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Thomas Fetzer, coordinator of ENGAGE.EU, visited Ramon Llull University and the Forum of European Universities in Barcelona

On September 14, 2023 Thomas Fetzer, the coordinator of  ENGAGE.EU, made a presentation at the Rectorate of University Ramon Llull for about eighty people from the hosting institution, on the one hand, which are the main lines of work currently facing the alliance and, on the other hand, what are the opportunities for URL to belong to the strategic alliance.

This meeting was the official kick-off of the URL’s participation in the Alliance, after the European Commission granted a subsidy on June 3 to continue the ENGAGE.EU project.

Carlo Gallucci, Vice-Rector for International Relations and Students of the URL, in his introduction to Fetzer’s talk, explained that “European Universities” is an initiative within the Erasmus+ program of the European Union aimed at establishing new standards of collaboration between higher education institutions and that, since the URL was given the opportunity to enter, it was clear that “we could not not not be there”.

Furthermore, Gallucci emphasized that this is a milestone that represents a further step in the URL’s internationalization strategy and the consolidation of its position at the European level: “Each of the institutions that make up the URL has their own prestige. This “European university label” (which only 20% of universities in Europe have) will give prestige to all of us”.

Thomas Fetzer‘s speech began with sincere thanks to the entire community for the interest shown in this session, after finding the auditorium filled to capacity. Then, Fetzer, who combines this position with that of Vice President for Strategic Planning, Internationalization and Equal Opportunities at the University of Mannheim, highlighted the reasons why the URL was considered a strategic partner to be part of the same European alliance.

First, because its idiosyncrasy as a federation of institutions that already has an intrinsic know-how in leading the management of an alliance. Second, because the University does not specialize in a single discipline, but is a comprehensive university with a sensitivity to education for social change, in line with the mission of ENGAGE.EU. And third, because of its geographical location.

Fetzer’s visit to the Rectorate coincided with his participation in theForum of European Universities Allianceshosted by the city of Barcelona. It was an event organized by the Ministry of Universities, with the participation of CRUE, and other experts from the world of higher education such as the former rector of the URL Josep Maria Garrell, current president of the EUA.