The European university will involve not only the Jena market, but the entire region.

The European Campus of City-Universities is a go

University of Jena successful in a EU call for proposals and among the founders of a European University
The European university will involve not only the Jena market, but the entire region.
Image: Jürgen Scheere (University of Jena)

Published: | By: Axel Burchardt | Source article

The internationality of the Friedrich Schiller University Jena receives another boost. The University has been selected by the EU Commission to co-found a “European University”. On 9 July, the Commission announced the winners of the second call for proposals of its “European Universities” initiative. Selected from 62 applications, the 24 new European Universities involve 165 higher education institutions from 26 countries. Among them are 20 German institutions of higher education that participate in 18 of the 24 alliances. Each alliance receives up to €5 million in funding for three years.

Along with the universities of Coimbra (Portugal), Alexandru Ioan Cuza in Iași (Romania), Pavia (Italy), Poitiers (France), Salamanca (Spain) and Turku (Finland), the Friedrich Schiller University forms the alliance “European Campus of City-Universities”. The President of the University, Prof. Dr Walter Rosenthal, is pleased with the success: “When it comes to research and teaching, the University of Jena focuses strongly on international cooperation. In recent years, it has again massively expanded its global network with renowned research institutes and universities.” The new university alliance continues these efforts. And this is important, emphasizes Rosenthal, because “science thrives on exchange and is only able to find answers to global questions as part of the worldwide flow of knowledge. Diseases such as corona but also the climate crisis are exemplary global challenges that can only be overcome through joint research and the exchange of knowledge.” In addition, “

For us, strengthening the European identity and our common values is already a value in itself.

Prof. Dr Walter Rosenthal, President of the University

Campus without borders

Among the objectives of the EC2U alliance is to test new models, for example in joint study programmes and degrees. One of the challenges is to promote and make visible the existing diversity, and at the same time to standardize processes. “Ultimately, however, it is also up to politics to shape the legal framework within the EU in such a way that it can become a common campus without borders,” warns Rosenthal.

„Science with and for Society“

In EC2U, the regions and cities are considered and included. Under the title "Science with and for Society", a package of measures has been developed which connects scientists, students and citizens as well as stakeholders from business, schools and politics, gathers their input, informs them, involves them, and designs joint projects. "By the way, we have already had good experience in cooperating with cities," says Rosenthal. "In 2016, our university, together with the City of Jena, signed the Poitiers Declaration, in which a large number of universities and their cities and regions commit themselves to cooperation, including the cities of our partners in the alliance.

The topics of the alliance are tangible: “In cooperation with the economy, we strive to promote the career entry of graduates and support start-ups in a European context. Together with the schools, we send students enrolled in teacher training to our European partner cities during their practical semester. Citizens, scientists and students come together in think tanks to think about European problems together,” says Dr Claudia Hillinger, Head of the International Office of the University, naming some examples.

The European University will increase the international visibility of our strengths.

Prof. Dr Walter Rosenthal, President of the University

Last but not least, the students of the University of Jena will benefit from the new European network. “Our attractive study programmes will be supplemented with complementary modules abroad, which can be studied in the framework of exchange or degree programmes. This will strengthen our profile as a place to study on the one hand, and the intercultural competence of our students on the other hand. The international experience gained through studies and internships with our partners will make our graduates even more sought-after on the national and international labour market,” emphasizes President Rosenthal.

Background information
Within the framework of the Horizon 2020 programme, the European Union supports ‘European Universities’, alliances of higher education institutions that aim to pool the strengths and diversity of European research and teaching in new structures—a European campus. The aim of the initiative is to strengthen the performance of the European higher education system and to promote common values and a European identity among the younger generation and thus strengthen the united Europe. The cities and regions of the participating universities are also to be included in the alliances.


Claudia Hillinger, Dr
Dr. Claudia Hillinger
Universitätshauptgebäude, Room 2.66
Fürstengraben 1
07743 Jena