Publish Date: 01.12.2020

Category: News from the University

EUTOPIA made several announcements on the closing ceremony of the second EUTOPIA Week hosted by the University of Warwick, which took place online from 23 to 27 November 2020 and included significant conversations with leaders and external experts, counting senior representatives from the European Commission and the regional authorities.

EUTOPIA’s Strategic Board defined the alliance’s future frame as a confederation of universities. They also assessed a strategic sustainability plan, defined anew the vision and mission of the consortium, and reaffirmed EUTOPIA’s fidelity to European Higher Education values such as democracy, the crucial importance of the students, academic freedom, place-making and internationalization. The 6 partners reiterated also their commitment to the alliance in the context of political changes and when facing unprecedented global challenges.

EUTOPIA announced the designation of Professor Eva Wiberg, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Gothenburg, as its new Chair from the 1st December. The Chair acts as EUTOPIA’s head for policy conversations with the European Commission and administrative purposes. This rotating position was held since the launching of EUTOPIA in December 2019 by Professor Igor Papič, rector of the University of Ljubljana.

Eva Wiberg is a professor in Italian and has a broad international background. Except for a short stay in Princeton, N.Y., in the USA, she has lived over 22 years in Italy, where she studied at the Deutsche Schule in Rome and at Università la Sapienza. She holds a PhD from Lund University in Romance Languages. She speaks Swedish, Italian, English, German and French. She has held important positions in national and international academic networks.

The Strategic Board also named Professor François Germinet, president of CY Cergy Paris University, as the Deputy Chair of EUTOPIA concurrently. Both Eva Wiberg and François Germinet will be operative together until the 1st December 2021.

Eva Wiberg declared: ”I’m delighted to take over as Chair of the Strategic Board of EUTOPIA in these challenging times, which shows more than ever how important global initiatives like EUTOPIA are. Our alliance builds on its place-making strengths, connecting cultures and contexts in order to enhance European capability, innovation and influence. In my position as Chair, I will aim to further strengthen these characteristics as well as encourage strong participation for all the citizens of its associated communities. Because EUTOPIA is not only about working with each other within the alliance. Our external engagements, from our local communities to global partners, are also crucial for its success. Internationalization and global partnerships are for many reasons important for all of us. It benefits our economies, societies and our democracies and helps us to build a more sustainable future. I also believe the role of research in the educational system is crucial. The alliance is benefitting immensely by us bringing in additional projects to our joint portfolio, such as EUTOPIA TRAIN and Sif, which helps to build our research and educational capabilities. I intend to continue encouraging this development. Last but not least, in my role as Chair I wish to continue working to make the EUTOPIA alliance even more student centred than it is today, and I truly believe student-empowerment should be at the heart of everything we do”.

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EUTOPIA is an alliance of six leading, like-minded, European universities creating a connected and inclusive community, to address local and global challenges, ultimately contributing to a new model for higher education in Europe: VRIJE UNIVERSITEIT BRUSSEL (Belgium), CY CERGY PARIS UNIVERSITÉ (France), GÖTEBORGS UNIVERSITET (Sweden), UNIVERZA V LJUBLJANI (Slovenia), UNIVERSITAT POMPEU FABRA (Spain) and UNIVERSITY OF WARWICK (United Kingdom).

In June 2019, EUTOPIA was chosen as one of the 17 first winning projects throughout Europe in the new European Universities Initiative competitive call to build a European Education and Research Area.