on December 8, 2022
  • International

Published on December 8, 2022 Updated on December 8, 2022

EUTOPIA – a European University and an ambitious alliance

CY Cergy Paris University belongs from its origin to the EUTOPIA alliance that has been labelled European University since 2019 by the European Commission. The launching of the European Universities Initiative intends to generate different organisation and integration models between universities and structure common by-products.

European Universities are meant to be drivers of educational innovation and the quest for excellence within the continent. They are today one of the critical components of the European Education and Research Areas. After three years of a pilot phase, EUTOPIA is now entering a development phase tagged EUTOPIA MORE through a second European-funded project.
The member universities of EUTOPIA are:
  • The Babeș-Bolyai University (Cluj-Napoca, Romania)
  • The Vrije Universiteit Brussel (Belgium)
  • The Ca'Foscari University of Venice (Italy)
  • CY Cergy Paris Université (France)
  • The Technische Universität Dresden (Germany)
  • The University of Gothenburg (Sweden)
  • The University of Ljubljana (Slovenia)
  • The NOVA University Lisbon (Portugal)
  • The Pompeu Fabra University-Barcelona (Spain)
  • The University of Warwick (United Kingdom)
Achievements of the pilot phase

EUTOPIA members have cooperated to connect their communities and build the Alliance through funded projects or bottom-up initiatives. All these actions entitle us today to speak with one voice.
Internationalisation at home is a crucial enabler for the EUTOPIA projects. We developed our place-making activities to strengthen the interface between our universities and local and regional stakeholders, with teams of students working with external partners to address the local challenges of their respective cities. We aim to mainstream Open Science practices by tackling the practical, legal, and ethical challenges of paradigm shifts and ensuring science is a public good.
We tested instruments to increase the connectivity between the universities. A cornerstone of the first pilot phase was the 30 Connected Learning Communities (CoLeCos), the 17 Connected Research Communities, the 19 fellows of the Young Leaders Academy, the 56 Co-Tutelle PhD, 35 Science and Innovation post-doctoral fellowships and a network of Bachelor in Economics in five partner universities (Project Ecotopia). They act as proof of concept, demonstrating the validity of our approach. We share good practices to promote inclusion to go towards a comprehensive inclusion process as an experience embracing practices, culture and educational format.
Another exciting initiative is the EUTOPIA Student Think Tank (EUSTT), a student-led and student-centred body of the Alliance created by students for students. The EUSTT is building a platform to share knowledge and incubate new ideas to create positive societal impacts. Run by a highly diversified group of student researchers, it allows students to publish their works and recommendations. It also offers skill training to engage the student community in policy-shaping and policy-making processes.

The future starts now.

Joint initiatives can take various shapes, such as, in Education, the replication of successful and relevant degrees from one EUTOPIA university to another, the creation of new degrees shared by two or more EUTOPIA universities, the creation of joint degrees, the creation of European degrees, the set-up of micro-credentials, in particular with a view to Life-Long Learning needs, etc. The long-term objective in Education is to create a pool of shared degrees and education programmes offered within a EUTOPIA College.
In the field of research, the EUTOPIA Global Institute will host and provide visibility to our research and outreach initiatives. It will support the deployment of our activities at a global scale, from research to science diplomacy. In coherence with EUTOPIA's overall mission and vision, we will encourage the connection of disciplines and ecosystems in addressing global challenges. In coherence with our methodological choice of relying on bottom-up, emergent initiatives, we will support EUTOPIA-wide projects on an extensive series of topics, from global health to artificial intelligence, from sustainable engineering to geopolitics, and from human rights to cultural heritage. New areas not yet formulated will likely be central for future generations facing global challenges.
With this second phase of EUTOPIA, we feel ready to develop this concept further and extend the approach beyond Education. The method of Global Connecting Communities will therefore be extended to embrace all four missions of academic teaching, research, innovation and outreach.
For us, Global Connecting Communities is about:
  • Trusting the strength of emergent collective solutions to the new challenges of teaching, research, innovation and outreach
  • Erasing the barriers for different groups to meet and co-create new solutions
  • Incentivising new initiatives from our staff, students and stakeholders
  • Tapping into the breadth and width of expertise provided at the level of the Alliance
  • Connecting local institutions in a global network by acting at all levels: local and regional, European Union, European beyond the EU, and globally beyond Europe.
For CY, as for its partners, EUTOPIA is a powerful engine driving us to enlarge our scope of action and influence. Thanks to EUTOPIA, we participate with greater strength in defining a yet unknown academic zone, where new generations will unfold and come up with ideas and solutions to our critical challenges. We are part of this movement, with the participation of more than 300 universities around the continent. With EUTOPIA, we are proud to affirm that CY has become a door to thousands of new possibilities offered to our students.

Luciana Radut-Gaghi
Vice-president for global strategic partnerships

Armando Uribe-Echeverría
EUTOPIA Head of Communcations

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