EUTOPIA alliance rectors

EUTOPIA European university alliance awarded €5m by Erasmus+

  • Sophia Karner
  • 06/02/2020

- EUTOPIA alliance of six European universities is successful in bid for €5m Erasmus+ grant to build a European University of the future.

-The grant will act as a springboard for EUTOPIA to achieve its mission of working as a network of European campuses addressing global and local challenges – through collaborative research, increased mobility of students and staff, and with shared innovations which serve the wider public in regional communities

-Since launch in February 2019, EUTOPIA partners have developed a strong foundation of academic and student collaboration opportunities including co-tutelle PhD scholarships, new joint Master’s courses, summer schools and academic workshops across the partner institutions

-EUTOPIA unites over 165,000 students, 30,000 members of staff, and research centres in 760 areas of knowledge.

This recognition confirms EUTOPIA as a chosen alliance of institutions working to build a European University of the future, creating a new model for higher education in Europe.

EUTOPIA is comprised of Vrije Universiteit Brussel, the University of Gothenburg, l’Université Paris Seine, the Pompeu Fabra University – Barcelona, the University of Warwick, and is led by the University of Ljubljana.

The award will boost EUTOPIA’s mission of working as a network of European campuses, through collaborative research, increased mobility of students, academics and staff, and shared innovations that serve the wider public in regional communities.

Co-created in partnership with academics, students and non-academic partners, EUTOPIA will test innovative methods of collaboration, going beyond existing models to progressively increase the quality, international competitiveness and attractiveness of European higher education.

Since the alliance’s official launch at the Solvay Library in Brussels, in February 2019, staff and students from the EUTOPIA partners have built a strong foundation of collaborative activities, which include:

- The establishment of co-tutelle PhD Scholarships, which will enable up to eight PhD candidates to be co-supervised by academics at Vrije Universiteit Brussel, l’Université Paris Seine and University of Warwick – benefitting from teaching and academic supervision across two countries. This is been made possible thanks to a £500,000 joint investment from Vrije Universiteit Brussel, l’Université Paris Seine and University of Warwick, the founding members of EUTOPIA. The scholarships will support PhD projects in research areas including Complexity Science, Reproductive Medicine and Arts, Humanities and Cultural Heritage. The first cohort will begin in October 2019.

- The creation of a joint Master’s degree between Warwick’s Department of Politics and International studies and Vrije Universiteit Brussel’s Institute for European Studies in ‘International Studies and Integration’, which will launch in 2019. Prior to this, the Department of Political and Social Sciences at Pompeu Fabra – Barcelona and the Department of Politics and International Studies at University of Warwick have offered a double degree since 2014. Other collaborative courses are also under discussion.

- Students from the EUTOPIA partners will spend up to four weeks this summer at the Barcelona International Summer School (Pompeu Fabra University – Barcelona), where they will take courses in Spanish and English

- Students from Vrije Universiteit Brussel and from Pompeu Fabra Univeristy – Barcelona will be participating in the Warwick-run International Conference of Undergraduate Research in September 2019.

- A number of academic mobility schemes, including the Fernandes Fellowships programme (University of Warwick), and the EUTOPIA International Fellowships programme (l’Université Paris Seine) provide the opportunity for EUTOPIA academics to undertake research visits at partner universities. The EUTOPIA partner institutions are also developing exchange programmes for students and professional administrative staff.

- Numerous academic workshops continue to take place across the EUTOPIA partner institutions, including one recently hosted by University of Ljubljana in the area of Computer and Data Science. Further collaborations continue in the areas of Complexity Science, Theoretical Physics, Political and Social Sciences, and Arts and Cultural Heritage.

EUTOPIA unites over 165,000 students and 30,000 members of staff over six countries, with 90,000 international alumni associated with its member universities. Together, the EUTOPIA universities have research centres in 760 areas of knowledge.

Find out more about the alliance here.


Out of 54 applications received, 17 European Universities involving 114 higher education institutions from 24 Member States were selected (see Annex), based on an evaluation carried out by 26 independent external experts, including rectors, professors and researchers, appointed by the Commission. European Universities are transnational alliances of higher education institutions from across the EU that share a long-term strategy and promote European values and identity. The initiative is designed to significantly strengthen mobility of students and staff, and foster the quality, inclusiveness and competitiveness of European higher education.  

A second call will be launched in October 2019 (tbc).