The U4 universities (Ghent University, the University of Göttingen, the University of Groningen and Uppsala University) have joined forces with the University of Tartu to prepare an application for the European University project announced by the EU to strengthen Erasmus+ activities.
Founded in 2008 U4 has become a well-established and sustainable network, covering a wide variety of cooperation initiatives in different forms and fields.
The U4 Network had distinguished itself from other university associations as an operational learning network for students, researchers, and management based on excellence. U4 offers a bottom-up platform for joint initiatives in education and research and a successful pool of preferential partners in Erasmus+ education and Horizon 2020 research consortia.
A distinctive aspect of U4 is the intensive and structural cooperation at the level of the university management and the student bodies. Within this dimension, the four universities pool expertise and resources to initiate innovative processes and reach out to societal challenges. In this way U4 is not only a transactional network serving as an enabling platform for new initiatives, but also intentionally transformational.
The University of Tartu
In order to further complement the network and strengthen its ambitions, the U4 has deliberately chosen to take the University of Tartu on board for the European University project as a fifth strong and high-quality partner university.
The inclusion of Tartu will strengthen the existing actions of the U4 Network in various dimensions and enable the network to contribute to the development of a true European Higher Education and Research Area taking benefit of a diversity of languages, cultures, and spaces.
Setting new standards for education and research in the 21st century
Together with Tartu, the U4 Network sets high ambitions. The network wants to be recognized as a true European University in the frame of the EU initiative, offering an open, integrated space for excellent teaching and research without barriers, and enabling students and staff to move freely across the institutions.
Drawing from its ten-year experience as an intensive network U4 is keen to rethink the role of universities and to share its expertise in the development of new standards for education and research in the 21st century and beyond.