The eight partners of the EPICUR Alliance, winner of the 2019 call for European University pilot projects launched by the European Commission (Erasmus+ programme), gathered in Strasbourg to sign the partnership agreement which sets out the Alliance’s commitments in terms of roles and responsibilities.
The project news Coming from Austria, France, Greece, Germany, Poland and the Netherlands, the EPICUR Alliance members met in Brussels during the European Universities Initiative kick-off meeting from 6th to 8th November 2019. It was a great opportunity for the presidents, rectors and political leaders, to exchange views and perspectives. Michel Deneken, the President of Strasbourg University and chairman of EPICUR, underlined "the importance of the involvement of students who must be the first users and ambassadors of our EPICUR Alliance".
Created on 1 st November 2019, EPICUR started with a kick-off meeting at the University of Haute-Alsace in Mulhouse. Bringing together nearly 40 persons, the meeting combined both team building activities and an efficient launch of the 6 work packages. Christelle Roy, the EPICUR Strategic coordinator, commented: "These 3 days allowed the teams to get to better know each other. It was really pleasant to work in a very enthusiastic atmosphere, each of us measuring, of course, how challenging the project is but also expressing a strong will and a full confidence in ourselves to be successful. This fruitful kick-off meeting promises the best for the project continuation.”
The project objectives
EPICUR Alliance will be multilingual and committed to a strong intercultural awareness. It will offer physical, virtual and blended mobilities, encouraging the free movement of students and staff through innovative teaching and learning models on our connected campuses. In a near future, not only EPICUR university will be connected but also their regions, taking full advantage of their respective existing networks. EPICUR will take care of involving staff and students in its construction and hence, in the governance bodies. It has been a key topic of the Steering Committee as well as the implication of associate partners.
EPICUR rectors and presidents welcome the promising beginning of the project and their progress in the search of additional funds for enhancing the ambition of EPICUR in terms of research and innovation.
The main deliverables and activities expected are as follows:
- Consolidate and connect study programmes in the field of European languages, establishing a model language policy for multilingual universities.
- Expand the teaching offer in the field of Liberal Arts and Sciences, working towards a ‘European Bachelor of Liberal Arts and Sciences’.
- Create a virtual inter-university EPICUR campus environment to broaden the opportunities for virtual mobility and the development of new courses, testing a learning platform based on gamification.
- Strengthen inter-regional meta-networks, developing master labs and research internships for graduate students in partnership with societal partners and private enterprises.
- Foster university community involvement and appropriation of the Alliance through annual forums, ambassador programmes, challenges and festivals.
The EPICUR Alliance partners are:
- Adam-Mickiewicz University of Poznań, Poland;
- University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands;
- Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece;
- University of Freiburg, Germany;
- University of Haute-Alsace, France;
- Karlsruher Institute of Technology, Germany;
- University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna, Austria;
- University of Strasbourg, France
The EPICUR Alliance represents a total of:
- 307,000 students
- 40,000 staff, including 21,000 academic staff/researchers