The nine universities belonging to the FORTHEM alliance rejoice at the news that they’ve been awarded ERASMUS+ funding from the European Commission to continue their successful partnership.
In 2017, Burgundy University (France), Johannes Gutenberg Universität Mainz (Germany), Jyväskylän yliopisto (Finland), Uniwersytet Opolski (Poland), Universita’ degli Studi di Palermo (Italy), Latvijas Universitāte (Latvia) and Universitat de València (Spain) created FORTHEM, one of the first 17 alliance winners of the European Universities Initiative call for proposals launched by the European Commission. Then in September 2021, two new universities, Universitetet i Agder (Norway) and Universitatea Lucian Blaga din Sibiu (Romania) chose to join FORTHEM. They were eager to be part of this proactive and ambitious unit. In 2022, after many months of collaborative effort, the nine alliance members presented a detailed plan for the next five years to the Commission. The ERASMUS+ call for proposals, with a record budget of 272 million Euros, was structured around two topics: intensification of prior deep institutional transnational cooperation and development of new deep institutional transnational cooperation.
Over the last three years, FORTHEM has succeeded in setting up a collaboration structure which enforces mutual trust and is based on joint commitment by the partner universities. A common management and governance structure and decision-making procedures were established that institutionalise permanent and deeper academic cooperation. FORTHEM has made significant progress towards building a joint campus with versatile physical, virtual, and blended mobility for students and staff members. The alliance has a common digital strategy and tools that allow for unprecedented exchanges between its university members. Seven scientific think tanks, the “Labs” have made significant steps towards addressing important societal questions and has established a network of societal partners, including schools, companies and public & third sector organisations.
It is thanks to these achievements and to a well-structured proposal, sent to the Commission in March, that FORTHEM has now been awarded the funding needed to achieve the goals they’ve set themselves for the coming years.
The next period will see the complete integration of the two new universities from Romania and Norway into the alliance, new missions and the setting up of a common central structure. The nine members are looking forward to this new chapter, which will continue to strengthen the ties between them and make Europe an everyday reality for students, staff and researchers at these universities.
FORTHEM in numbers
- 227255 students
- 2270 PhD students
- 15859 academic staff
- 14020 administrative staff
A brief description of FORTHEM
FORTHEM Alliance aims is to bring together a new generation of creative Europeans able to cooperate across languages, borders and disciplines to address societal challenges and skills shortages faced in Europe. Our network has a strong regional anchoring in each of the nine countries our universities come from. We share a long history of cooperation and are experimenting new innovative forms of collaboration with the aim of creating a permanent multilateral and European cooperation environment. We believe our model will facilitate innovativeness in education and a close linkage between education, research and innovation. Our goal is to educate open-minded European citizens committed to our common democratic values, together solving the obstacles for seamless student and staff mobility and providing students with 21st century skills such as problem-solving, critical thinking, creativity, flexibility, self-direction and good communication skills because we believe in intercultural dialogue and in Europe’s multiculturalism and multilingualism.