Swiss universities will be able to participate as associated partners in the “European Universities” initiative call for projects published on 30 November as part of the Erasmus+ programme. The European Union has decided to open up to educational institutions that are part of the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) to participate. This includes Switzerland.
With a budget of 270 million euros for four years, the call is structured around two topics for participation. Swiss higher education institutions have the opportunity to join one of the 17 alliances supported in 2019 as a network partner or to establish transnational cooperation with other European higher education institutions in a new alliance.
The SERI provides CHF 6 million for Swiss higher education institutions and colleges of higher education. The European call is now open until 22 March 2022. Swiss institutions have until 6 March 2022 to submit their applications to the national agency Movetia.
The State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation and the Movetia agency see the participation of Swiss universities as an opportunity to engage in one of the networks of excellence set up at European level. They will be able to demonstrate their high educational standards and wide range of expertise. By joining these alliances, Swiss universities will also have the opportunity to enable their professors, researchers, students and doctoral students to develop new areas of cooperation and to broaden their mobility opportunities.
Proposed by the European Commission in December 2017, the “European Universities” initiative aims to establish university alliances that promote and facilitate the achievement of a qualification, combining studies in several European countries and strengthening European citizenship. There are currently 41 alliances involving over 280 higher education institutions. It is now one of the EU's flagship initiatives, with the vision that European Universities will become inter-university campuses where students, doctoral students, academic staff and researchers can interact without barriers. They will be able to pool their expertise, platforms and resources to offer common curricula or modules covering various disciplines.