News and Views
Eight universities jointly launch the European University of Post-Industrial Cities (UNIC)
The European Commission has provided support of €5M to conduct a pilot initiative to develop the European University of Post Industrial Cities (UNIC).
University College Cork is part of a pilot project funded by the European Commission to establish The European University of Post Industrial Cities (UNIC). This is an alliance of eight universities from eight European countries: University of Deusto (Spain), Ruhr University Bochum (Germany), University College Cork (Ireland), Koç University (Turkey), University of Liège (Belgium), University of Oulu (Finland), University of Zagreb (Croatia) and Erasmus University Rotterdam (coordinator, the Netherlands).
The education landscape across Europe is changing. At the 2017 Gothenburg Summit, EU leaders outlined a vision for education and culture. In its December 2017 Conclusions, the European Council called on Member States, the Council and the Commission to take forward a number of initiatives, including:
'…strengthening strategic partnerships across the EU between higher education institutions and encouraging the emergence by 2024 of some twenty 'European Universities', consisting in bottom-up networks of universities across the EU which will enable students to obtain a degree by combining studies in several EU countries and contribute to the international competitiveness of European universities'.
The European University of Post-Industrial Cities (UNIC) is a unique alliance of universities in post-industrial cities that all face similar challenges and opportunities in terms of mobility, inclusion, and diversity. The UNIC alliance reflects a strong European post-industrial identity by shaping a new generation of Europeans able to cooperate and work within different European and global cultures, in different languages, and across borders, sectors and academic disciplines. Our ambition is to develop innovative and sustainable means of university collaboration that will boost student and staff mobility while fostering social inclusion and furthering societal impact. UNIC aims to grow towards optimum institutional convergence of its member universities in order to effectively deploy our shared experience of teaching and researching in post-industrial cities.
UNIC will become a model for effective physical and virtual exchange for all students; for the fruitful interconnection of universities and cities, and for a research-led approach to superdiversity that together will result in greater urban equality and productivity. The UNIC partners have united to enhance and extend regional high-quality education and research through inter-European cooperation in order to offer students truly European learning, teaching, and working experiences. We will combine our educational and research experiences and devise new models for inter-culturally respectful interaction both within our classrooms and our cities. Our students and staff will contribute innovative ideas and practices to promote a successful and inclusive urban future where academia meets the city. UNIC provides a model that will help other European universities to extend mobility and inclusion for societal impact. UNIC is a true agent of change in the transformation of post-industrial work and life and will make a significant contribution to the future of higher education in Europe.