News and events Tilburg University

European Universities Alliance ENGAGE.EU receives follow-up grant

Published: 03rd July 2023 Last updated: 03rd July 2023

The European Commission has announced that ENGAGE.EU is to receive a follow-up grant to the amount of € 14.4 million for further elaborating the mobility and collaboration among the nine participating European universities. The Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture, and Science supports Tilburg University’s efforts with an additional € 1 million. Education Minister Dijkgraaf sees the European universities’ alliances as important drivers of European collaboration in higher education. In addition, each university will contribute to the total budget of 18 million available for next period (2023-2027).

From our region, ENGAGE.EU is supported by the City of Tilburg, social knowledge institute Het PON & Telos, and regional development organization Midpoint Brabant. This creates a great platform for innovations in teaching, research, and outreach to society.

Joint quest for sustainable solutions

ENGAGE.EU, which started in 2020 as “European University”, aims to bring together the students, scholars, and support staff of nine prominent European universities (University of Mannheim, Hanken School of Economics (Helsinki and Vaasa), Luiss University (Rome), NHH Norwegian School of Economics (Bergen), Tilburg University, Ramon Llull University (Barcelona), University of National and World Economics (Sofia), University Toulouse Capitole, Vienna University of Economics and Business).

The objective is to develop new models to stimulate student and staff mobility that contribute to the quality, inclusiveness, and competitiveness of European higher education. Within the alliance, we work at an interdisciplinary level on sustainable solutions for social issues by offering a program focusing on education, innovation, and science. As part of this program, students, scholars, and staff can make both online and off-line use of the programs and courses offered at the affiliated European universities.

Wim van de Donk, Rector Magnificus and President of the Tilburg University Executive Board: “We are very pleased that the European Commission has expressed its faith in our European alliance. ENGAGE.EU is a testing ground for innovation in cross-border collaboration. In recent years, we have met the challenge of aligning the organizational models and strategies of seven universities

in Europe. With the funding of the European Commission and the Ministry of Education, Culture, and Science, we can continue this work. It is our ambition as Tilburg University to be connected. We work together with local and regional partners and networks. In a European context, we do a similar thing within ENGAGE.EU. I look forward to further collaboration with my colleagues in Europe.”

Besides building the ENGAGE.EU organization, making agreements, and streamlining working processes, many projects have been realized in the past three years in which students and scholars were able to experience the benefits of ENGAGE.EU. Some examples include offering more than 500 courses for ENGAGE.EU students in a joint course catalogue, the more than 50 students who are participating in the Master’s-level honors program of Digital Transformation, and the seven expedition weeks in which almost 200 students have worked on social challenges together with external stakeholders. In addition, a research community platform has been developed and launched in which approximately 250 scholars have found each other as sources of inspiration and collaboration.

Collaborations without borders

ENGAGE.EU facilitates systematic European collaboration among the affiliated universities. Therefore, the European Commission is fully committed to the further implementation of the European Universities initiative. By mid-2024, more than 500 higher education institutions in Europe will form part of such an alliance. This constitutes approximately 10 percent of the total number of institutions.

Now that a follow-up grant has been awarded and ENGAGE.EU is being continued, Hanken School of Economics and Ramon Llull University will officially join the initiative. They have been involved in the collaboration since May 2022, and now with the renewed funding will become full members of the ENGAGE.EU alliance.

The European University Initiative

European Universities is an initiative within the Erasmus + program of the European Union aimed to establish new standards of collaboration among higher education institutions. The European Universities initiative is intended to function as a model of good practice to further increase the quality, international competitiveness, and attractiveness of European higher education.