The European university association EPICUR (European Partnership for Innovative Campus Unifying Regions) will receive funding of five million euros from the European Commission in the next three years. The aim is to create an attractive, innovative European University for a new generation – a generation that will face the major social challenges of future Europe. The association consists of eight partners, including Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), and is led by the University of Strasbourg.
“The decision of the European Commission to fund EPICUR is a huge success – and a milestone for intensive cross-border cooperation in research, teaching and innovation in Europe. One major aim of this association is to deeply root our common values in European science. We are very excited to drive this together with our partners in EPICUR,” says the President of KIT, Professor Holger Hanselka.
KIT will use its expertise with other networks in the EPICUR association and in its work package will advocate the strengthening of regional networks in a united Europe and the integration of the universities in their respective regions. “Intensive collaboration with our European partners is an essential condition for Europe’s success in a globalized world. International scientific exchange, especially with our neighbors in Europe, has a long tradition at KIT. EPICUR is an important step that will also significantly strengthen these partnerships in the future,” says the Vice President for Innovation and International Affairs at KIT, Professor Thomas Hirth.
What’s more, KIT, together with the other partners, will be committed to strengthening the regions from within – among other things through innovative teaching and learning formats in which various players from industry and civil society are involved. An important component is also intercultural competence which will be a major skill for the European citizens of tomorrow. In addition, KIT will focus on promoting an entrepreneurial mindset among students in its activities within EPICUR.
The request for pilot project submissions at European universities had been initiated by the European Commission in the Erasmus+ program. The eight university partners in the EPICUR alliance are the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan (Poland), the University of Amsterdam (The Netherlands), the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (Greece), the University of Freiburg (Germany), the University of Upper Alsace (France), Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, KIT (Germany), the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna (Austria) and the University of Strasbourg (France).
Components and organization of EPICUR
The first three years of the project form the pilot phase of the long-term process for establishing a European university. The project is initially divided into six work packages, each of which is coordinated by one of the partners: project management (Strasbourg); promotion of multilingualism and inclusion (Amsterdam); introduction of innovative learning and teaching methods for the European citizens of tomorrow (Freiburg); establishment of an inter-university campus (Thessaloniki); strengthening and networking of regions (KIT); dissemination and exchange of good practices and sustainable collaboration (Strasbourg).
One long-term aim of EPICUR is also the establishment of a four-year bachelor's program, “European Bachelor of Liberal Arts and Sciences”, which will then be offered by several EPICUR universities in English.
Other primary topics will include digital transformation with a view to new teaching formats and further development of student mobility, as well as dialog and collaboration with industry and society. Here multilingualism and inclusion are aiming to strengthen European linguistic diversity and at the same time providing everyone with access to higher education.
Press release from the University of Strasbourg:
Press release from the European Commission:
Being “The Research University in the Helmholtz Association”, KIT creates and imparts knowledge for the society and the environment. It is the objective to make significant contributions to the global challenges in the fields of energy, mobility, and information. For this, about 9,300 employees cooperate in a broad range of disciplines in natural sciences, engineering sciences, economics, and the humanities and social sciences. KIT prepares its 24,400 students for responsible tasks in society, industry, and science by offering research-based study programs. Innovation efforts at KIT build a bridge between important scientific findings and their application for the benefit of society, economic prosperity, and the preservation of our natural basis of life. KIT is one of the German universities of excellence.