university in a press release on Monday.

The other universities are Coimbra (Portugal), Iași Alexandru Ioan Cuza (Romania), Pavia (Italy), Poitiers (France), and Salamanca (Spain).

“All the universities in the alliance are traditional research and education universities that are strongly committed to both local and global activities. The formation of the alliance is based on the fact that the universities have been active members of the Coimbra Group for a long time,” said University of Turku Vice-Rector Riitta Pyykkö.

The application to be submitted is titled “European Campus of City-Universities (EC2U)” and is broadly focussed on co-operation between the EU universities and cities.

The degree of co-operation between the cities concerned and the universities under the alliance is very high, said Pyykkö, adding that collaboration is a resource, which, for example, is manifested in Turku as the planning of university education, marketing of study programmes, and developing the campus as a part of the city. Moreover, the co-operation between the university and the city has been spontaneously appeared in different enquiries as one of the most important success factors, Pyykkö added.

“The dialogue between the University of Turku and the city has long been very close, versatile, and productive. The City of Turku is one of the signatories to the declaration from 2016 and is strongly committed to the objectives of the alliance,” said Turku Mayor Minna Arve.

Information on the formation of the alliance has been submitted to the EU decision-makers by the University of Turku. The pilot call of the European Commission closes by the end of February 2019.

The universities that apply for the European University status from the European Commission are traditional education and research universities. Close and well-functioning co-operation with their respective cities is a strength shared by all of them.

Initiated by President Emmanuel Macron, the European Council in December 2017 approved the alliance’s target to bring approximately 20 European universities in operation by 2024. One of the aims of the European universities is to form alliances of several universities, which in a way would form a certain type of mental campuses. One alliance may include four to six universities from at least three EU countries.

The aim of the initiative is to increase mobility, promote top expertise and high quality of education and research, as well as to further the current co-operation models of higher education institutions.

The European Commission has opened a pilot call under which five to six alliances will be selected as European universities. Altogether, a funding of 30 million euros is now available for this initiative.