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European universities joining forces for the greater good of Europe

It was the year 2017 when EU leaders declared a vision for university networks across the EU to increase the international competitiveness of European higher education and research. The vision was named the European university initiative.

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Published : 16.12.2020

This initiative has become one of the flagships of the European Union. It aims at bringing together different types of higher education institutions (HEIs) from different parts of Europe. The vision draws a picture of an alliance of HEIs building their collaboration on a co-envisioned long-term strategy that promotes European values, sustainability and excellence. The strategic collaboration extends to different areas, for example, education and research and innovation activities. It brings together different stakeholders: students, academics from different fields, HEI management and staff, cities, regional agents, and entrepreneurs. Importantly, the initiative envisions all these stakeholders sharing a common goal: to find solutions for the challenges that Europe faces today, and to increase Europe’s competitiveness on a global scale.

Haaga-Helia is a part of a European University Ulysseus

Three years after the declaration of the European university initiative, in the beginning of November 2020, Haaga-Helia had the privilege to join forces with five other European HEIs to build a new European University named “Ulysseus”. University of Sevilla as a coordinator, we started a long-term strategic collaboration with Université Côte d’Azur (UCA), University of Genoa (UniGe), Technical University of Kosice (TUKE), and Management Center Innsbruck (MCI).

Ulysseus aims to be an open-to-the-world, person-centred and entrepreneurial European University for the citizens of the future. The collaboration will involve the generation of both territorial and digital Innovation Ecosystem. These ecosystems are characterized by integrative and democratic governance, the co-creation of education, joint research and innovation activities, high impact on UN, European, regional and local challenges, and multilingualism as well as multiculturalism. They will also strengthen Open Education and Open Science, and enhance mobility with automatic recognition.

At Haaga-Helia, we are very committed to the collaboration with Ulysseus consortium partners. In the alliance, Haaga-Helia is responsible for building up future competences. This responsibility is a continuum for Haaga-Helia’s long-term goal and work to create an innovative, influential and efficient learning ecosystem in Europe. This ecosystem will consider the future needs of work, and entail close and intensive industry cooperation, pedagogical innovations, and mobility. It will create opportunities for continuous learning – something that will be increasingly important in the future to ensure Europe’s competitiveness.

In the Ulysseus alliance, Haaga-Helia will also lead AI Hub and work to advance digitalizing industry and making use of the opportunities offered by IT technologies and artificial intelligence (e.g., industrial internet, IoT). In the framework of AI Hub, Haaga-Helia will advance applied research done in the field of AI applications.

Ulysseus will work for the benefit of Europe. It will advance European research and innovation and bring together actors to solve current societal challenges. It will provide new, innovative pedagogical solutions for education. It will create new possibilities for students who can obtain a degree by combining studies in different universities. Importantly, Ulysseus will be open to the world – you are welcome to join us in our journey that has just begun.

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