Four leading European universities have created a new alliance for teaching and research inspired by bold plans to develop a collection of cross-border university networks.
Charles University in Prague (Czech Republic), Heidelberg University (Germany), Sorbonne University (France) and the University of Warsaw (Poland) have founded the European University Alliance, which is described as a “strategic European partnership built on existing academic collaborations”.
The “4EU Alliance”, whose agreement was signed by its institutional members’ presidents in Paris on 10 March, will be the first of several major cross-border deals sparked by the plan by France’s president, Emmanuel Macron, for 20 such EU academic networks.
The alliance aims to foster a new level of cooperation in research, teaching, education and administration, which will bring together researchers, students and staff from the four institutions, the members said.
In a statement, the universities said that the “cooperation is based on a common understanding of the idea of the European university that builds on academic freedom and autonomy and ensures fair access to education”.
The alliance, which represents a combined total of more than 185,000 students and 38,000 staff, added that it would “step up the cooperation and optimise the environment for creativity in teaching and learning, research and innovation” and would “remove obstacles to free circulation of individuals, ideas and best practices between their universities by creating an open space and atmosphere”.