European Universities - The ENHANCE Consortium

The ENHANCE consortium, of which the Warsaw University of Technology is a member, is one of the beneficiaries of the “European Universities” contest organized by the European Commission. Over the next three years, the consortium is going to receive EUR 5m for development of the cooperation.

On July 9, 2020, the European Commission published the results of the second seasons of the “European Universities” competition. Out of 62 applications, it selected 24 consortia including 165 tertiary education institutions from 26 EU member states and other countries that participate in Erasmus+. They are going to join 17 consortia selected in the first season held in 2019.

The list of winners includes the ENHANCE consortium (European Universities of Technology Alliance), made up of 7 technical universities: the Technical University of Berlin (consortium leader), the Warsaw University of Technology, RWTH in Aachen, Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg, the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim, the Polytechnic University of Milan and the Polytechnic University of Valencia.

The universities making up the ENHANCE consortium are home to nearly 245,000 students. Over the past five years, over 4,400 students and employees have taken part in exchange programs.

The consortium’s purpose is to achieve the status of high-class research units, introduce innovative educational methods on a wide scale, make the offer more flexible for students, PhD students, academic and administrative staff, and reduce bureaucratic barriers.

The plan assumes the use of three-year funding of EUR 5m to create a system which will facilitate the mobility of the academic community at all consortium universities. This means, among other things, helping students to choose study programs from the offer of each partner university with a guarantee of mutual recognition of learning outcomes.

Students will be able to take advantage of online courses prepared by partner universities, create international project groups cooperating online, as well as participate in workshops and summer schools.

An important element of the consortium’s strategy is the emphasis on developing critical thinking skills, as well as the application of knowledge and modern technologies with a view to the benefits which they can bring to societies.

A special role in the preparation of the application for the Warsaw University of Technology was played by Grzegorz Robak (Head of the International Cooperation Center) and Professor Andrzej Kraśniewski Ph.D., D.Sc., Eng. The team supervised by them (largely made up of students) had a big impact on the final version of the application, undoubtedly contributing to its success.

The activities of the consortium are closely linked to the plan for the implementation of the “Excellence Initiative – Research University” project at the Warsaw University of Technology.

European Universities

The European Commission put forward the European Universities initiative to the EU leaders before the social summit in Gothenburg in November 2017, as part of the general vision that involves the formation of the European education zone until 2025. The European Council approved the initiative in December 2017. The “European Universities” concept was developed under the guidance of the European Commission, in tight-knit cooperation with members states, tertiary education institutions and student organizations.

“European Universities” is a type of a transnational alliance of tertiary education institutions across the EU. They will form a basic network of universities within the EU, allowing students to obtain degrees by combining studies in several EU member states, and contributing to the enhancement of the European universities’ international competitiveness. They are bound by a long-term educational strategy, promotion of European values and reinforcement of the European identity.