New project, new challenges, new energy: 1CORE Kick-Off meeting at Charles University
The new 4EU+ European Universities project has been officially launched on 14 November 2022, during the Kick-Off Meeting in Prague. Charles University welcomed colleagues from all seven universities who came together to plan the next steps in the development of the Alliance’s strategies and actions and reflect on the achievements of the previous European Universities project.
The welcoming speech of prof. Milena Králíčková, Rector of Charles University, was followed by the presentations of keynote speakers: Isabelle Kratz, 4EU+ Secretary General, prof. Lenka Rovná, 4EU+ MC member and member of the Rector's Board for 4EU+ (Charles University), prof. Berni Hasenknopf, 4EU+ Academic Council chair (Sorbonne University), dr. Helena Úlovcová from the Czech Chamber of Commerce, prof. Luděk Sýkora (Charles University) who represented the Flagship Programme Committees, Marta Lis, a representative of the students (Heidelberg University), prof. Sabine Bottin-Rousseau, 4EU+ MC member and the coordinator of the first European Universities project (Sorbonne University).
“The European Higher Education Area is now taking into consideration the European Universities as a reality that cannot be forgotten or neglected. Through your work in the last years, you provided an identity to the content of European Universities and it is important to know that they are now the main player in the European Higher Education Area. You can be proud of this result, to have given concrete identity to this initiative which was not promised to succeed since the start,” said Isabelle Kratz, the 4EU+ Alliance Secretary General.
All speakers highlighted the achievements accomplished in the past years and emphasized the Alliance’s ambitions, challenges faced by the partner universities, and both European and global responsibility and relevance of 4EU+ and European Universities.
“We expect our leaders to have a vision for this European University that faces today’s challenges. In this era of multiple crises, in the environment, and geopolitics, to mention just a few, universities must play a role in society, in European society, not just national (…). The diversity of our communities is our richness, necessary to find the inspiration and solutions to the challenges”, underlined prof. Berni Hasenknopf.
The event showcased the activities envisioned in the new project, from tasks dedicated to project management, sustainable development, research-based education, inter-university campus infrastructure and services, to quality assurance, lifelong learning, communication and dissemination activities. The coming months will be marked by intense work on the alliance's operational strategy and the implementation of the tasks envisaged by the new project.
4EU+ was one of the first 17 alliances selected under the European University Initiative, funded by the Erasmus+ programme. The project was implemented in the period from 2019-2022. In 2022, 4EU+ was successfully awarded a second project (1CORE) which will actively contribute to the development of a new comprehensive framework for enhancing European cooperation and, ultimately, integration in Higher Education.
The 4EU+ Alliance intends to develop and consolidate its model of One Comprehensive European Research University, and then open it up to other HEIs and even other alliances through specific goals:
Consolidate, deepen and extend the Alliance
Foster the principles of pluralism, solidarity and inclusiveness, enabling all participants to further deepen their sense of belonging to the European Union, its values and its history
Further develop the 4EU+ Flagships, the thematic areas for challenge-based, interdisciplinary, and innovative education that steer the implementation of the common approach of the Alliance to education, research and third-mission activities
Increase mobility by fostering blended and virtual mobility and developing internationalisation at home
Improve and stimulate green, digital and societal transitions: towards inclusiveness and resilience
Upholding its responsibility to educate future generations, 4EU+ aspires to be a centre of knowledge and an example of the European values of equality, diversity and inclusion. To this aim, 1CORE will focus on the following commitments:
One European University, one community, seven partners;
Excellent research: Addressing global challenges together;
Consolidating a new educational framework;
Boosting physical and virtual mobility;
Learning to and for life;
An open and inclusive European University.
© Tomáš Novotný