EULiST recognised by the EU Commission as a “European University Alliance”
On July 3, 2023, the European Commission granted EULiST the title “European University Alliance” and awarded the Alliance funds in the amount of 14,3 million euros for the next four years to pursue its mission. In its assessment of the proposal, the European Commission recognised EULiST as presenting “a promising approach to benefit other higher education institutions in Europe through its focus on inclusion and excellence, for example through creating a new digital infrastructure, which would facilitate open data sharing”.
For the Alliance, it is a major milestone on its way to achieving its mission of transforming European higher education and strengthening a common European identity. As reflected in its name: European Universities Linking Society and Technology, EULiST seeks to harness the research capacities of its ten member universities to empower responsible change agents to address societal and global challenges, including climate change and social cohesion, by identifying innovative ways of integrating social sciences, humanities and technology.
As Markus Auditor, EULiST’s central coordinator noted, “EULiST is much more than a project, it is a profound transformation of our universities”. To achieve this, EULiST strives to generate a unique and creative EULiST Academic Ecosystem of sustainable development open to the public. Informed and driven by the exchange of ideas between society, science, and technology, this academic ecosystem will support inter- and transdisciplinary learning, research and outreach to enable student and academic staff participation and interaction with society through an EULiST Campus and the EULiST flagships “Digital Knowledge Hub”, EULiST Agora for Education”, Research and Innovation Academy (ERIA)” and “Co-creation cluster”.
EULiST’s ten member universities consist of Leibniz University Hannover (DE), as coordinating university, Lappeenranta-Lahti University of Technology LUT (FI), Jönköping University (SE), Institut Mines-Télécom (IMT) (FR), Brno University of Technology (CZ), Technische Universität Wien (AT), Slovak University of Technology in Bratislava (SK), Rey Juan Carlos University (ES), University L’Aquila (IT), and National Technical University of Athens (GR).
The creation of EULiST is part of a broader European initiative, the European Universities Initiative, formally launchd by the European Commission in 2018 with the goal of initiating and fostering unprecedented levels of systemic, structural and sustainable cooperation between European higher education institutions. Today 50 European University Alliances involving more than 430 higher education institutions are working to advance the mission of the EUI. Within the framework of this initiative, EULiST began to take shape in 2020, establishing itself as a transnational network of higher education institutions in May 2021.
Even prior to its recognition and funding by the EU, the EULiST members demonstrated a steadfast commitment to their cooperation. The commitment to EULiST was reiterated during the most recent annual EULiST General Assembly, hosted by NTUA, from June 25 – 27, 2023, in which sixty-five representatives from all ten universities participated, including the rectors and vice rectors, professors, administrative staff, and students.
Establishing and further developing the EULiST visual and conceptual brand, structuring the approach to collaboration and communication, and deepening the connections between the ten member universities has been a focus of the Alliance’s work for the past couple years. These efforts build on and reflect the great pillars on which EULiST, now an official European University, will continue to grow and thrive.