Seven top universities form CIVICA – The European University of Social Sciences

Hertie School part of alliance of leading institutions from France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Romania and Sweden.

Building on their existing strong ties, seven leading academic institutions have agreed to expand their cooperation to create the European University of Social Sciences. Through an alliance of both long-term strategic goals and joint concrete activities that will benefit students, faculty, staff and impact the broader public, CIVICA will be a prototype of the university of tomorrow, generating innovative social science solutions for the world's most pressing challenges, and promoting European civic values.   

Bocconi University (Italy), Central European University (Hungary), the European University Institute (European Intergovernmental Organization), the Hertie School (Germany), the National University of Political Studies and Public Administration (Romania), Sciences Po (France) and the Stockholm School of Economics (Sweden) have submitted a joint application under the name “CIVICA - The European University of Social Sciences” to become a pilot European university in the first round of Erasmus+ applications in February 2019.       

In a joint long-term mission statement, the seven presidents recognise the special role of European social sciences in generating solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges. CIVICA embodies their ambition, as forward-thinking higher-education institutions, to assume their civic responsibility as Europeans towards future generations and the role of Europe in the world: “As globally leading European social science institutions, we are united in a unique mission. We want to educate the next generation of professionals who will serve their societies across sectors, who are focused on tackling the most pressing problems of the world, and who are driven by values of democracy, respect and civic resilience”.

CIVICA aims to unite leading European higher education institutions in the social sciences, the humanities, business management and public policy to form a broad European inter-university campus that links teaching and learning, research and innovation, and society at large across cultural, linguistic, and national borders. It will connect 38,000 students recruited from across Europe and all over the world to a community of 7,000 faculty members and some 3,000 administrative staff. CIVICA will also be joined by the London School of Economics as an associated partner, and it will define a set of ambitious activities aimed at making the project internationally competitive and attractive.   

Building on decades of successful partnerships among many members of the alliance, and on new combinations of complementary expertise, the seven partners have a unique capacity to engage in long-term, joint strategic goals as well as immediate concrete action, at all levels of their institutions. The more than 100-page CIVICA project outline already provides a framework to prototype and test trans-European activities for the emergence of a European University. The proposal includes:   

  • Building the physical and digital infrastructure for a networked European campus for learning, knowledge production and application;   
  • At the bachelor's degree level, a multi-campus, interdisciplinary education experience with a core focus on civic engagement;   
  • At the master's degree level, a flagship, multi-campus integrated course involving hundreds of students in team-work across Europe and dozens of faculty to respond to contemporary European and  global challenges. Joint policy labs, incubators and capstone projects and hackathons with the same objective of combining education; research and innovation while also contributing to more European identity;       
  • At the doctoral level, the emergence of an integrated European space for early-stage researchers in the social sciences and humanities, based on a trans-European hub for mentoring and supervision;
  • Recognising the special role of the social sciences in tackling global problems, four dedicated multi-campus knowledge-creating teams will be created to conduct results-oriented joint work and feed into the three levels of the European campus: Challenges to Democracy in the XXIst Century; Societies in  Transition and Crises of Earth; Europe Revisited; and Data-Driven Technologies for the Social Sciences.       
  • CIVICA is to be an active agent in European society. Trans-European actions for civic engagement and inclusion will include the university for all Tours d'Europe, the promotion of access to higher education for all, and the open learning initiative for refugees and asylum seekers.   

Through coordinated strategic planning, transformative governance and integrated activities, including embedded mobility at all levels, joint and flexible curricula, a networked approach to the students’ preparation for careers, civic commitment and hands-on societal outreach, CIVICA will contribute to the international competitiveness of the alliance partners and the European Higher Education Area, and it will generate solutions to persistent European and world challenges. CIVICA – the European University of Social Sciences is being formed at a momentous time in European history; it shall strongly impact the future of Europe and the higher education sector globally.

Visit the official CIVICA website for more information.