Lecture “Towards Genuine European Universities: Paradigm Shift or Much Ado about Nothing?”

Detalles de Evento

On 29 May 2018, Professor Jan Wouters will give the closing lecture of the Master in European Studies and the Jean Monnet Chair in EU External Action at the University of Salamanca. The title of the lecture will be “Towards Genuine European Universities: Paradigm Shift or Much Ado about Nothing?”

The event will take place at 11 h at Room 009, Faculty of Law and will be presented by Efrem Yildiz Sadak
, Vice-Rector of International Relations of the University of Salamanca.

You will find an abstract of the lecture and a short bio of Professor Jan Wouters below.


The call for ‘European universities’ in the ‘Initiative Europe’ speech of French President Emmanuel Macron at Sorbonne on 26 September 2017 has generated remarkable dynamics in the European sphere of higher learning. Less than three months later, the European Council meeting of 14 December 2017 called for a “strengthening of strategic partnerships across the EU between higher-education institutions”, “encouraging the emergence by 2024 of some twenty ‘European universities’” and invited the Commission to come up with proposals in the Spring of 2018. The Commission has conducted various consultations, in parallel with an ad hoc Expert Group. Slowly but surely, the confines of the new EU initiative are becoming clearer and a great number of universities are setting up strategic alliances. However, a lot of confusion still reigns: what are ‘European universities’? What are the policy objectives pursued? What about the division of competences and roles between the EU and its Member States at central/federal or regional level? What is the relationship between teaching and research? Is the initiative only open to educational institutions within the EU or does it have a wider scope? Will the emphasis be on higher quality or will other factors be at play? Where will funding come from? Is this development leading to a veritable paradigmatic shift for European institutions of higher learning, or will it prove to be, with hindsight, ‘much ado about (little or) nothing’? These are the questions which this lecture aims to discuss and upon which it will provide some critical thinking.


Short bio:

Jan Wouters is Full Professor of International Law and International Organizations, Jean Monnet Chair ad personam European Union and Global Governance, Director of the Institute for International Law and of the Leuven Centre for Global Governance Studies (both a Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence and a University Centre of Excellence) at KU Leuven, and President of the University’s Board for International Policy. He is Adjunct Professor at Columbia University (New York) and Visiting Professor at Sciences Po (Paris), LUISS (Rome) and the College of Europe (Bruges). A Member of the Belgian Royal Academy and Of Counselat Linklaters, he has published widely on international and EU law, international organizations and global governance. He is Coordinator of a large Horizon 2020 Project, RECONNECT (Reconnecting Europe with its Citizens through Democracy and Rule of Law). He advises and trains regularly international organizations and governments, and is often asked to comment international events in the media.