What is the European University Initiative?  

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 the Member States, the Council, and the Commission to take forward several 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.

Co-developed by higher education institutions, student organizations, the Member States, and the Commission, the European Universities Initiative responds to this call. Today, it is one of the flagship initiatives of the EU’s ambitions to build a European Education Area.

What is a European University?

European Universities are transnational alliances that will become the universities of the future, promoting European values and identity and revolutionizing the quality and competitiveness of European higher education. To achieve this significant step forward, the Commission tests different cooperation models for European Universities with two proposals under the Erasmus+ program. The alliances will:

  • include partners from all types of higher education institutions and cover a broad geographic scope across Europe
  • be based upon a co-envisioned long-term strategy focussed on sustainability, excellence, and European values
  • offer student-centered curricula jointly delivered across inter-university campuses, where diverse student bodies can build their programs and experience mobility at all levels of study
  • adopt a challenge-based approach according to which students, academics, and external partners can cooperate in interdisciplinary teams to tackle the most significant issues facing Europe today

The ATHENA European University


The ATHENA (Advanced Technology Higher Education Network Alliance) European University aims to deliver inclusive, innovative, high-quality international education permanently aligned with global market needs, addressing societal and environmental challenges as well as European research priorities, thus granting the highest employability standards, effective career transitions to our students and added value to our ecosystem.

The ATHENA Network consists of the following Institutions:

  1. Instituto Politecnico do Porto (IPP), Portugal – coordinator
  2. Hellenic Mediterranean University (HMU), Greece
  3.  The University of Siegen, Germany
  4. University of Maribor, Slovenia
  5. Universita Niccolo Cusano, Italy
  6. Universite D’Orleans, France
  7. Vilnius Gediminas Technical University, Lithuania

The scientific coordinator of the HMU in ATHENA is Associate Professor Konstantinos Petridis (cpetridis@hmu.gr).  More about ATHENA can be found here: Athena-uni.EU