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EDUC aims to participate fully in the wider European Higher Education Area and to contribute to reinforcing European identity. EDUC will strengthen the European identification process by enhancing knowledge creation and by putting forward European skills acquisition through digitally supported cross-campus and cross-disciplinary teaching activities as well as various learning opportunities. Our graduates, who are the political and societal opinion leaders of tomorrow, will acquire competencies not only to create their individual journey through the higher education systems, but also to empower them to act as self-conscious European citizens.
Rooted into three complementary European sub-regions, EDUC is a diverse UniverCity on every level: its students live in small and large cities; they study in universities differing in sizes, ages, native languages, and disciplinary foci; they come from different social backgrounds and some of them have special needs. Our strength relies on our ability to create a cohesive community out of this multiplicity, as we have already been working together trustfully for many years, and we share the strong will to create together a new, mobile and inclusive European Higher Education community relying on innovative pedagogies and digital tools.
By forming this academic community, EDUC also aims to further promote the Bologna Process, which was launched twenty years ago for the implementation of quality assurance within a three-cycle degree system, and which can still be improved and harmonized. We will build a common academic space where students, academic and administrative staff can collaborate and move from one university to the other by removing the remaining administrative, legal, social, cultural or financial obstacles and by implementing appropriate structures and aligned processes. We will create new, Europeanised, tailor-made curricula for our students. By 2025, the student journey will be as flexible and individual as possible so that students can choose from a wide range of learning opportunities and teaching activities, as digitally supported as possible, and can benefit from shared and entangled curricula. They will receive a high-level, profoundly European education on the path to an EDUC degree system. Our European Digital UniverCity will create a community of practice for experiencing and enacting the common values and cultural diversity to bring our EDUC to life.
EDUC intends to achieve this common vision by proposing new forms of cooperation, with an emphasis on individualized, flexible and innovative mobility and exchange solutions. On the path to its long-term goals, the three year project, led by the University of Potsdam, will work along four axes:
EDUC aspires to become a model of good practice on the path to a fully integrated European Education Area in several aspects, especially in its governance model, in its methodology to reach its objective and in the implementation of the activities. EDUC will create a unique environment that could serve as a role model for similar alliances within Europe and beyond. All the outcomes and the best practices generated by the project can be replicated within the Bologna area.
EDUC should make it possible to remove obstacles in order to give the mobility more transparency, by establishing a coordinated and structured mobility framework for students, administrative staff and faculty members. Through innovative solutions, EDUC will strive to achieve a new common campus where students, academic and administrative staff can benefit from our community of six universities, even over a distance of almost 2000 kilometers. EDUC will increase the intercultural skills and language competencies of its students and staff. In the provision of accessibility for students with special needs, European Digital UniverCity can act as a precursor, building on expertise sharing.
EDUC will establish its educational environment via a three step procedure – creating accessibility, shared spaces and a new student journey. In this respect, digital infrastructures and virtual pedagogies will serve as a testing ground. Through the development of digital and experimentation with virtual pedagogies, the student journey will be completely reconceived after the completion of the first three years. By means of innovative and disruptive methods, individual and flexible student pathways will be created. The student journey will then serve as a path to the new third space that will in the long term embrace the whole EDUC community.
EDUC aims to establish a collaborative, inclusive, integrated and efficient governance that will build on and contribute to the mutual trust between, and the involvement of, our six universities in all areas, from bottom to top. Thematic working groups involving all stakeholder groups at all organisational levels of our European Digital UniverCity will address topics such as Mobility and Exchange Scenarios, European Skills and Competencies Sustainability and Outreach.
EDUC will also establish new communication and coordination flows which will allow the different university services to collaborate horizontally and, ultimately, harmonize work flows. Structures will be brought together in order to establish direct communication between the different services inside the universities – such as international offices, student and research administration offices, and centers for students with special needs.
EDUC intends to propose new schemes of cooperation - learning and teaching in the field of education, with an emphasis on innovative and disruptive mobility and exchange solutions. It will also strengthen the links between education and research and between education, research and innovation. The development of the mobility of students, academic staff, researchers, doctoral students and administrative staff will therefore enable the reinforcement and expansion of the cooperation among the consortium members.
By 2022, European Digital UniverCity (EDUC) will have built its foundations to guarantee a sustainable cooperation between its six members, a sustainable common structure and tools to test innovative pedagogies. The joint governance model and common tools will enable EDUC members to address structural and societal challenges they would not be able to tackle on their own.