The European University Foundation aims to accelerate the modernisation of the European Higher Education Area. The Foundation focuses its action on five pillars and it stands for diversity and social fairness in Higher Education.
High-quality student mobility is of paramount importance to the EUF. The Foundation has more than 10 years of expertise in this field, notably thanks to the Campus Europae project. This pillar aims to promote high-quality student mobility, embed mobility in the curricula and carry out staff trainings and summer schools.
Currently the EUF member universities have developed the following avenues of cooperation:
- Language Learning in the Age of Mobility (LLOM)
- SocialErasmus+ (SE+)
- Erasmus Skills (ES)
- Doctoral Student Mobility (DocMob)
- Framework for Erasmus Staff Competences (FESC)
- Teaching With Erasmus+ (TWE+)
- BuddySystem (BS)
Member Universities have a multilateral agreement in place that allows for more than 1600 exchanges per year. The Foundation also seeks to advance quality standards by organising staff trainings in areas pertaining to student mobility and internationalisation of higher education.
Young graduates find it increasingly difficult to secure suitable jobs. The Foundation’s member universities have a shared interest in ensuring that their students develop a mix of skills that will allow them to thrive in the labour market. We therefore aim to strengthen the knowledge triangle and cooperation with employers while promoting entrepreneurial skills and graduate employability.
One way this can be achieved is by traineeship programmes, and the EUF was among the first to advocate for the creation of Erasmus placements (2007). Since then, the EUF has been developing a system of traineeships abroad that have an academic and professional component. This allows for a greater social, linguistic and professional immersion of the students, and employers consider the approach is ideally suited for knowledge-transfer projects between universities and SMEs.
The EUF Universities are currently working on the following concrete initiatives:
One of the key focuses of the Foundation is policy innovation, which is why in many domains its functioning resembles that of a think/do tank. Since 2004, the EUF developed into Europe’s foremost “laboratory of student mobility”, pioneering a range of ideas that were embedded in the design of the Erasmus programme. Our activities aim to design and test innovative policies focused on challenges faced by the European Higher Education Area.
Currently, new initiatives are being explored regarding
- Social dimension: the European university policy should contribute to reduce inequalities and forge social cohesion. The EUF finds it crucial that students from all social backgrounds are able to afford studying at European universities and going abroad, and is preparing new initiative in this field.
- Multilingualism: Europe’s rich cultural heritage goes hand in hand with its linguistic mosaic, and the fact that only 8% of mobile students use a less widely spoken language during their stay abroad reveals more efforts are required to promote a wider knowledge of European languages and cultures.
Digital higher education
The digital revolution holds considerable promise for both students and universities. The Foundation serves as a platform for exploring how new ICT tools and solutions can help strengthen cooperation, enhance the functioning of higher education institutions and improve learning. We aim to develop tools and solutions that address practical needs of European universities and enhance students’ learning.
The following initiatives are currently being implemented under this pillar by the network:
The emphasis that the EUF has historically put on student mobility hails from the realisation that a deep understanding of foreign languages and cultures, strengthened by memories and friendships without borders, is a key ingredient for defending younger generations against nationalist discourse, which is becoming pervasive across Europe. We aim to carry out initiatives that promote the students’ active participation and raise awareness about European issues.