Next Tuesday, 29th of September, Vilnius University will award the Presidence of France, Emmanuel Macron, the title of Doctor Honoris Causa of the University.
The Arqus European University Alliance would not be a reality if the European Universities Initiative did not exist. And it all started when Mr Macron first made such a proposal in his famous speech at the University of Sorbonne, in Paris, in 2017. That speech became the framework for the vision of the Gothenburg Summit of EU leaders in the area of education and culture.
In its December 2017 Conclusions, the European Council called on Member States, the Council and the Commission to take forward a number of initiatives that included '…strengthening strategic partnerships across the EU between higher education institutions and encouraging the emergence by 2024 of some twenty 'European Universities', consisting in bottom-up networks of universities across the EU which will enable students to obtain a degree by combining studies in several EU countries and contribute to the international competitiveness of European universities'.
Co-developed by higher education institutions, student organisations, Member States and the Commission, the European Universities Initiative responded to this call and has now 41 European Universities Alliances that will test different models of the concept of European Universities and examine its potential to transform higher education.
On the 29th of September, a solemn ceremony is planned in the Theatre Hall of Vilnius University, where the VU Senate will award Mr Macron the title of Doctor Honoris Causa for the idea of creating joint European university networks and expanding the Erasmus+ exchange initiative.
“I am convinced that Mr Macron’s idea to integrate European universities is a good reason for awarding the French President the title of Doctor Honoris Causa of Vilnius University. By granting this award we will express our commitment to the idea of alliances of European universities. It can be noted that the President of France has initiated the process of these significant changes and in doing so he managed to preserve the idea of traditional university and respect for autonomy,” Prof Rimvydas Petrauskas, Rector of Vilnius University, says.
Vilnius University news: www.vu.lt/en/news/8255-french-president-emmanuel-macron-to-visit-vilnius-university
European Universities Initiative: ec.europa.eu/education/education-in-the-eu/european-education-area/european-universities-initiative_en