from April 29, 2024 to May 6, 2024
Published on April 29, 2024 Updated on May 2, 2024

As the EDLab project is over, its ideas continue

That's it, it's over. The EDLab project and the SMARTT project, to which EUTOPIA contributed as well and was represented at the event by VUB, have just had their final conference in Brussels, with a strong representation from the EUTOPIA alliance.

SMARTT is an innovative project aiming at analysing, testing, and piloting the new European Degree label criteria, improving the quality and increasing the transferability of future developments of European Degrees across Europe and beyond.  SMARTT is formed by the CIVIS - Europe’s Civic University Alliance in cooperation with the European Universities Alliances EUTOPIA, NEUROTECHEU, and UNITA, SMARTT project propose to expand this experience and draw, based on clear methodologies and thorough analyses, recommendations and proposals both for the European Commission and the member states, to support the development of a European Approach for designing and implementing Joint European Degrees in the future.

EDLab aimed to promote the implementation of European and international joint degree programs and the European diploma label through a network of 13 universities and 35 associated partners, including European university alliances, ministries, and quality assurance agencies. It involved 4 European Universities Alliances: ARQUSEUTOPIASEA-EUENLIGHT4 universities from each Alliance. In each Alliance, one university from each target country: France, Italy, Portugal and Spain, and Ghent University as a positive reference outside the target countries.

EDLab was part of the European Commission's initiative to pilot a European diploma label based on common criteria. This initiative was announced in the European Strategy for Universities and the Council Recommendation on creating pathways for European cooperation in higher education, adopted on April 5, 2022.

The objectives of EDLab were the following:

  • Analyse the relevance of the criteria proposed by the European Commission for the award of the European Diploma Label (EDLabel);
  • Analyse the existing barriers to their compliance, with a particular but not exclusive reference to four target countries: France, Italy, Portugal, and Spain;
  • Analyse how an EDLabel and joint programs enhance the overall attractiveness of the European higher education system;
  • Analyse the procedure for issuing a European higher education label and its format and potential obstacles to overcome.
  • Produce detailed recommendations based on the project's results.

The EDLab project, funded by the European Commission under the Erasmus+ pilot project with a budget of €200,000, was a short-term (12 months) project that ran from March 1, 2023, to March 1, 2024.

The final conference in Brussels aimed to set goals and ambitions for the commission, with some conditions, including budgetary ones, to overcome the many obstacles to a future European-level certification.

The EUTOPIA alliance was also represented by its chair, Tiziana Lippiello, rector of Ca’Foscari University of Venice, Secretary-General Mattia Bellotti, Anna Soos, vice-rector for Education of Babes Bolyai University, Luciana Radut-Gaghi, vice-rector of International Relations and strategic partnerships and Fabrice Goubard, vice-rector of Education at CY Cergy Paris University, Isabel Nunes, Vice Rector for Quality Management at NOVA University Lisbon, Maite Viudes, EUTOPIA MORE project coordinator at Pompeu Fabra University Barcelona, and many relevant high-level actors from Vrije Universiteit Brussel and the University of Warwick in charge of the Educational curriculum in EUTOPIA.

If you're interested in the results of this project, visit the EDLab website at and the SMARTT project here.