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 Strategy for Universities.

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 eight 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.

Through its mission, vision and core values 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.

Our mission

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.

What is reform?

Reform is at the heart of ERUA, both in name and in spirit, and grounded on the following principles:

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Our 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 one in a kind 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).

Our values

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

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.

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.

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.

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.