Press release 2022/149 from

The Arqus European University Alliance, which Leipzig University is actively involved in, will be funded by the European Commission for a second period. Supported by Erasmus+ funding, the universities of Granada, Graz, Leipzig, Lyon1, Minho, Padua, Vilnius and Wrocław will be able to move forward with their close partnership and work at all levels over the next four years. The funding amounts to €14.4 million for the entire Alliance.

Professor Eva Inés Obergfell, rector of Leipzig University, is pleased that the Arqus Alliance will continue to receive support: “This additional funding from the European Commission confirms that we are on the right path to becoming a European University through our work with the Arqus Alliance. For Leipzig University, this is a flagship project that will expand and strengthen its further internationalisation. Sharing experiences and ideas in the areas of study and teaching, transfer, and social commitment, and increasingly also in the areas of research and support for doctoral and early career researchers makes it possible for all member universities to grow together and as an Alliance to contribute to solving global challenges.”

In the first funding period from 2019 to 2022, the universities were able to build successful partnerships – in spite of the coronavirus pandemic and the limited opportunities for exchange that resulted. For example, the partners signed the Open Mobility Agreement and more than 140 students were able to spend a semester abroad funded by Erasmus+ at one of the partner universities. More than 120 staff and students from Leipzig University also took advantage of the opportunity to travel to partner universities on an Arqus grant for research stays, study trips, networking meetings and participation in student-led forums.

Over the past three years, around 100 members from Leipzig University have actively shaped the Alliance. For example, the Multilingual and Multicultural University action line, which is led by Leipzig University, developed several opportunities for language exchange. One of these was the Arqus Café, where students and staff from the partner universities come together virtually to talk in a specific language. Almost 700 sessions in 14 languages have already taken place in the first funding phase.

The Arqus Alliance also supports research and teaching at the partner universities through various awards. In 2022, a team from the Faculty of Economics and Management Science at Leipzig University won the Arqus Teaching Excellence Award in the category Enabling Research-Based Teaching for their innovative course.

The now confirmed second funding period will allow the Arqus members to build on previous results, set new thematic priorities and solidify the cooperation with the new partners from Poland and Portugal.

Established in November 2018, the Arqus European University Alliance was funded in 2019 by the pilot project European Universities as part of the Erasmus+ programme. Since then, a multipolar partnership has existed across first seven and now eight national borders (Bergen was a member until 2022; Minho and Wroclaw have been part of the Alliance since 2022), and this partnership is continually growing. In addition to Erasmus+ funding, Leipzig University is supported nationally in the Alliance until the end of 2022 by extensive co-funding from the German Academic Exchange Service, which is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). The Saxon State Ministry of Science, Culture and Tourism supports the project indirectly through funds from Leipzig University’s initiative budget and by paying permanent staff involved in the project.