Launch of the Joint European University

The ECIU (European Consortium of Innovative Universities) is proud to announce the launch of a new European University in 2019.

Photo of students in the Study Workshop at the UiS university library. The ECIU want to build future-fit universities.

The pilot call of the DG Education, Sports and Cultures (DG EAC) for European Universities perfectly corresponds to the long-term strategy of ECIU.

Europe needs universities that dare to revolutionize and continuously innovate education, thus maximizing their societal impact with a significant influence on regional development.

Victor van der Chijs (University of Twente), President of ECIU says: ‘Innovative frontrunners like the ECIU member universities simply can’t sit back and relax. We are not afraid of taking risks and truly innovate Europe’s educational landscape’.

Well-equipped universities

ECIU appreciates that the DG EAC included the feedback of ECIU to this new initiative and is convinced that they, as a cross-European alliance of like-minded universities, are well-equipped to apply for this call.

The rectors and presidents of the ECIU universities gathered in Brussels in fall 2018 to discuss the establishment of a European University.

The initial ideas for developing the new European University were discussed at the ECIU Board meeting in Vilnius as early as April 2018.


Close collaboration with society, public institutions and industry are in the DNA of all ECIU universities. Therefore, the plan for the new European University is co-created with industry, public organisations, society, academics, future and current students.

In a unique event that took place in Brussels on 6 November 2018, student of the ECIU universities challenged conventional thinking and discussed the role of universities in 2040. They agreed that in 2040, physical universities with lecturers will still exist.

Societal relevance

However, future-fit universities will be agile institutions offering tailor-made and curiosity-driven education. They extrapolated that the focus will be on soft skills and obtaining competences to solve challenges with societal relevance.

For the future, the participating students underlined that students need to be included in the process of establishing the new university and in an open governance structure.

Read more about UiS' membership of ECIU