Switzerland should be part of European Universities Initiative

On 22 May, the European Commission proposed its vision on taking forward the European Education Area. As established alliance promoting in-depth collaboration between Higher Education Institutions, the EuroTech Universities Alliance fully supports the European Commission’s plans to launch an initiative in support of “European Universities”. The aims to bring cross-border cooperation to the next level of ambition and to develop joint long-term institutional strategies for top-quality education, research and innovation are fully aligned with the vision and activities of the Alliance.

However, participation in the pilot call of the “European Universities” initiative could be restricted to ERASMUS+ Programme countries only. With active Swiss partners, for two Alliances repeatedly quoted as models for a European University (Eucor – The European campus and the EuroTech Universities Alliance), such a restriction would imply that participation in the pilot call is seriously hindered. Given the long-lasting and wide-ranging links in education and research between Switzerland and the rest of Europe, this restriction would negatively impact Europe’s universities at large.

The EuroTech Universities Alliance and Eucor – The European Campus have therefore teamed up with a joint open letter to ask the European Commission to ensure a broad participation of countries in the “European Universities” initiative from the outset and launch of the first pilot call.

Switzerland is regularly quoted as Europe’s leader in innovation. Home to some of Europe’s most prestigious higher education institutions, in terms of innovative education, excellent research and services to society, the Swiss track record is reflected in their high share of international students and staff and their performance in the EU Framework Programmes for Research and Innovation and European Research Council grants.

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