CIVICA Selected as One of the Pilot European Universities

Central European University joins partners Bocconi University (Italy), the European University Institute (European Intergovernmental Organization), the Hertie School (Germany), the National University of Political Studies and Public Administration (Romania), Sciences Po (France, lead institution for the project) and the Stockholm School of Economics (Sweden), as CIVICA, the European University of Social Sciences.

Uniting leading European higher education institutions in the social sciences, the humanities, business management and public policy, CIVICA will connect 38,000 students coming from across Europe and from all over the world to a community of 7,000 faculty members and some 3,000 administrative staff. CIVICA will form a broad European inter-university campus that links teaching and learning, research and innovation, and society at large across cultural, linguistic and national borders. CIVICA will also be joined by the London School of Economics and Political Science as an associated partner.

Commenting on the consortium’s success, Michael Ignatieff, President and Rector of Central European University, said:

“CEU believes passionately that knowledge is borderless. The important connections that we build and maintain with our CIVICA partners will ensure—through European-wide teaching, learning and research—that knowledge will continue to transcend borders, wherever they may lie.”

Professor Liviu Matei, Provost, said:

"CIVICA is a daring new initiative. It aspires to become the European University of Social Sciences. Just as society is seeking new solutions to European and global social, economic and political challenges from climate change, ageing populations, slowing economies, so must our universities step up to provide innovative solutions to those challenges. Crucially however, we must also invest in equipping our young people with the skills they will need to successfully negotiate the future workplace."

Zsuzsa Gabor, Director of Academic Cooperation and Research, added:

“By selecting CIVICA, the evaluators have demonstrated the importance of social sciences in solving the pressing issues of today and identifying those of tomorrow. CEU in particular will be responsible for coordinating within the network research activities focusing on areas including the state of democracy in the 21st century; environmental crises; the state of the European Union; and social aspects of the development of data-driven societies. CEU will develop and coordinate the civic engagement activities of the partner universities, by, for example, promoting  equal access to knowledge and education.”

The European Universities initiative is a key building block of the European Education Area, whereby the Commission will support the emergence of at least 20 European Universities by 2024. European Universities are cross-border alliances of existing higher education institutions, based on a shared, long-term vision for education and, where relevant, for research and innovation.

The initiative is being developed to ensure European universities are innovative, competitive internationally and inclusive. Students will be able to work on tackling important societal challenges in a trans-disciplinary approach, based on innovative learning and teaching methods, including work-based learning.

European universities will have a strong cross-border dimension, with programmes open to all students and staff of the alliance, and with mobility embedded in all curricula, allowing a true student-centred approach.

A total of 48 applications were received, of which 17 have been selected and awarded funding. Having scored 92/100 points, CIVICA has proven an outstanding joint achievement, in the context of a highly competitive call for projects. Announcing the successful pilot universities Tibor Navracsics, Member of the EC in Charge of Education, Culture, Youth and Sport said that in total EUR85 million will be allocated to the pilot scheme.