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4EU+ Alliance to align closer as association

The 4EU+ Alliance has established itself as an association in a move it says will strengthen and deepen cooperation among its six research-intensive university members.

The association's general secretariat will be seated in Heidelberg, Germany. Photo: pixabay

The Universities of Copenhagen and Milan joined the Alliance in October 2018 to form 4EU+

As the 4EU+ European University Alliance, the not-for-profit association pledges a “higher level of mutual relations” across the institutions in six European countries.

Based in Heidelberg, the association will manage the 4EU+ Alliance’s funds, maintain legal relationships with third parties, serve as a platform for storing shared data and maintaining joint infrastructure, and be the owner of jointly acquired or created assets.

The 4EU+ general secretariat will take over the responsibilities of the 4EU+ central office in Paris and experts from the Alliance’s members will work remotely with the secretariat to ensure a close link with 4EU+ local offices.

“The secretary general’s mission, among others, is to be the link between all these bodies and ensure coherence with the strategic axes defined by the Alliance,” said Isabelle Kratz, 4EU+ secretary general.

“The added value of the association can be summarised by: simplification, pooling, visibility, accessibility, efficiency,” she continued.

The general secretariat will oversee the day-to-day management of the association and “offer transversal support to all the members of the Alliance and facilitate exchanges”.

“The establishment of a 4EU+ legal entity is an exciting next step in strengthening the ties to our closest European partners,” added Henrik Wegener, rector of the University of Copenhagen.

“We have seen remarkable enthusiasm and engagement within our communities”

“We look forward to this new phase of collaboration with a clear commitment to fostering continued excellence within European research and education.”

“In addition, the general secretariat will carry the voice and promote the vision, ambitions and the specific identity of the 4EU+ Alliance, of which we are proud,” Kratz noted.

4EU was originally founded in March 2018 by the Charles University in Prague, Heidelberg University, Sorbonne University in Paris, the University of Warsaw, with the Universities of Copenhagen and Milan joining in October 2018 to form 4EU+.

The three challenges the alliance focuses on are:

  • boosting meaningful mobility with a focus on education and employment prospects
  • increasing inclusiveness and balance at a European level to redress funding, visibility and development capabilities
  • developing a common challenge-based framework for education to ensure graduates have 21st-century skills that combine research-based education, diverse language skills and a strong global and European outlook

“We have seen remarkable enthusiasm and engagement within our communities,” concluded Jean Chambaz, rector of Sorbonne University.

“They are ready for an ambitious alliance and for deeper international cooperation. 4EU+ is being built, not by rectors and presidents, but by teachers, researchers, students and staff. As you can see, this experiment is already working. But we have much more to do on this journey.”

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