EUniWell students have joined together with their peers from across European University Networks to highlight an important cause ahead of the European Commission’s launch of the next Erasmus+ funding programme for the European University Initiative.
Collectively, 9 out of the 41 funded European University alliances feature a UK partner. These cover 75 universities from 23 countries, and comprise c.2,234,613 students and c.384,424 staff. Together, they represent over a quarter (27%) of participating institutions in the initiative.
UK universities, including students, have been collaborating tirelessly alongside partners in mainland Europe to co-create the future vision of the European Education Area. This vision "to bring together a new generation of creative Europeans able to cooperate across languages, borders and disciplines to address societal challenges and skills shortages faced in Europe" is one which is shared by students across the UK.
Whilst the UK has left the European Union, and by default the Erasmus+ Programme, it has not left Europe. European values, identity and heritage are embedded across UK society, and UK based students are fundamentally part of "the new generation of creative Europeans" at which this initiative is aimed. Since the inception of the Erasmus+ programme, the UK has consistently been a top destination for students studying abroad, and the European University initiative provides an opportunity to deepen and broaden these opportunities for the future.
In the video message, students from across Europe express their support for the European Commission’s aim of creating an inclusive, diverse and innovative education environment, and their conviction that UK based students should continue to be included in this vision.
EUniWell’s Chief Student Officer, Amel Anane, from the University of Birmingham, coordinated the combined student effort. She said: "It has been a privilege to collaborate with students across Europe in support of UK students and universities. This inter-alliance partnership has demonstrated the overwhelming support for the continued engagement of UK universities as full partners. It is our hope that UK universities will remain an integral part of the European Universities Initiative."