Arqus participates in the Open Session on European Universities Alliances within the Coimbra Group Public Conference “Universa Universis”

Poster indicating the name of the conference

The Coimbra Group is holding this week the public conference “Universa Universis. Academic freedom in a transforming world”. Arqus will be present in different sessions, talking about joint programmes and about the European Universities Alliances.

Today at 15:30, Artur Schmitt (Action Line 3 referee at the University of Granada, and Matthias Middel, Vice-Rector for Campus Development: Cooperation and Internationalisation at Leipzig University) will present the experiences and perspectives from the Arqus Alliance as part of the session on Innovating in Joint Degrees: experiences, challenges, opportunities.

Tomorrow, the Coordinator of the Arqus Alliance and Vice-Rector for Internationalization of the University of Granada, Dorothy Kelly, will participate in the Open Session "Viewpoints from Alliances of European Universities" that will take place next 9th June from 11:15 to 12:45 CET at the University of Padua. 

This year the Coimbra Group Annual Conference addresses the topic of academic freedom. While the first part will focus on its history and the current challenges to this central liberty of higher education, the second session will extend the discussion by including all core academic values in order to holistically address the foundation for healthy and complete higher education communities.

European Universities Alliances (EUAs) play a central role in bringing together Education, Research, Innovation and Service to Society as they cut across many different key initiatives of the European Commission. To address all four dimensions fully, EUAs are expected to link closely with their local environment as well as the global ecosystem. However, this will not be achieved without respect for academic values. Their utmost meaning is relevant not only for institutions, but also for democratic societies. The Bonn Declaration reinforced the role of scientific research’s freedom for human progress, emphasising the need to strengthen trust in science and engagement with society. University Alliances could become unique players in this field, harnessing the strength of European education and research cooperation and the diversity of this landscape.

“Together we can bring closer education, research and innovation in service to society” – the words of Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, Mariya Gabriel, mirror the ambitions standing behind the European Universities Alliances. Referring to the Eurobarometer results from 2018, EC has identified that more efficient transnational cooperation of universities is a critical aspect of solving significant societal challenges.

The Open Session on European Universities Alliances on 9th June will address the topics of values, engagement and responsibility in forms of deeper university cooperation. To facilitate the discussion, the following guiding questions have been proposed to the panellists, where the viewpoints of Arqus, represented by its Coordinator, Dorothy Kelly, will be included:

  • How can international cooperation between universities help strengthen academic values? And how are the EUAs showing the way forward?
  • Do EUAs encounter any barriers with regard to academic freedom and other academic values (autonomy, social responsibility, equitable access, and accountability)?
  • How can EUAs build trust and connection with societies through academic values?
  • What is the role of EUAs in strengthening the societal responsibility of University? 
  • How can universities mobilize all their groups (academic, administrations, students) for social and civic engagement? Why should it be done on the European/international level?
  • What does an engaged and responsible European University Alliance look like?


Link to the programme.