from September 5, 2023 to September 30, 2023
Published on September 5, 2023 Updated on February 5, 2024

EUTOPIA Joint Academic Year Opening

The 10 EUTOPIA Universities Unite at the European Parliament 
to Launch the Academic Year and Formalise the Alliance as a Legal Entity

5 September 2023 — The EUTOPIA European University Alliance, a consortium of ten European universities, is excited to announce the joint inauguration of the 2023-2024 academic year. The event, themed “Europe, EUTOPIA, and the need for a new Renaissance,” is organised in close collaboration with the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB), one of the alliance’s member universities, and will take place in the hemicycle of the European Parliament on Friday, 29 September, at 15:00.

A significant moment during the ceremony will be the solemn signing of an agreement by the presidents of the EUTOPIA universities. This document will formally establish EUTOPIA as a non-profit international institution under Belgian law, granting the alliance legal existence and administrative autonomy. This significant step underscores EUTOPIA’s commitment to promoting collaborative academic partnership and connection across Europe. Under the European Universities Initiative umbrella, EUTOPIA is broadening its pathway towards creating a European meta-university bridging higher education, research and innovation across the continent. Students and communities will benefit from a better-integrated Europe and well-prepared professionals to decrypt the political and societal challenges ahead.

Tiziana Lippiello, Rector of Ca’Foscari University of Venice and President of EUTOPIA, emphasised the importance of this inaugural event:

“This very first common inauguration of the academic year at the European Parliament marks a significant milestone for EUTOPIA. It symbolises our unity and shared commitment to advancing European higher education, research and knowledge transfer. The achievement of creating a legal entity for EUTOPIA illustrates our dedication to fostering excellence, innovation, and inclusivity across our alliance. We look forward to continued collaboration and making a lasting impact on the European educational landscape.”

In previous years, VUB has marked the beginning of the academic year at various iconic locations across Brussels. This year, Rector Jan Danckaert and Chair of the Board Karsten De Clerck have chosen the European Parliament as the venue, underscoring the event’s significance.

Jan Danckaert, Rector of VUB, shared his vision for the occasion:

“The European Parliament serves as the perfect setting for an academic opening session within our EUTOPIA network. My message is clear: Europe and the world require a new Renaissance and a new Enlightenment, and alliances like EUTOPIA are instrumental in achieving this vision.”

The academic opening ceremony at the European Parliament on Friday, 29 September, will begin promptly at 15:00. To ensure seamless attendance, attendees are urged to register well in advance and arrive at the entrance at least 90 minutes before the event.

Media Contacts:

For further information, please visit EUTOPIA and Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB)