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European millions in grant money from the EU ensures continued development of EPICUR

The EPICUR university alliance, which SDU joined in 2021, has been granted €14.4 million from the EU’s ERASMUS+ programme, which ensures the further development of the European university over the next four years. For SDU, this means closer cooperation and will, among other things, allow students to take additional and more flexible courses abroad.

By Nicolai Lynge Drost, , 8/4/2022

SDU has contributed to an EU project application for funding for the association of universities under the EPICUR collaboration. That application has been approved, and the EU will thus support the alliance with €14.4 million over the next four years.

At the same time, EPICUR is recognised as a European university, which means that the parties can continue the development cooperation for the benefit of SDU’s students and staff.

- It’s a huge credit to the entire alliance that the European Commission has allocated funding for the further development of the EPICUR European University. We have always felt that EPICUR is a really strong association of innovative universities that are adept at promoting cutting-edge, international education and knowledge collaboration. I look forward to SDU’s students, staff and partners really starting to benefit from the many opportunities that exist in our pan-European university collaboration in the years to come, says Rector Jens Ringsmose.

SDU will provide knowledge about community involvement

In the project application, SDU and the remaining EPICUR members have described a number of areas they wish to work on. A clear goal is to complete the development of a joint digital education platform featuring both online and in-person activities at all of the partner universities’ current locations.

- Together, we must build on the common digital campus that allows students to take courses at each other’s universities both in person and online. The course catalogue will contain both ordinary subjects within all faculties, language courses and more targeted activities within innovation, entrepreneurship and sustainability, to name a few.

- Many of the activities will be co-taught by multiple universities and organised with a high degree of flexibility, providing students with the best from nine different European universities, explains Stefan Knudsen, who helped design the application.

He adds that in the years to come, SDU will have its own area of responsibility in the university collaboration.

- SDU has a special role because we have extensive experience with everything about social involvement in research and education, i.e. the involvement of companies and other stakeholders in our catchment area. Among other things, our development efforts will involve challenge-based courses, lifelong learning and citizen science – areas in which SDU is already strong, but now we must act at European level as well. Our aim is to connect SDU’s ‘ecosystem’ for knowledge with the other nine partner universities, thus creating even greater value for our stakeholders.

A major gamble by the EU

In 2018, the EU launched the so-called European University Initiative, which financially supports the formation of university alliances across member countries. The aim is to develop a number of strong, transnational knowledge clusters which will collaborate to an unprecedented degree on joint education, research and community engagement.

SDU became a member last year, when the university joined the EPICUR alliance with nine universities across seven European countries. The goal is to create a number of innovative, academic activities across the partner universities.

Specifically, this means that SDU’s students will have a number of opportunities to give their course of study an international dimension through, for example, semester exchanges, summer courses, language courses or PhD stays.

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Editing was completed: 04.08.2022