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Circle U. selected as a pilot ‘European University’

The consortium Circle U., consisting of Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin and six other European universities, is selected for funding in the second pilot "European Universities call, launched as part of the Erasmus+ programme.

Out of 62 proposals submitted in response to the call, the European Commission's Directorate General for Education, Youth, Sport and Culture has selected 24 European University alliances, which will obtain funding for their projects to become the ‘European Universities’ of the future. Circle U. consists of Aarhus University (Denmark), Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin (Germany), King’s College London (United Kingdom), Université de Paris (France), University of Belgrade (Serbia), University of Louvain (Belgium) and University of Oslo (Norway).

The vision of Circle U. is to empower students and staff to mobilize knowledge for impact in order to make the world a better place.

Sabine Kunst, President of Humboldt-Universität:

„International cooperation is more important than ever. The Humboldt-Universität is therefore particularly proud to contribute with its partners to the formation of a European Higher Education Area. Circle U. is a consortium of universities strong in reseach and marked by interdisciplinarity that, together with students, researchers, staff and partners, is working on major European challenges to shape tomorrow's world - already today. We are looking forward to an even more intensive cooperation with our European colleagues.“

We are eager to get started

Over the last 20 months, the Circle U. partners have met every month to build trust and mutual understanding of the member institutions. Presidents, academic leaders, students and administrative staff have assembled across the institutions to develop an innovative, shared vision for the alliance, and to map strengths, barriers and opportunities brought by this diverse network.
Circle U. will be a key contributor to solving global challenges by jointly producing and sharing knowledge. We are committed to this transformational vision and to developing a blueprint for a flagship European university; we will

  • act as a developer to pilot new concepts in higher education and research cooperation, also in line with the continuous reskilling and lifelong learning agenda.
  • provide proof of concepts for new approaches to boosting mobility, co-designing courses and learning processes, and linking education and research.
  • disseminate best practices from our own initiatives and other peer institutions.
  • serve as convenors for multi-stakeholder engagement for truly innovative models in higher education.
  • play a proactive role in creating the European Education Area with a continuous focus on combining research, education and innovation

By doing this we will empower our 334,000 students and 51,000 staff to mobilize their knowledge into transformative actions for society.

A true co-creative process

Our students are at the heart of our alliance, and have been involved since the beginning in the development of the Circle U. vision. Through several student seminars, they have constructively contributed on all topics and discussed how to strengthen the students’ participation and to be active designers of all Circle U. activities. We have also connected with more than 30 key organisations and businesses that joined Circle U. as associated partners.

The trust, insights and innovative models developed through these co-creating processes forms the basis for the Circle U. work programme for the project period and beyond.

Further information

Website of Circle U


Dr. Christin Bohnke | International Department