Aarhus University Seal / Aarhus Universitets segl

Meeting between university senior management teams to define European alliance

The University of Belgrade has joined AU’s alliance of European universities. The management teams of the institutions are meeting this week to discuss the perspectives in the alliance, which has been given the name Circle U.

 

Collaborations on teaching and research will be on the agenda when AU’s senior management team meets with management teams from the partners in the European university alliance, Circle U, this week.

At the seminar, which will take place in Oslo, rectors, pro-rectors and deans will meet. The deans of the seven universities will be discussing specific opportunities for collaborations in their respective disciplines..

In addition to Aarhus University, the alliance consists of Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, King’s College London, Université catholique de Louvain, University of Oslo, Université de Paris and University of Belgrade. The latter replaces the University of Lisbon, which has resigned from the collaboration.

A shared EU vision

The vision of forming closer ties between European universities was originally put forward in 2017 by the President of France, Emmanuel Macron, whose vision was to expand collaborations between European universities in order to strengthen knowledge exchange between researchers and increase student mobility.

The European Council and the European Commission have embraced Macron’s vision, and the ambition is now to create at least 20 inter-European university networks by 2024. The first networks were approved earlier this year, and the seven members of the Circle U alliance expect to have their application ready for the next round in the beginning of 2020.

Earlier this year, the alliance partners were awarded EU funding for a two-year collaboration project on transferable skills which will serve as the basis for further specific initiatives.

The student at the centre

The primary aim of the project is to increase student mobility, which is reflected in the logo recently adopted by the alliance. 

There is a student at the centre of the logo, surrounded by an open circle symbolising the close connection between the universities. The same considerations are behind name of the alliance, Circle U, which will now be at the top of the application when the group of universities applies for approval under the EU project European Universities Initiative in 2020.