On 25 January 2021 Heads of the FORTHEM Alliance partner universities signed the Statute of the FORTHEM Alliance

On 25 January 2021 Heads of seven FORTHEM Alliance partner universities gathered online to sign the FORTHEM Alliance Statute and discuss the biggest challenges of the Alliance. The meeting was opened by professor Georg Krausch, President of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, who welcomed the participants and introduced the agenda of the ceremony. After greetings, the Heads of the partner universities exchanged ideas on the importance of the FORTHEM Alliance plans and activities for their universities. As one of the main FORTHEM objectives is multilingualism, this part of the meeting took place in seven national languages. 

The FORTHEM Alliance Statute aims to serve as the legal basis for the development of a new European University model for the benefit of the partner universities. This document reflects the objectives of the FORTHEM Alliance, its governing bodies and management structures, as well as decision making procedures, obligations of the partners, language policy and other items. The Statute respects the rights of FORTHEM members and will contribute to future stability, trust and fruitful relationship. 

After the solemn moment of signing the FORTHEM Alliance Statute, the Heads continued discussions on two crucial topics, namely, the biggest challenge FORTHEM has to overcome and the possible solutions for these challenges.  

Prof. Marek Masnyk, Rector of the University of Opole, mentioned the importance of joint research infrastructure for the successful development of joint research and asked how FORTHEM could contribute more in order to make a real impact for communities, cities, and regions. Prof. Vincent Thomas, President of the University of Burgundy, stressed the significance of innovative mobility activities in bringing students and staff together for the improvement of skills, broadening of knowledge, and gaining better mutual understanding. Prof. Fabrizio Micari, Rector of the University of Palermo, proposed to pay more attention to digital skills, as they are extremely essential for future learning. Prof. Georg Krausch, President of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, pointed out that discussions on the European degree as an instrument that serves to enhance learning and micro-credentials as a more flexible learning opportunity should be taken into account. Prof. Maria Vicenta Mestre Escrivà, Rector of the University of Valencia, identified academic excellence as the main challenge of the FORTHEM Alliance and noted that all partners should be united in finding the best solutions. Prof. Keijo Hämäläinen, Rector of the University of Jyväskylä, stressed that active involvement of partner universities’ students and staff in FORTHEM activities is a serious prerequisite for successful development of the Alliance, and Prof. Indriķis Muižnieks, Rector of the University of Latvia, underlined the challenge of future sustainability of the Alliance. The Heads also discussed possible solutions.  

The participants of the meeting appreciated the constructive dialogue and stated that the signed FORTHEM Statute and discussions are helpful for fruitful collaboration between the FORTHEM Alliance members.