This week the heads of the nine universities forming FORTHEM, the European Universities Alliance, met in Valencia to discuss the strategic development for their continued collaboration and to sign the FORTHEM Alliance mission statement paving the way for their partnership over the next four years. 


Over seventy persons working on FORTHEM at the nine universities discussed and made decisions on the application for funding from 2023. Indeed, many aspects needed to be approved, including projects, teams, budgets… 


While the annual “Fallas” festivities were in full swing in the streets, the meeting took place in the peaceful Botanical Gardens of the University of Valencia. This created an environment conducive to working collectively to draw the guiding principles for the future of the alliance. 

The initial alliance was made of seven public universities, the next application is for nine: 

  • Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz (JGU), Germany 

  • Université de Bourgogne, France 

  • Jyväskylän yliopisto, Finland 

  • Uniwersytet Opolski, Poland 

  • Universita' degli Studi di Palermo, Italy 

  • Latvijas Universitate, Latvia 

  • Universitat de València, Spain

And the two new universities: 

  • Universitetet i Agder, Norway 

  • Universitatea Lucian Blaga din Sibiu, Romania 


The FORTHEM Alliance will continue to serve a community of 225000 students and 30000 staff. 

It is FOR THEM that the members of the alliance are bringing down borders to create a unified European alliance, key to achieving unity and peace in our countries for the next generation. 

From 2023 on, FORTHEM will structure its work around five missions:   

  • European Campus   

  • Skills and Competences  

  • Research, Innovation and Transfer  

  • Labs and Co-creation  

  • Service-to-Society  


The European Universities Initiative (EUI)  

 The European Universities idea goes back to the Initiative for Europe keynote speech by the French President Emmanuel Macron on September 26, 2017. In that speech, he proposed to establish a European University network by 2024. In the initial pilot phase, 54 networks throughout Europe applied for funding. Of these, by fall 2019, 17 alliances had begun receiving some EUR 85 million in funding. The aim of the EU Commission is to help establish a European Higher Education Area by 2025, in which learning, studying, and research will transcend national borders.   

FORTHEM wants to bring together a new generation of creative Europeans able to cooperate across languages, borders and disciplines to address societal challenges and skills shortages faced in Europe. 


Related links: – European Universities Initiative (EUI)   



Jocelyne Gerard  


Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or EACEA. Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.