ESEU project concludes with the Roadmap on a European legal instrument for transnational higher education cooperation

The final event of the ESEU project, a pivotal initiative for establishing a European legal instrument in transnational higher education collaboration, took place on 28 February 2024 in Brussels.

Led by ECIU University, the ESEU project was one of the four Erasmus+ legal policy experimentation projects that tested and implemented institutionalised EU cooperation instruments. The ESEU project (European Status for ECIU University), as the name suggests, investigated the possibilities for the design of a European legal status to overcome obstacles in transnational collaboration of higher education institutions (HEIs). At the final event, different key stakeholders and policymakers reflected on the topic.

The initial findings from Erasmus+ pilot projects, focused on institutionalized EU cooperation instruments for a potential European legal status tailored for higher education institution alliances, indicate that current legal frameworks do not adequately meet the specific needs of HEIs.

The recommendations of ESEU project focus on two approaches: creating a new legal framework specifically for the cross-border partnerships of educational institutions or adapting an existing model like the EGTC to fit these unique requirements.


Roadmap on a European legal instrument for transnational higher education cooperation

The seven recommendations to improve the EGTC, and much more information, can be found in the ESEU final report on the ECIU website.

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The 4EU+ Alliance was an associated partner in the project and Isabelle Kratz, 4EU+ Secretary General, highlights the ESEU project's unique ability to unite diverse educational alliances. ‘This project, once again, showcased the strength in diversity—uniting alliances, some already established with legal statuses and others navigating their path. The detailed analysis of institutional needs and the strategic collaboration with national authorities have been pivotal,’ she says. However, she also emphasizes the necessity of ongoing dedication to this topic: ‘The journey doesn't end here. We need to continue to work and reflect on our collective mission for a comprehensive European legal framework for higher education.’

The recognition of the need for ongoing efforts and sustained collaboration beyond the experimental phase is broadly acknowledged across various stakeholders, including alliances and European Commission representatives. 4EU+ is dedicated to maintaining its involvement in this collaborative effort, eagerly anticipating advancements that will further enhance transnational cooperation between higher education institutions across Europe.

You can read more about the final ESEU event and watch the recording on the ECIU website here.