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United and strong universities of the European Union (EU), uniform diplomas, terms and requirements for higher education – so ambitious are the aims of the EU, in implementation of which Riga Technical University (RTU) is involved along with the other seven universities from different European countries, with the support of the European Commission (EC) in developing its proposal for creation of a uniform European University of Technology (EUt+).
The eight members involved in creation of EUt+ alliance are: RTU, University of Technology of Troyes (France), Technological University Dublin (Ireland), Technical University of Sofia (Bulgaria), Cyprus University of Technology (Cyprus), Hochschule Darmstadt, University of Applied Sciences (Germany), Technical University of Cluj-Napoca (Romania) and Polytechnic University of Cartagena (Spain). 6.25 million euros have been allocated for the implementation of the project.
The aim of the initiative is to develop and offer a technical and technological niche model of a single and cohesive European university or confederation within three years, which would be significantly more competitive at the international level than each of the universities individually. «This initiative is a very big but crucial challenge, as EU universities need to become more internationally competitive. The issue has particularly intensified with UK’s withdrawal from the EU, which also means that the list of world’s most powerful fifty universities has lost the majority of the EU universities. The envisaged changes are fundamental, meaning very close integration of universities, abandoning existing autonomy and changing the principles of the functioning of universities,» emphasizes the coordinator of the initiative, Kārlis Valtiņš, Head of the International Projects Unit of RTU International Cooperation and Foreign Students Department.
In creating the EUt+, the best opportunities offered by each of the universities will be used in the study and research process. It is expected that at least 50% of RTU students will have to gain experience in partner universities. Universities will also closely coordinate their activities on a variety of issues, such as joint work on recruitment of foreign students.
The creation of the European University is greatly facilitated by a variety of developments that have been made over the years. For example, by promoting cooperation, the Erasmus+ programme for the exchange of students and staff is being implemented, making education acquired in European universities mutually comparable, as well as the implementation of Bologna Process. It is expected that a joint development and deployment of services for students will be launched in September of this year in the partner universities of the confederation.
A total of 41 European universities, or an Alliance for Universities, will be set up with the involvement 280 higher education institutions from EU Member States and other countries. The EC supports this process by allocating 287 million euros in funding. According to the pilot project, the European Education Area will be created by 2025.
More information: www.univ-tech.eu