DRI CIVIS Alliance: EU approves funding for four more years of academic cooperation

The CIVIS Alliance has been selected by the European Commission to be one of the European University Alliances benefiting from an additional 4 years of funding, with a doubled budget amounting to 14.4 million euros. Aix-Marseille Université retains its role as leader and takes the presidency of the Alliance for the first six months. This renewed confidence guarantees that the Alliance and its 10 member universities will continue to promote their ambitious vision and remain at the forefront of higher education reform in Europe. CIVIS is now developing an inter-university campus for over half a million students, academics and staff. Supported by Erasmus+ funding as part of the European Universities Initiative, CIVIS is focused on quality teaching and civic engagement, with significant research and innovation spin-offs.

Eric Berton, President of Aix-Marseille Université reacted enthusiastically to this news:
" We can be particularly proud of the recognition by the European Commission of the work accomplished by our community and by the CIVIS coordination team over the past 3 years. We have been able to initiate new practices in the field of education and its connection with civil society, and to offer new perspectives of mobility for students, teachers, researchers and administrative staff. CIVIS contributes more than ever to the influence of our university: the recent partnership between the Alliance and 6 prestigious African universities testifies to its international success.

CIVIS members are all global, research-intensive universities active in a wide range of fields and disciplines. They combine excellence in teaching and research with a commitment to diversity and citizenship. These same values underlie the work of the CIVIS Alliance, and its common agenda is motivated by an awareness of the issues facing society today. The Alliance focuses particularly on 5 key areas facing our world and our societies:

  • Environment and climate change.
  • Health.
  • Democracy and cultural heritage.
  • Sustainable and inclusive mobility
  • Digital and technological transformations.
  • Since its launch in 2019, the CIVIS Alliance has gone from strength to strength:

    • It has launched five interdisciplinary Hubs focused on societal issues. Academics are working across borders and disciplines, to develop innovative modular courses that address the 5 societal issues mentioned above. Hundreds of students have already participated in one of the more than 200 CIVIS courses, either online or by visiting another member university.
    • It has anchored the university in the city with its 10 local Open Labs - 1 per CIVIS member university. The Open Labs bring together academics, students and members of local civil society to make a tangible social impact. It has supported more than 30 projects addressing local and global issues, valuing diversity, while giving students the opportunity to engage and develop their skills.
    • It has developed a Digital Campus to cross borders, foster cooperation and facilitate cross-cultural experience. Tools include community platforms and a CIVIS passport to recognize student participation in a wide range of CIVIS activities.
    • It has offered academics the opportunity to improve and update their pedagogical skills, developing state-of-the-art pedagogical tools and methods for virtual and hybrid mobility.
    • It has established a strategic partnership with 6 African universities, in line with its initial ambition to form a global alliance.
    • It has used the CIVIS Alliance as a springboard for other joint projects, particularly for collaborative research strategies and funding.
    • It has established a participatory governance model that respects and values the independence and diversity of its member universities.

    The coming years will not only consolidate the progress made, but also implement its common vision more broadly. It thus plans to :

  • Strengthen both its educational offerings based on societal issues as well as its civic engagement, by strengthening and connecting its interdisciplinary Hubs and Open Labs.
  • Strengthen its inter-university campus by increasing student and staff mobility, and leveraging the potential of its digital campus.
  • Implementing real joint teaching programs and degrees.
  • Read the full joint statement here

    About Aix-Marseille Université
    The largest French-speaking university, Aix-Marseille Université (AMU) welcomes 80,000 students and nearly 8,000 staff on five large campuses of international standards. The university owns its own property and is present in 9 major cities in 4 departments.
    Its A*Midex University Foundation, which is the bearer of the IDEX, contributes to the development of a multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary pole of higher education and research of world-class rank. Known as a "research-intensive university," it is home to 113 research units, 9 federations, and some 50 technology platforms linked with major national organizations.
    AMU is committed to interdisciplinarity, which is at the heart of its strategy and training, and has already created Territorial Innovation Poles (PIT), access for economic players to certified technological platforms, the Aix-Marseille City of Innovation and Knowledge (CISAM), and 18 institutional institutes that guarantee bridges between research and training.

    About CIVIS
    CIVIS, European Citizen University is an Alliance of 10 European Universities: Aix-Marseille Université (Aix-en-Provence and Marseille, France), National and Capodistrian University of Athens (Athens, Greece), Free University of Brussels (Brussels, Belgium), University of Bucharest (Bucharest, Romania), Glasgow University (Glasgow, University of Glasgow (Glasgow, Scotland), Autonomous University of Madrid (Madrid, Spain), La Sapienza University of Rome (Rome, Italy), Paris Lodron University of Salzburg (Salzburg, Austria), University of Stockholm (Stockholm, Sweden) and Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen (Tübingen, Germany). Selected by the European Commission as one of the first 17 European pilot universities, it brings together 470,000 students and 68,000 staff, including 35,000 teaching and research staff.
    In 2022, CIVIS signed a partnership agreement with 6 African universities: Hassan II University of Casablanca (Morocco), University of Sfax (Tunisia), Cheikh Anta Diop University of Dakar (Senegal), Makerere University (Uganda), University of Witwatersrand (South Africa), Eduardo Mondlane University (Mozambique).