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Our Mission & Vision

What is ERUA?

The “European Reform University Alliance” (ERUA) is a consortium of eight European reform universities committed to exploring innovative approaches in research, teaching, and institutional advancement. As part of the European Universities Initiative (EUI), one of the key initiatives of the European Commission, ERUA aims to advance the development of a European Education Area and the implementation of the European Higher Education Strategy.

ERUA is unique due to its geographical diversity and focus on social sciences, humanities, and arts, while also integrating perspectives from science, technology, engineering, and medicine to address contemporary challenges in Europe. Being a network of reform-oriented universities, we strive towards fostering critical thinking of the university community by reflecting upon, assessing and advancing alternatives to current models in higher education. We are a community that wants to promote our critical ideas and develop our sustainable concept of academia, while defending a strong student-centered focus at the core of our academic reform approach and practices.
We view ERUA universities as standing ‘on a critical edge’- both in terms of values and geography, due to our expertise in educational strategies and partnering nations. Now, stronger together with our common vision, we are in a position to better contribute to the development of a sustainable society, and to promote European values.
All 8 partners strongly believe that universities must give all demographics the agency to tap into novel ways of thinking in response to the structural transformations happening in our contemporary world. With this shared common vision in mind, the European Reform University Alliance (ERUA) will continue to enable the development and the refinement of ideas leading to international and interdisciplinary learnings and innovations.

ERUA strives to become a “role model” for other alliances in terms of diversity, inclusion and ethos on participation, but also to develop educational programmes and research projects geared towards societal impact.

We are focused on building on our accomplishments, by focusing on 3 specific objectives:
1. Building an interconnected and green campus;
2. Focusing on a student-centered and reformist educational framework and
3. Shaping a more just, open, and inclusive society.
Linked to these special objectives, we have framed our flagships initiatives that are focused on:
1. increase of mobility opportunity,
2. deployment of the virtual campus,
3. establishment of joint degrees,
4. launch of the Academic Innovation Lab,
5. creation of research-based clusters and
6. development of the Social Entrepreneurship Programme

ERUA Mission and Vision

We, the European Reform University Alliance (ERUA), have set up and developed our consortium around our foundational principles as a reform alliance. By pooling our individual strengths and past achievements, we will increase our societal impact by creating a powerful academic hub for critical and innovative contribution to a free, more equitable and democratic Europe. We believe that to shape peaceful, just, and sustainable futures, higher education and research must be transformed.

Reform is at the heart of ERUA, both in name and in spirit, and grounded on the following principles:
● Reform is being critical. We follow the function of the modern university and seek to reflect, assess, and advance alternatives to current models. We do so by drawing upon the different experiences and backgrounds of the university community that embody the societal diversity that surrounds us and encourages all to participate in shaping the future. This leads us to assume a vision-driven approach and continuously question and transform our own organization and institutions.
● Reform is empowering students. We offer students a rich and diverse environment with a shared pedagogical approach focused on active learning, personal development, civic involvement, societal change, and critical thinking. The distinctive learning experience in ERUA is based on a student-centered approach developing personalized learning pathways in a multilingual and multicultural environment. This European experience will enable future European citizens to become engaged but critical change-agents driving the European project.
● Reform is promoting initiative. We strive to enable free thinking within and around our institutions by engaging our community via a bottom-up approach based on individual and collective initiative, diversity of expertise and the serendipity of encounters.
● Reform is being open. We break barriers between disciplines, between academia and the wider society and promote open science providing access to our academic work and its results to anyone. Our strengths enable us to develop original interdisciplinary approaches and to seek novel solutions to contemporary challenges by fostering a STEAM approach, integrating the Arts and Humanities into the Sciences.
● Reform is making a difference. We shape our educational programs and research initiatives to achieve measurable societal impact. To do this, we work in close collaboration with a wide range of actors, including other academic institutions, local communities and territories, business and non-profit organizations.
● Reform is fostering sustainability. It drives us to place the future of our planet and that of humanity at the heart of everything we do, to move away from classical indicators of growth towards a new vision of individual, societal and global wellbeing.

ERUA Vision

By bringing together academics from Europe’s East and West, North and South, and welcoming students from top and lower socio-economic deciles, from rural and urban, insular and mainland settings, local and global backgrounds, ERUA aspires over the coming years to create a genuinely integrated European community, in which each university will retain its individual traits while working together to create a common, transformative and long-term vision of education, research, innovation and service to society in Europe.
ERUA is unique amongst European Universities thanks to our focus on the social sciences, humanities and arts. Our public value lies in our capacity to critically reflect and contribute to solving the global challenges of our times with an interdisciplinary perspective, which draws on our ongoing and fruitful dialogue with science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM).




ERUA builds on shared core values, while embracing diversity in role, specific aims and approaches at the partner universities:

● Openness. We are open by default. As an alliance we adopt innovative policies and solutions, flexible and effective joint structures, and stream-lined operational models that are as transparent as possible. Together we promote Open Science and Open Societies.
● Student-centered. Training tomorrow’s citizens is our primary driver. This is why ERUA will continuously seek the active engagement of our students, both as learners and partners in teaching and research and as agents of change.
● Inclusiveness. ERUA is deeply inclusive. We are proud of our geographical, cultural, economic, and linguistic diversity and constantly strive to ensure that no one is left behind.
● Humanism. A thriving civil society requires a caring approach that fosters human wellbeing in a sustainable, respectful, and forward-looking manner. We promote this through our roots in the humanities, social sciences and arts and our deep commitment to academic freedom.


The new ERUA governance aims at improving the management capacity and strategic focus of the alliance, and strengthening its institutional anchoring in the member universities. The governance bodies are supported by shared efficient management structures and services (e.g. ERUA joint units/commissions) and effective communication based in agile methodologies.

ERUA governance structure spreads along three levels (strategic development and oversight, steering and coordination, as well as management and implementation). The structure consists of 6 ERUA governance bodies supported by ERUA joint units/commissions and ERUA Local Coordinators at the level of each partner university:
● The Board of Rectors (BoR). The Board of Rectors (BoR) formulates the strategy of the alliance and approves major strategic decisions and policies impacting the Alliance. It is composed by the Rector of each of the member Universities of ERUA and the Secretary General of the Alliance.
● The Steering Committee (SC). The Steering Committee (SC) is responsible for ensuring overall effective steering of activities and, together with the Vice-Rector Councils, for fostering alignment between ERUA and the member universities strategies. The members of the Steering Committee are in charge of supervising the whole ERUA setting-up process and of taking strategic decisions with the contribution of the Management Committee. As one of the strategic steering and decision-making bodies of the alliance, the Steering Committee’s role is to guide the alliance’s internal and external strategy and to formulate recommendations on key issues and projects for consideration by the Alliance’s Board of Rectors. It reviews the general progress of the projects and takes relevant decisions regarding major strategic matters that require decision at a lower level than the Board of Rectors.
● The Management Committee (MC). The Management Committee is the primary project implementation body of the ERUA, which is responsible for ensuring operational and day-to-day activity coordination, achieving the alliance objectives and delivery of outcomes and fostering effective engagement of the partner universities.
● The Student Board. The Student Board forms an integral part of the consortium, functioning as a Consortium Body. The Student Board (SB) is the highest student representing body of the Consortium. It mainly contributes to the activities of the Steering Committee and the Participatory Council. It plays a vital role in representing student interests and perspectives. It acts as the official voice of the student body, advocating for their concerns in decision-making processes. The board facilitates communication between the alliance and students, organizing events to foster a sense of community. It collaborates with university administrators, influencing policies that impact students and ensuring diversity and inclusion. The board promotes international collaboration, advocates for quality education, and supports initiatives for student services and professional development. Additionally, it serves as a feedback mechanism, maintaining transparency and accountability to the diverse student population across the alliance.
● The Vice-Rector Council (VRC). The Alliance’s strategic advisory role is supported by thematic Vice-Rectors Councils (VRCs), which will be set up as soon as the Steering Committee is officially established. These Vice-Rectors Councils will be the antechambers of the Steering Committee. The Vice-Rectors Councils for International Affairs, for Academic Affairs, for Research, for IT and Digitalisation and for Communication have already been identified as needed. Other Vice-Rectors Councils may be set up as required. Each Vice-Rectors Council will be led by the member university which has major responsibility for the WP to which its theme relates. This will ensure consistency of leadership and agendas between the WPs and the Vice-Rectors Councils.
● The external Advisory Board (AB). The external Advisory Board (AB) is composed by external members nominated by the Board of Rectors and provides advice on long-term strategy, governance, education and research activities, as well as implementation of the Description of action.
● The Work package board. The Work package boards (WP Board) are working groups composed of WP leaders, project officers and experts in each area of the WPs. At least one academic and/or administrative staff will represent each university and participate in the WP. Each WP Board is coordinated by representatives of the university which is responsible for the deliverables of the corresponding WP. They meet virtually on a regular basis (at least every 3-4 weeks) as well as physically once a year. They are in charge of the implementation of the Work Plan in their respective areas and may set up further task forces if deemed necessary.
● The Local Coordination (LC). The Local Coordination (LC) teams guarantee a broad participation at the local level for each partner, including academics and students. They are in charge of the internal organization and coordination of ERUA activities and ensure data collection within their universities for further feedback.