This week the European Commission announced that CIVIS is among the European University Alliances selected for another 4 years of funding with a grant of 14 million euros. This news ensures that the Alliance and our 10 member universities can push ahead with our ambitious vision and stay at the forefront of Higher Education reform in Europe. CIVIS is building an inter-university campus for more than half a million students, academics and staff. Supported by Erasmus+ funding as part of the European Universities Initiative, CIVIS is centred on quality teaching and civic engagement, with important spillovers in research and innovation.
The members of CIVIS are all research-intensive universities active across a comprehensive range of subjects and disciplines. They combine excellence in teaching and research with a commitment to diversity and civic engagement. These same values underpin the CIVIS Alliance, and our shared agenda is motivated by an awareness of the many challenges facing society today. We especially focus on 5 key areas where our world and our societies face important challenges:
- Environment and climate change
- Health care
- Democracy and cultural heritage
- Sustainable and inclusive mobility
- Digital and technological transformations
Since its launch in 2019, the CIVIS Alliance has gone from strength to strength:
- We have launched 5 challenge-based interdisciplinary Hubs. Academics work across borders and disciplines to develop innovative modular courses which respond to 5 major societal challenges. Hundreds of students have already participated in one of the 200+ CIVIS courses, either online or by visiting another member university.
- We have anchored the university in the city with our 10 local Open Labs – 1 per CIVIS member university. The Open Labs gather academics, students and local civil society to deliver real social impact. We have supported over 30 projects responding to local and global issues, valuing diversity while giving students the chance to engage and develop their skills.
- We have developed a CIVIS Digital Campus to overcome boundaries, foster cooperation and facilitate intercultural experience. Tools include community platforms and a CIVIS Passport powered by blockchain to certify students’ involvement in a wide range of CIVIS activities.
- We have offered academics opportunities to improve and update their teaching skills and we have developed cutting-edge paedagogical tools and methods for virtual and blended mobility.
- We have built a strategic partnership with 6 African universities, in line with our initial ambition to form a global Alliance.
- We have used the CIVIS Alliance as a springboard for other joint projects, especially in the areas of collaborative research strategies and funding.
- We have established a participative governance model which respects and values the independence and diversity of our member universities.
The years ahead will not only consolidate our progress so far, but also allow us to implement our shared vision more fully. Looking ahead, we will strive to:
- Boost both our challenge-based educational offer and our civic engagement, by empowering and linking our interdisciplinary Hubs and Open Labs.
- Strengthen our inter-university campus by increasing mobility for students and staff from all groups and by unlocking the potential of our Digital Campus.
- Achieve the implementation of true joint education and degree programs.