CIVICA – The European University of Social Sciences has successfully submitted an ambitious strategy for the expansion and deeper integration of the alliance to the European Commission. The proposal is a major step towards CIVICA’s long-standing goal to build a fully-fledged European University alliance.
Since its founding in 2019 by leading European social science universities, CIVICA has worked to establish a truly European inter-university campus. In doing so, it has piloted EU’s flagship initiative to enhance strategic partnerships in European higher education and research. CIVICA members have drawn on their joint expertise and shared European values to offer students and staff innovative, transnational opportunities in education, research and civic engagement, with special emphasis on digital innovation and an overarching mission to serve European societies.
Over recent months, the alliance members have been hard at work to develop a strategic framework and concrete set of actions for the future, in response to a new call for further funding under the Erasmus+ programme.
“The successes and innovation we have achieved as a pilot university alliance are a solid foundation on which we can continue to expand our collaboration. The roll out of the European Universities initiative provides the perfect impetus to take our alliance to the next level,” said Mathias Vicherat, President of Sciences Po and CIVICA’s Coordinator. “CIVICA’s Presidents’ Committee commends the European Commission’s vision and political objectives for the European University alliances. CIVICA is fully committed to turning this vision into reality.”
A driving force in European higher education
In line with the call’s priorities, CIVICA’s vision for 2030 aims to deepen and expand activities in key areas such as education, research, service to society, innovation and lifelong learning; to develop a diverse and inclusive CIVICA community; further global outreach; establish CIVICA’s lead role in the social sciences; and set up a framework for sustainable institutional cooperation.
Consistent with its mission, CIVICA will continue to serve local and global communities, defend core European values, foster environmental sustainability, and advance policy-relevant research in the social sciences. Yet, the focus will remain on the alliance’s internal communities. Between autumn 2022 and autumn 2026, thousands of students and (post)doctoral researchers are expected to benefit from enhanced mobility, new and expanded joint educational offers, and Europe-wide opportunities for civic engagement and extracurricular activities.
In the wake of recent events, the alliance’s focus on international cooperation becomes even more relevant. The future work programme includes actions to support scholars and students who are at risk due to the war in Ukraine.
“In these times of increased uncertainty, our long-term vision reaffirms our role as an open academic community founded on tolerance, justice and solidarity,” said Vicherat. “CIVICA strives to be a stabilising force for its members and for Europe at large, firmly supporting innovation, excellence, autonomy and academic freedom. Our members have pledged collective action to help displaced scholars and students, and will contribute sustainable, peaceful solutions to unprecedented societal challenges.”
New members, new opportunities
For the next development phase, CIVICA will welcome two new universities on board, IE University (Spain) and SGH Warsaw School of Economics (Poland), thus reaching ten members.
With the inclusion of IE University and SGH, the alliance is anchored even more firmly in Europe and reflects the diversity of higher education across the continent. The profile of the two new partners is closely aligned with the one shared by the existing CIVICA members in terms of expertise, core values, and university culture, but it also brings complementary strengths to the table.
“We are thrilled to welcome IE University and SGH to our alliance,” said Kate Vivian, Acting Vice President for International Affairs at Sciences Po and Alliance Coordinator. “Both institutions have extensive international experience and a demonstrated commitment to pedagogical innovation and engagement with society. Our alliance will not only expand its size, but become stronger with new approaches, new opportunities and new capabilities to address current and emerging challenges. I look forward to seeing our combined impact as an ambitious, future-oriented European alliance that will amplify the voice of social sciences on the global stage.”
“IE University is delighted to join CIVICA and to become part of Europe's most prominent alliance of social science universities,” said Manuel Muñiz, Provost of IE University and Dean of IE School of Global and Public Affairs. “Through our membership of CIVICA we intend to forward joint research projects, faculty collaborations, enhance student experience, innovate on our pedagogy, and foster new alliances and collaborations both within and outside of Europe. In these extraordinary times of turbulence, it is important to reaffirm our commitment to university collaboration and to the project of European integration."
“We are proud to join CIVICA. It is a significant step for SGH Warsaw School of Economics in fulfilling our mission to shape leaders able to address global challenges and embrace the world’s opportunities,” said Piotr Wachowiak, Rector of SGH. “We are convinced that the cooperation with CIVICA universities will lead to new prospects for our researchers, staff and students. In today’s turbulent world, our cooperation is more important than ever. And it makes us stronger to preserve and develop the European values of peace, freedom and solidarity. We are very much looking forward to developing our common European future alongside our CIVICA partners.”
As new members of CIVICA, IE University and SGH join Bocconi University (Italy), Central European University (Austria), European University Institute (Intergovernmental), Hertie School (Germany), National University of Political Studies and Public Administration (Romania), Sciences Po (France), Stockholm School of Economics (Sweden) and The London School of Economics and Political Sciences (United Kingdom).
The expanded alliance will connect more than 72,000 students and (post)doctoral researchers, and 20,000 academic and administrative staff across Europe.
“Building on our successes in the pilot phase, we remain firmly committed to consolidating CIVICA as a key actor of change in Europe, with enhanced opportunities for our communities, and a strong impact on society,” said Aurélien Krejbich, CIVICA’s Executive Director since 1 February 2020.
The results of European Commission call will be announced in summer 2022 and, pending a positive decision, CIVICA will launch its new activities in October 2022.
About CIVICA’s two new members
IE University aims to drive positive change through education, research and innovation. The institution offers a technology-driven learning ecosystem for leaders who make a real difference in the world through innovation, global vision, an entrepreneurial mindset, and a unique focus on humanities. Spread across three sites in Madrid and Segovia, IE University’s campus is a confluence of cultures, welcoming over 8,000 students from more than 140 countries every year. IE University offers undergraduate degrees, master's, PhD and executive education programmes and its alumni network comprises more than 66,000 graduates in some 165 countries.
Founded in 1906, SGH Warsaw School of Economics is Poland’s oldest and leading university of economics. It combines years of experience with the latest global trends in education. Its most valuable asset is the people, who create a unique academic community. SGH offers first and second-cycle studies, as well as doctoral and postgraduate programmes. Its approach to education is to convey not only knowledge but also practical skills, which allow graduates to successfully face the challenges of a rapidly changing social and economic reality. SGH conducts research in the fields of social sciences, mainly in economics, finance, management, as well as sociology and public policy sciences.
Read more about CIVICA: www.civica.eu