Rectors representing all 44 alliances of European universities met in Brussels at the invitation of the EU Commissioner Mariya Gabriel. The SEA-EU alliance was represented by the Rector of the University of Gdańsk, prof. dr hab. Piotr Stepnowski.
On the first day, visiting rectors summarized the pilot phase of the alliances (2019-2022) and discussed the next stages of the program implementation until 2027. Representatives of the European Commission presented the gathered rectors with a long-term strategy of the initiative in terms of financing, introducing further legal elements, integrating the education process in the international context, programs supporting research within partnerships and other strategic issues undertaken at the level of EU and national governments.
-The meeting was a great opportunity to exchange information between partnerships about our previous experiences, good practices, and challenges we face. We also discussed activities planned for the coming years in the light of the so-called European Strategy for Universities - says Rector Prof. Piotr Stepnowski.
As part of the working teams, the rectors presented recommendations for the European Commission regarding the further development of the European Universities initiative. The recommendations concerned primarily the issue of: synergizing scientific, didactic and innovative potentials, financial tools that can support further integration, the possibility of cooperation between alliances within selected areas and the diversification of cooperation models between universities within alliances.
- On the second day of the summit, we had the opportunity to meet Mariya Gabriel in person. I consider the meeting very productive. We arrived at constructive conclusions. The Commissioner responded to the issues raised by us with great openness and understanding of the challenges raised. She also informed us about a very successful dialogue with member states regarding further support for the initiative - added prof. Piotr Stepnowski.
The meeting in Brussels took place on 30 - 31 January.