The departure of the United Kingdom from the European Union on 1st January 2021 includes the UK withdrawal from the Erasmus+ programme. While funding for EUTOPIA2050 is guaranteed, there are immediate implications for many mobility and exchange initiatives for both staff and students travelling to and from the UK.
This change equally marks the beginning of a new challenge for all European University Alliances that include a British partner, as currently, it would be unlikely that UK universities would be eligible for funding in future European Universities initiatives.
Today, the EUTOPIA Presidents reaffirm our full commitment to the EUTOPIA2050 project as initially formed, with the University of Warwick as a founding and full partner. Although we are disappointed by the decision of the UK government regarding future participation in the Erasmus+ programme, we emphatically believe that the United Kingdom’s changed status must not exclude it from contributing to our joint construction of the European University of the future.
The EUTOPIA Presidents believe that ongoing research investigations can best proceed within a broad educational collaboration that enables us to take fullest advantage of the mosaic of languages, cultures and talents called Europe.
EUTOPIA will therefore maintain all channels of contact and cooperation with the University of Warwick, together with its local authorities and stakeholders, and will support all options regarding the European University Initiative’s future developments that might allow British universities to participate fully in the aims and projects of all alliances.
We owe this both to our communities and to all citizens who urgently require us to develop more equitable and sustainable international solutions for the benefit of all.
The EUTOPIA Presidents therefore also invite all colleagues in the other European University Alliances involving UK partners to join with EUTOPIA in a common call to defend and promote the continuing full contribution of UK academic partners in the European Universities.
Caroline Pauwels, Rector, Vrije Universiteit Brussel
François Germinet, President, CY Cergy Paris Université
Eva Wiberg, Vice-Chancellor, Göteborgs Universitet, Chair of EUTOPIA
Igor Papič, Rector, Univerza v Ljubljani
Jaume Casals, Rector, Universitat Pompeu Fabra
Stuart Croft, Vice-Chancellor and President, University of Warwick