Essex part of Young Universities for the Future of Europe bid to create European University.

The University of Essex is joining forces with seven universities from other European countries. Together these universities will form the Young Universities for the Future of Europe (YUFE) Alliance. Members are the University of Essex, Maastricht University, the University of Rome Tor Vergata, the University of Eastern Finland, the University of Carlos III Madrid, the University of Bremen, the University of Antwerp and the University of Cyprus.

Professor Anthony Forster, from the University of Essex, said: "Delivering a global Britain requires us to nurture the links that our universities have built-up with European Union partners over many years – not spurn them. For the University of Essex YUFE is just such an initiative that will help us do exactly this."

At the end of 2017, French President Emmanuel Macron laid out his plans to create a new Europe. Part of his plan was the creation of twenty cross-border European universities, which will issue 'European' diplomas from 2024 onwards. The European Commission followed Macron’s lead and created the European Universities Initiative (EUI).
 

Alliances of European universities had until 28 February to submit collaborative projects with twelve alliances expected to receive financing from Europe for a period of three years. The YUFE alliance aims to one of the first models for a European University and has now submitted its proposal.

Stronger European links

Professor Forster said: “It is more important than ever to forge international partnerships with universities which share our mission and values. YUFE is helping us further our commitment to innovation, staff and student mobility, and enriching the economic, social and cultural life of our region.”

The Alliance wants to make a difference in many different ways. For example, YUFE students will learn not only in the lecture theatre, but also through work experience placements and through a focus on social action. YUFE will also involve entrepreneurs and professionals as mentors for students with the educational approach tailored to the local and the European needs.

Its six associate partners include the University of Rijeka, the Nicolaus Copernicus University in Torún, the Educational Testing Service (ETS), European Entrepreneurs CEA-PME, Kiron Open Higher Education for Refugees and the Adecco Group.

If YUFE’s bid is selected, the project will launch in September 2019. YUFE students and staff will then have the opportunity to study or work at one of the affiliated universities. Professor Forster said: "This is a very exciting initiative and will offer students and staff so much more than conventional exchange placements. They will be fully integrated into the institution, can make use of all the services and take advantage of the strong connections between YUFE institutions."

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