Throughout Europe, higher education and research institutions work closely together in order to produce a positive impact on their capacity to innovate and, more generally, the socio-economic development of their regions. In order to promote this collaboration and render it more efficient, various universities and universities of applied science have partnered together in order to establish sustainable groupings under fixed legal categories. For example, Eucor - The European Campus established the first European Grouping for Territorial Cooperation (EGTC), run exclusively by universities. Members of the EGTC include the five universities of the Upper Rhine in Germany, France, and Switzerland. The University of the Greater Region, yet another example, is organized as an association under Luxembourg law, wherein six universities from Belgium, Germany, France, and Luxembourg cooperate across their borders. In other regions - such as the Pyrenees and the western Alps - several higher education institutions have begun to consider the institutionalization of this cross-border cooperation.
Such institutionalization, across all administrative layers of the higher education and research organizations, is considered to create an effect of competitive advantage for cross-border regions.
Despite this competitive advantage, national and European higher education and research policies face new challenges with the creation of such highly integrated regions. Political support on both national and European levels is essential for the various alliances of research and higher education institutions in order to successfully realize their projects and achieve their objectives.
That is why the toppic of cross-border university cooperations will also be discussed at the "European Week of Regions and Cities 2017" at Brussels, where Eucor - The European Campus will discuss among others possibilities and challenges of these cooperations. The workshop entitled “Europe in a nutshell. Experiences with the implementation of cross-border groupings of higher education institutions" will take place on October 11 in Brussels. The event is organised by the Representation of the State of Baden-Württemberg to the EU; other regional partners for the workshop are Grand Est (France), Aragon (Spain) and Luxemburg. Other research institutions present at the discussion will be: the University of the Greater Region and the Campus Iberus.
The goal of the workshop is to inform the public of recent developments concerning these cooperation alliances, as well as to answer specific questions regarding the realization of these projects. Such projects include the joint acquisition of national and European funding, joint employment, and administration of scientific staff, cross-border mobility of students and scientists, as well as the joint use of research infrastructures.