CIVICA - The European University of Social Sciences Forms to Address Global Challenges

CEU joins leading European universities specializing in the social sciences and related disciplines to generate innovative solutions to the world's most pressing challenges and promote European civic values.

CIVICA - The European University of Social Sciences puts forward a model for the university of tomorrow, with world-leading universities’ disciplines working together to address a wide range of issues. The University builds upon existing ties between the seven research-led institutions to develop a series of strategic initiatives that will benefit students, faculty and staff and impact the broader public.

As “CIVICA - The European University of Social Sciences,” Central European University joins Bocconi University, the European University Institute, Hertie School of Governance, National School of Administration and Political Science, Sciences Po and the Stockholm School of Economics in a joint application to become a pilot European University in the first round of Erasmus+ applications.  The London School of Economics joins as an associated partner.

Leading the initiative from CEU’s side is Liviu Matei, provost and professor of higher education policy at the School of Public Policy.

“We believe the time to think about the university of the future is now, and that’s why we are delighted to further network with other world-class European institutions, researchers, staff and students. The launch of CIVICA is a vital step in demonstrating the practical, measurable benefits of social sciences—a message very much at the heart of what we do here at CEU. I see integrative, collaborative efforts such as this as greatly improving humanity’s long-term ability to navigate both current and as-yet-unknown challenges,” said Matei.

In a joint long-term mission statement, the seven university presidents recognize the special role of European social sciences in generating solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges:

“As world-leading European institutions of social sciences, we are united in a unique mission: we want to educate the next generation of professionals who serve their societies across sectors, whose minds are concentrated on tackling the most pressing problems of the world, and who are driven by European values of democracy, respect and civic resilience”.

Through the alliance, 38,000 students recruited from across Europe and all over the world, 7,000 faculty members and some 3,000 administrative staff will constitute a new form of academic community.

Building upon decades of successful partnerships and on emerging areas of complementary expertise, the seven partner institutions have a unique capacity to engage in long-term joint strategic goals as well as immediate concrete actions. These will include:

  • Building physical and digital spaces and systems to support a networked European campus for learning, knowledge production and application.
  • At the masters level, creating a flagship multi-campus integrated program involving hundreds of students working in teams across Europe and dozens of faculty to respond to contemporary European and global challenges. Joint policy labs, incubators and capstone projects and hackathons will combine education, research and innovation while also contributing to a more European identity.
  • At doctoral level, an integrated European space for European early stage researchers in the social sciences and humanities will be based on a trans-European hub for mentoring and supervision.
  • Recognizing the special role the social sciences must play in tackling global problems, four dedicated multi-campus knowledge creating teams will conduct results-oriented joint work: Challenges to Democracy in the 21st Century; Societies in Transition and Crises of Earth; Europe Revisited; and Data Driven Technologies for the Social Sciences. 
  • CIVICA is to be an active agent in European society. Trans-European actions for civic engagement and inclusion will include University for All Tours d'Europe; the promotion of access to higher education for all; and the Open Learning Initiative for refugees and asylum seekers.

CIVICA - The European University of Social Sciences forms at a momentous period in European history; through the combined strengths and expertise of the partners, the new institution will strongly impact the future of Europe and the higher education sector globally.