In the communication, the European Commission emphasises the role of Universities as “Drivers of Europe’s Global Role and Leadership” – reaching out to the world, building Europe’s connections and promoting its values. Furthermore,

They play a vital role in generating the evidence that underpins Europe’s foreign and security policies, international agreements, and multilateral action. As key players in science diplomacy, they help building bridges.

Thus, for example, universities are encouraged to assist partner countries to transform their education systems and facilitate mobility of students, staff, teachers, and trainees and to strengthen cooperation on research and innovation.

By sharing experience, exchanging talents, building bridges, promoting academic and European values, universities are part of Europe’s soft power.

Instruments of this approach are, for example, the ‘Study in Europe’ portal to foster international exchanges; peer-learning among universities and agencies on internationalisation; partnerships with priority regions, such as Western Balkans, the Neighbourhood and Africa, based on reciprocity, and better engaging and relying on alumni networks. Mobility is another important tool, with the permits/visas issues that need to be solved, joint Master programmes should be set up and transparent and fair recognition of qualifications is needed.

For more information, read the strategy here:

Download Commission Communication on a European strategy for universities
Commission Communication on a European strategy for universities