Unite! – a future European university
Unite! – University Network for Innovation, Technology and Engineering - is a network of seven top universities in seven European countries. The aim is to set a new model for a European university through joint educational programmes, virtual and physical mobility, innovative pedagogic methods and harmonized governance models. Since 2021 there is also cooperation within research and innovation.
The process of developing the new university model, that started during autumn 2019, includes activities aimed at students and staff as well as external partners:
- Physical and virtual mobility within Unite! for all students, extending to joint education, summer schools, on-line courses as well as new joint courses comprising a short-term mobility programme.
- Language and culture courses.
For doctoral students
- Jointly developed European doctoral programmes where research connects with learning, innovation and entrepreneurship.
- Mobility within Unite!
- Mobility within Unite! for all staff, including thematic staff weeks.
- Teaching and Learning Academy to help professors and educators develop models for flexible study paths and innovative pedagogies.
For the region
- Access to innovation and entrepreneurship structures in other Unite! university regions and the possibility for regional actors to form new powerful international partnerships.
There are also activities focusing on the development of joint models for governance and management, support services, communication and quality assurance.
European Universities for competitiveness
Unite! Is part of the European Universities initiative and was one of the first 17 networks to receive funding by the European Commission 2019, through Erasmus+. The initiative targets to create a network of universities across Europe, encouraging the emergence by 2024 of a number of 'European Universities', which will enable students to obtain a degree by combining studies in several EU countries and which contributes to the international competitiveness of European universities.
Following a second call, 24 more networks received funding in July 2020.
The ongoing work within Unite! is a pilot project until 2022. The Unite! alliance is however more than this three year project, with the long-term goals to be reached and evaluated by 2025.
Cooperation in research and innovation
Unite! has also been granted additional funding in July 2020 through EU Horizon2020. In this project Unite! will develop, in synergy with its educational dimension, an integrated, shared and long-term research and innovation (R&I) strategy. To reach this objective, Unite! will formulate an agenda of R&I shared by all partners, oriented to 2030.
Another objective is advancing, within three years, a series of pilot initiatives in the fields of energy, artificial intelligence and industry 4.0.
The project will also address the development of common policies for human capital, the sharing of research infrastructure, the strengthening of cooperation with non-academic R&I actors, Open Science and the involvement of citizens, civil society and public authorities.
The project started January 2021.
The Unite! members are seven universities from seven different EU countries:
- Technische Universität Darmstadt (Germany)
- Aalto University (Finland)
- KTH Royal Institute of Technology (Sweden)
- Grenoble INP graduate school of engineering and management, University Grenoble Alpes (France)
- Politecnico di Torino (Italy)
- Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya · BarcelonaTech (UPC) (Spain)
- Universidade de Lisboa (Portugal)
TU Darmstadt is responsible for coordination and administration regarding the Unite! alliance and the education-oriented project, funded by Erasmus+. The research and innovation-oriented project funded by Horizon2020 is managed by Politecnico di Torino.
Unite! originates from the CLUSTER network – Consortium Linking Universities of Science and Technology for Education and Research – and builds on three decades of close and dedicated cooperation on different aspects of higher education, research, innovation and social responsibility between some of the top technical universities in Europe.
The Unite! website