European University Alliance FORTHEM rewarded

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Credit: @ FORTHEM Alliance

The nine partner universities of the FORTHEM European University Alliance will continue to be funded by the European Commission under the Erasmus+ program – with nearly €14.4 million for the next four-year period starting November 1, 2022 The FORTHEM Alliance of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU), the University of Burgundy in France, the University of Jyväskylä in Finland, the University of Opole in Poland, the University of Palermo in Italy, the University of Latvia and University of València in Spain started their work in September 2019 – to be one of 17 European Universities Initiative University Networks selected to generate and live new visions and ideas for the European Space of higher education. In 2021, the University of Agder in Norway and the Lucian Blaga University of Sibiu in Romania joined the alliance. FORTHEM invites all members of the partner universities – students and teachers, researchers and administrative staff – as well as interested parties from the fields of economics and politics, science and further education, art and culture to take advantage of this network.

“Over the past three years, the FORTHEM Alliance has built structures for successful inter-university collaboration that benefit from great mutual trust and the extraordinary dedication of all partner universities. I am very grateful to everyone involved in each of the universities in our alliance for their great commitment,” said Prof. Georg Krausch, President of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz. “With FORTHEM, we have given a face to the idea of ​​European Universities and we benefit all from the exchange with our neighbors in North and South, West and East Europe.”

The last round of funding, with a record budget of some 272 million euros, focused on two main themes: the intensification of preconceptions and the development of new institutional transnational cooperation between partner universities. According to the strategic framework of the European Commission for the European Education Area, FORTHEM will engage in five missions on the way to its transformation into a European university: European Campus; Skills & Competencies; Research, Innovation & Transfer, Labs & Co-Creation; Service to society.

“One of our main goals is the creation of an ‘international classroom’ based on the idea of ​​’bringing Europe home’. This means that we want to give all students the opportunity to study in a European and international environment – ​​even at their own home university,” said Professor Stephan Jolie, Vice President for Learning and Teaching at JGU, describing this vision. “Because it is precisely this experience of interculturality, multilingual capacity and diversity of life that makes us all open-minded Europeans and true citizens of the world.”

Another key task of the new funding period will be to identify new topics in which FORTHEM universities can bring the impulses of teaching and research into dialogue with the perspective of society – as for example in the FORTHEM laboratories which focus on areas of critical societal importance such as climate change, migration and digital transformation. It is in these labs that members of FORTHEM universities collaborate with external representatives from the public and/or private sector to discuss and develop cutting-edge solutions. This forward-looking approach is also reflected in the alliance’s effort to impart skills and abilities – to ensure excellence in teaching and science and to provide students and early-career scholars the tools needed to master new challenges and thereby improve their competitiveness in today’s global job market. .

The FORTHEM Alliance will also place particular emphasis on supporting academics at the start of their careers. “After the FIT FORTHEM project has mainly focused on capacity building in the research sector over the last year and a half, we now want to approach the target group of our early career researchers – to prepare them to different career paths and promote the idea of ​​gaining research experience in a European environment,” emphasized Professor Stefan Müller-Stach, Vice President for Research and Early Career Academics at JGU. , we are also advancing the internationalization of research at JGU.” The FIT FORTHEM project, short for “Fostering Institutional Transformation of R&I Policies in European Universities”, has been funded by the European Commission since January 2021 with some 2 million euros in the framework program “Science with and for Society” EU Horizon 2020. The objective of the three-year project is to develop strategies for all l he partners of FORTHEM in the fields of research and innovation. The network evaluates various open science policies in detail and develops a shared research agenda for the nine FORTHEM partners that will enable the alliance to sustainably pursue its ambitious goals.

About FORTHEM Alliance of European Universities

FORTHEM is one of 44 European University Alliances funded by the European Commission to create a European Higher Education Area by 2025 with learning, study and research easily crossing national borders. The idea behind the European Universities Initiative (EUI) dates back to the opening speech of the Initiative for Europe given by French President Emmanuel Macron on September 26, 2017 at the Sorbonne University in Paris. In this speech, he proposed to create a European university network by 2024.

The FORTHEM Alliance invites its members as well as people from all over Europe to cross language barriers, international borders and academic disciplines to bring the European idea to life, promote exchanges and demonstrate commitment to democratic values. municipalities. The partner universities promote the mobility of their students and staff and help young people to become open-minded and responsible European and global citizens who respect and appreciate international and intercultural differences and come together to find solutions to current challenges. that our society is facing.

FORTHEM has strong regional roots in each of the countries from which the nine universities originate. The partners share a long history of cooperation and – at the same time – are open to new forms of collaboration with the aim of creating a permanent multilateral and European cooperation environment of innovation and a close link between education, research and the app.

Related links: – European Commission press release: “44 European universities to cooperate across borders and disciplines” (27 July 2022); – The FORTHEM Alliance; – The European Universities Initiative; – The European Education Area

Read more: – press release “Half-time for the FIT FORTHEM project” (July 22, 2022); – press release “European University Alliance FORTHEM welcomes new partners and strengthens its network with the administrations and chambers of commerce of university towns” (24 Sept. 2021); – press release “European University Alliance FORTHEM launches a new FIT FORTHEM project” (Dec. 18, 2020); – press release “Forthem Alliance of the University of Mainz and European partners visits the launch event of the European Universities Initiative in Brussels” (7 Nov. 2019); – press release “A beacon in the European education area: the European Commission funds JGU and its partners for their vision of a European university” (June 26, 2019); – press release “The FORTHEM Alliance of the University of Mainz and European partners has submitted an application for the European Universities Initiative” (March 13, 2019)

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