ERUA Summit 2024: A Beacon of Innovation and Collaboration in European Higher Education

Vilnius, Lithuania – The 4th European Reform University Alliance (ERUA) Summit has officially commenced, bringing together leading academics, researchers, and policymakers to discuss the future of higher education and collaborative innovation across Europe. Hosted by Mykolas Romeris University (MRU) in the historic and culturally vibrant city of Vilnius, the summit marks a significant milestone in ERUA’s ongoing commitment to fostering unity, knowledge, creativity, and social responsibility.

“This summit is a testament in our collective belief in the power of Social innovation to address these issues and improve the overall quality of life for people everywhere,” Prof. Dr. Inga Zaleniene, Rector of MRU, emphasized in her opening address. She highlighted the unique role of Vilnius as an exemplary backdrop for such discussions, where tradition meets modernity in a harmonious blend. “Our alliance stands as a beacon of community building and collaborative growth. Through the creation of research clusters and cooperation initiatives, we aim to build an alliance that transcends geographic and disciplinary boundaries,” she stated. Prof. Zaleniene reaffirmed ERUA’s dedication to building a European university that not only enhances education and research but also addresses contemporary challenges with creativity and resilience.

Prof. Dr. hab. Roman Cieślak, Rector of SWPS University in Poland, echoed these sentiments by focusing on the importance of small-scale innovations as the foundation for broader advancements. “Innovation often begins with small projects. Our initiatives, however modest in the beginning, are the foundation for broader advancements,” he said. Prof. Cieślak encouraged participants to use the summit as a platform to share practical solutions and foster a spirit of collaboration that can lead to impactful educational reforms. “Each step we take, no matter how small, will lead to a future where education is more inclusive, innovative, and impactful,” he added.





Prof. Dr. Annick Allaigre, Rector of Paris 8 University in France, underscored the role of universities as catalysts of change. “The role of the university is to be catalysts of change, incubators of innovation, and promoters of social justice”. Today, I invite you to envision our alliance as a true laboratory of ideas and initiatives that can shape the European citizen of tomorrow,” she said.




Representing the Lithuanian government, Justas Nugaras, Vice-Minister at the Ministry of Education, Science, and Sport, highlighted the critical importance of strong institutional links within the alliance. “The strength of the links in any network is of key importance for the alliance. It is when you have strong ties between institutions that you can create synergies, find new ways of working together, and create new opportunities for excellence,” he noted. Nugaras also stressed the need for a balanced focus on both social sciences and technology, advocating for comprehensive EU funding to support ambitious and competitive alliances.




As the summit continues, participants are encouraged to act as ambassadors of their institutions and the ERUA alliance, fostering environments where innovation and collaboration can thrive. This year’s summit not only reflects the past achievements of ERUA but also sets a forward-looking agenda aimed at shaping the future of European higher education.

Stay tuned for more updates and insights from the 4th ERUA Summit, as we explore the power of social innovation and the collective efforts to enhance the quality of life through education and research.

More Articles