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European universities strengthen their cooperation in Luxembourg

Luxembourg 20 March 2015. On the 19th March 2015 the University of Luxembourg hosted the 8th General Assembly of the European University Foundation – Campus Europae (EUF-CE). At this occasion the network elected a Steering Committee with members from the University of Alcalá, represented by Vice-Rector Prof Miguel Angel Sotelo, the University of Vienna, represented by Vice-Rector Prof Heinz Faßmann and the University of Latvia, represented by Vice-Rector Prof Andris Kangro.

The participants were deeply saddened by the passing of Prof Germain Dondelinger, former Premier Conseiller of the Ministry of Higher Education and Research. A minute of silence was held in his memory during the meeting. Germain Dondelinger has not only contributed to establish the University of Luxembourg, but was also an enthusiastic and active supporter of the EUF-CE from the very beginning.

Based on the legacy of the work carried out for more than 10 years in Luxembourg, the member universities approved a new and ambitious cooperation framework, which aims at accelerating the modernisation of the European Higher Education Area. Joint initiatives will focus on supporting high quality student mobility, bridging the gap between education and employment by addressing skill mismatches and entrepreneurial education, triggering innovation via ICT and fostering the practical understanding of European Citizenship among the students of the member universities. This renewed framework will allow the members of the network to create synergies when reaching out for their internationalisation goals.

The network has been striving for developing innovative approaches that improve the quality of student mobility and has disseminated evidence-based policy recommendations within its network and towards EU institutions. Most of these recommendations were mainstreamed in the new Erasmus+ programme and will therefore benefit over 3 million students until 2021.

While the EUF-CE has been able to count on the valuable support of the Government of Luxembourg since 2004, the government has announced the intention of withdrawing it; therefore the participants discussed scenarios for maintaining the network in the Grand-Duchy of Luxembourg or beyond. Before developing the approved network objectives, the newly elected leaders will carefully address this matter with the relevant stakeholders.

Note to the editors: Concrete examples of cooperation in the strategic fields of cooperation will be materialised with the launch of the learning-agreement.eu tool, removing administrative obstacles to potentially 300,000 students in Europe, the renewal of the network’s commitment to the learning of less frequently spoken languages via its online language-learning platform speakup-erasmus.eu and the presentation of a strategic partnership, #EuropeHome, which will address the employability of students until 2017.

About: The EUF-CE is a network of 18 universities that aims at contributing to the modernisation of the European Higher Education Area. The projects the foundation is developing support and enhance student mobility among member universities, develop alliances for the employability of students and intensify the cooperation between universities and employers, increase the usage of ICT tools for academic purposes and students services, contribute to policy-making discussions at national and European levels, and enable students to become active citizens. More information at: http://goo.gl/4ICi3W

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