The European universities initiative was launched by the European Commission in October 2018. These European universities aim to achieve an unprecedented level of cooperation between higher education institutions in Europe, at all organisational levels and in all areas of activity (training, research and innovation) in order to strengthen the quality, performance, attractiveness and international competitiveness of European higher education institutions.

The ARQUS project, selected in November 2018, brings together the following 7 universities:

  • The University of Granada (Spain, coordinating institution of the consortium);
  • The University of Bergen (Norway);
  • The University of Graz (Austria);
  • The University of Leipzig (Germany);
  • The University of Lyon (on behalf of the Universities Claude Bernard Lyon 1, Jean Moulin Lyon 3 and Jean Monnet - Saint-Étienne);
  • The University of Padua (Italy);
  • The University of Vilnius (Lithuania).

ARQUS has been selected for European funding of up to 5 M€.

The University of Lyon represented by Michèle Cottier, President of Jean Monnet University, at the signing of the ARQUS European Alliance
© Jean Monnet University

The aim of ARQUS is to promote universities as spaces of personal and professional development for all, by promoting wider access and inclusive policies for new communities of students, academics and professionals. Special attention will be paid to promoting multilingualism, civic engagement and sustainable development.

To achieve this, ARQUS proposes a different and innovative model of cooperation with:

  • integrated mobility of students, academics, researchers and other university staff
  • innovative, cross-disciplinary training programmes based on research
  • close ties between valorisation stakeholders and entrepreneurs in order to encourage student employability
  • sharing of knowledge and good practices in order to meet societal needs and challenges for the next 10 years

ARQUS is organised around Work Packages (WP), each coordinated by one of this Alliance’s member institutions:

  • WP1: Project management (Granada)
  • WP2: Openness, Inclusion and Diversity (Padua)
  • WP3: Students and Quality of Learning (Vilnius)
  • WP4: Multilingualism and multiculturalism (Leipzig)
  • WP5: Entrepreneurship (University of Lyon)
  • WP6: Research (Graz)
  • WP7: Engaged European citizens (Bergen)
  • WP8: Sustainability and dissemination (Granada)

Jean Monnet - Saint-Étienne, Lyon 1 and Lyon 3 Universities aim to involve all stakeholders at their institutions in this project, in other words 90,000 doctoral and other students, 4,000 research professors, people returning to education and 7,350 academic staff.