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On 11 May 2016, the first European campus was inaugurated in Strasbourg. Linking together institutions of higher learning in France, Germany and Switzerland, in particular, it will facilitate the development of joint strategies in research and education.
The universities of Strasbourg, Haute Alsace and Basel, and on the German side, Freiburg im Breisgau and the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, are the first to obtain an EU legal personality by forming a European Grouping of Territorial Cooperation (EGTC).
Located in the Upper Rhine, these universities have a total of 115,000 students, 15,000 researchers and 11,000 doctoral students, within an hour and a half of each other.
While retaining the autonomy of the universities, the European campus will strengthen cross-border cooperation and offer numerous possibilities to researchers, students and staff. This grouping will also structure research and education on new foundations, in order to increase the influence of these universities at the international level and attract the best talent.
“We want to attract top-notch scientists to the Upper Rhine”, explained Hans-Jochen Schiewer, Rector of the University of Freiburg and President of the European campus.
The idea is to create new joint structures with real added value, strong enough to compete on the international stage.
“It has been scientifically proven that diversity – of language or religion – is an engine of productivity and quality of research”, asserted European Research Commissioner Carlos Moedas during the inauguration, adding that diversity“ is also a challenge, but when we meet it boldly, the results are extraordinary”.
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