The collaboration platform U!REKA is strengthening its presence in Europe with the addition of two new institutional partners: Politécnico de Lisboa (IPL) and Technical University of Ostrava (VSB-TUO). By expanding its membership to include universities of applied sciences in Portugal and the Czech Republic, U!REKA is establishing itself as an increasingly diversified and comprehensive European network for the exchange of knowledge between higher education institutions.
The Urban Research and Education Knowledge Alliance (U!REKA) is a vibrant partnership of urban-focused higher education institutions (HEIs) across Europe. Established in 2016, its ambition is to educate, shape and deliver the EU professionals of tomorrow who will be contributing to an inclusive, intercultural and open minded professional Europe.
Growing impact across Europe
In December 2019, the alliance formalised partnership agreements with new partners in Eastern and Southern Europe: Politécnico de Lisboa (IPL) and Technical University of Ostrava (VSB-TUO). As a result, its impact now stretches across the four regions of the European Higher Education Area, covering approximately 14.4 million European citizens via its eight partner institutions based in Amsterdam, Edinburgh, Frankfurt, Ghent, Helsinki, Lisbon, Oslo and Ostrava.
U!REKA’s new Southern European partner, IPL, is located in the metropolitan area of Lisbon and composed of eight schools with a long history in the field of higher education. Founded in 1849, U!REKA’s new Eastern European partner VSB-TUO is a Czech public university with a long tradition in high-quality engineering education and research across its seven faculties.
“Joining the U!REKA consortium brings our institution strategic added value as well as smart and sustainable educational benefits for our students and staff. It will strengthen our ability to forge solutions to urban issues in Lisbon and beyond. IPL’s board is pleased to join this growing network of institutions committed to internationalisation and urban innovation,” says Ana Christina Perdigao, IPL Vice President of Politécnico de Lisboa.
“For VSB-TUO, our involvement in U!REKA will enable us to fulfil our mission beyond that of solely education and research, strengthening our international collaboration. We look forward to sharing best practices and expertise as we develop joint projects and connect with top researchers across the alliance,” says Igor Ivan, Vice Rector of VSB - Technical University of Ostrava.
European University ambitions
U!REKA is aiming for co-financing in 2020 under the European Universities Initiative (EUI), which is a programme launched by the European Commission (EC) and funded by its Erasmus+ programme.
This project aims to enable a new generation of creative Europeans to cooperate across languages, borders and disciplines via the European universities of the future, in order to address the major societal challenges and skills shortages that Europe faces. The U!REKA alliance submitted its application to the Education, Audiovisual and Cultural Executive Agency (EACEA) at the end of February 2020.
U!REKA intends to become a European University renowned for educating high quality European professionals, according to the principles of professionalism, inclusiveness, sustainability, student-centred, impact-focused, research-based, skills and partnership-driven. Read more about U!REKA’s EUI ambitions and application.
“The objectives of the European Universities Initiative resonate very strongly with all of the members across our consortium. By expanding our reach to include partners in Lisbon and Ostrava, we are confident that U!REKA is well positioned to become a pioneering European University of applied sciences,” says Huib de Jong, Executive Board Chairman of the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences (AUAS).