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Circle U., the alliance of UCLouvain, Aarhus University, the University of Belgrade, Humboldt University of Berlin, King’s College London, the University of Oslo, and the University of Paris, has just been selected by the European Commission to be one of the 41 alliances of European universities that will redraw the lines of European higher education.
In the near future, students who enter a Circle U. university will have access to partner universities throughout their studies.
How partner universities meet societal challenges will also be transformed. Circle U. will mobilise its members – 334,000 students, 51,000 staff – and its 34 associated partners to put knowledge to work on the transition to a better world. Initially, the challenges of climate, health on a global scale, and democracy will be at the heart of Knowledge Hubs, both physical and virtual spaces within which professors, researchers, students and partners will be able to create and share their knowledge.
Circle U. partners include public actors, national and local authorities, associations and non-governmental organisations, health actors – including university hospitals – and partners in the business world.
‘I’m delighted with these new forms of synergies within Circle U., which will allow us to mobilise knowledge more quickly and efficiently to meet society’s challenges,’ UCLouvain Rector Victor Blondel said. ‘Universities have a crucial role to play and we must strengthen all links so that knowledge has a real impact for all citizens. The COVID-19 health crisis is an example, but we also face many other challenges.’
Soon, higher education will be European not only because it is geographically located in Europe. It will derive its European character from collaborations across languages and borders that will arise from the deep integration between universities in the same alliance.