Document Actions

You are here: Home Newsroom Press Releases 2019 European-wide campus for 270,000 …

European-wide campus for 270,000 students

The Consortium EPICUR wins the „European Universities Initiative“ from the European Union

Freiburg, Jun 26, 2019

European-wide campus for 270,000 students

Photos: Chriso, Entelechie/, Montage: Jürgen Oschwald

Six countries, eight universities, a Europe-wide campus for almost 270,000 students: The European Commission has selected the consortium "European Partnership for an Innovative Campus Unifying Regions" (EPICUR) as a European University. The University of Freiburg and its seven cooperation partners convinced the jury with their concept, which focuses on liberal arts and sciences education, the digital transformation of teaching forms and the expansion of mobility for students. Liberal Arts and Sciences Education at the University of Freiburg has been a unique teaching focus in Germany since 2012. It is located at the University College Freiburg and is now being further developed in cooperation with strong European partners. The consortium partners thus provide an answer to global challenges and the crisis of the European project.

In addition, the European languages and the various regional networks of the universities form the focal points of the cooperation. Freiburg's partners are the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, the Universities of Strasbourg and Haute-Alsace/France, the University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands, the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań, Poland, the University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences in Vienna, Austria and the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in Greece. The consortium is led by the University of Strasbourg and will receive funding of up to five million euros over the next three years to implement its projects. In the coming years, the consortium will jointly establish a European University that will develop joint activities in research and innovation in addition to teaching.

“I am very pleased that our concept of a Europe-wide campus has convinced the European Commission,” says Prof. Dr. Hans-Jochen Schiewer, rector at the University of Freiburg. “We want to educate young people who cross borders, disciplines, cultures and languages to tackle the major challenges facing Europe. European teaching is the basis for strengthening a European identity.”

The eight EPICUR universities want to develop a uniform language policy and strengthen internationality and participation: an alternative credit-point system is to reward achievements that impart intercultural competences to students - such as learning a foreign language or hosting exchange students. In addition, more digital teaching, intelligently combined with face-to-face events, should enable as many students as possible to benefit from the offers of the new education area - for example with seminars in which students from several universities take part via video conferencing and finally meet in person.

The European Universities Initiative in the European Union's Erasmus+ program focuses on the future of university teaching across the continent. Until 2024, two funding rounds are to develop models for European universities in which students benefit from the common educational space and are not held back by bureaucratic hurdles. The European Commission is funding the 17 consortia that were successful in the first funding round with a total of up to 85 million euros.


Press release from the University of Strasbourg (pdf)

Article about EPICUR in the online magazine from the University of Freiburg

Press release from the European Commission

Press release from the Ministry of Science, Research and Arts Baden-Württemberg (German)


EPICUR member universities

  • University of Strasbourg

The University of Strasbourg has an international flair. 20 percent of the 50,000 students and half of the doctoral students come from abroad. It is characterized by interdisciplinary research, a comprehensive range of courses as well as a rich cultural offering and heritage.

  • University of Freiburg

The University of Freiburg is characterized by a mixture of traditional subjects and current research fields. Founded in 1457, the University enjoys an excellent reputation in teaching, research and further education. The courses offered by the comprehensive university range from information technology, medicine and natural sciences to the humanities and social sciences. About 25,000 students are enrolled at the University.

  • Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)

Being „The Research University in the Helmholtz Association“, KIT creates and imparts knowledge for the society and the environment. It is the objective to make significant contributions to the global challenges in the fields of energy, mobility and information. For this, about 9,300 employees cooperate in a broad range of disciplines in natural sciences, engineering sciences, economics, and the humanities and social sciences. KIT prepares its 25,100 students for responsible tasks in society, industry, and science by offering research-based study programs.

  • University of Upper Alsace

The University of Upper Alsace is located in Mulhouse and Colmar and is known for its innovative strength, its expertise in cross-border and intercultural relations and its corporate partnerships in research and teaching. The University has around 10,000 students, to whom it offers a range of 170 courses.

  • University of Amsterdam

Founded in 1632, the University of Amsterdam enjoys a strong international reputation in research and teaching. In current rankings, the comprehensive university ranks among the top 20 European universities. More than 30,000 students study and more than 3,000 doctoral students research at its seven faculties.

  • Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań

Named after an important Polish poet, the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań is one of the three leading universities in Poland and looks back on 100 years of history. More than 40,000 students and 1,300 doctoral students study and conduct research at a total of 15 faculties.

  • University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences, Vienna

The University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences, Vienna, or BOKU for short, sees itself as a teaching and research center for renewable resources and sustainability and combines natural sciences, technology and economics. Around 13,000 students study at its 15 departments.

  • Aristotle University of Thessaloniki

With its 74,000 students, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki is the largest university in Greece. Founded in 1925, the comprehensive university is one of the scientific magnets of Southeast Europe. More than 4,000 doctoral students and more than 2,000 scientists work at the ten faculties.

The regional model of the trinational university network Eucor – The European Campus will remain unchanged and will be further developed on a continuous basis. With its jointly agreed strategic plan for the next five years, its own European legal personality in the form of a European Grouping of Territorial Cooperation (EGTC) and binding governance, the European Campus is a pioneer in regional cross-border university cooperation. The cooperation of the network, which includes the Universities of Basel, Freiburg, Upper Alsace, Strasbourg and the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, covers the entire knowledge triangle of teaching, research and innovation at the universities. The European Campus places particular emphasis on the areas of “Quantum Science and Technologies,” “Precision Medicine / Personalised Health,” “Sustainability” and “European Identities.”


Madeleine Marquardt
Office of Public Relations
University of Freiburg
Tel.: 0761/203-4282