One of a kind master's programme launched with the participation of ELTE
On 2 September 2021, the CHARM-EU Alliance held the official opening ceremony of the master’s degree "Global Challenges of Sustainability", which included opening speeches by the Rectors of the five partner universities of the Alliance, as well as representatives of the European Commission, industry leaders from member countries, the student community, and representatives of external partners.
László Palkovics, Minister of Innovation and Technology also gave an opening speech and described the centuries-long history of European universities as a continuous development and the European Universities Initiative as the latest milestone in this development, highlighting that Hungarian universities are playing an active role in several associations, which helps the development of Hungarian higher education. He stressed that Hungary plans to spend 1.2% of GDP on higher education this year, which is currently undergoing its greatest transformation.
At the Hungarian venue of the ceremony, ELTE's Lágymányos campus, Rector László Borhy welcomed the new students and colleagues from CHARM-EU. Reflecting on the international character of ELTE, László Borhy mentioned that the University currently has students from around 100 countries and connections through Erasmus with more than 500 universities. The rector said it was an honor for Eötvös Loránd University to be one of the founding members of this innovative alliance. He recalled that ELTE had a significant role in the project: it was responsible for the "Mobility" and "Inclusiveness" work packages. He concluded by stressing that a new university is being created with new students, partners, and staff.
In response to the linguistic and cultural diversity of Europe and CHARM-EU, Joan Guàrdia Olmos, Rector of the University of Barcelona, addressed the audience in Spanish, Catalan and French, as well as English. The rector talked about common European values. On a personal note, Henk Kummeling, Rector of Utrecht University, said that although he is generally content with his life, on rare occasions he wishes he could be younger and start something completely different, and that is how he feels about the CHARM-EU Global Challenges for Sustainability Master’s Degree: he envies the students because making the world a better place starts with education.
This master’s degree is one of its kind, as it is the first internationally accredited master’s degree of the European Universities Initiative. The new international, flexible, and inclusive programme is based on research-based and challenge-driven education, with international mobility being a key component. The programme is open to students of any discipline who seek to acquire advanced knowledge of sustainability by addressing real and global challenges. CHARM-EU and the master’s programme are aligned with European values, the European Green Deal, and the Sustainable Development Goals.
The programme is made up of three phases. In the preparatory phase, students will gain insight into Sustainability, Social Innovation and Transdisciplinary Research. The second phase gives them the opportunity to choose from three central sustainability themes: Water, Food, Life & Health. In the final phase, a final project focusing on the sustainability challenge will be developed in close cooperation with the CHARM-EU alliance's extensive network of partners, corporate and social stakeholders. The accredited master’s degree has an innovative pedagogical approach and will be jointly awarded by the five CHARM-EU partner universities.
More than 70 students will study in the first master’s programme, most of them are from Europe, from different regions of Spain and France. 13 of them started their studies in the first phase at ELTE.
The opening ceremony can be viewed here: VIDEÓ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Yax8tozmWU
THE BACKGROUND OF CHARM-EU
The European Universities Initiative was launched by the European Council in December 2017 with the aim of strengthening European identity and enabling university associations to create new, world-class, international higher education institutions. On 26 June 2019, it was announced that out of 54 applicants, 17 proposals have been selected by the European Commission, including the CHARM-EU consortium.
The CHARM-EU (Challenge-driven, Accessible, Research-based, Mobile European University) is a consortium of the University of Barcelona (coordinator), Eötvös Loránd University, University of Montpellier, Trinity College Dublin, and Utrecht University, established in 2019. The Alliance aims to strengthen the quality, international competitiveness, and attractiveness of European higher education by developing a new university model.
The European Universities Initiative, co-funded by the Erasmus+ Project, is designed to strengthen mobility of students and staff, and foster the quality, inclusiveness, and competitiveness of European higher education.
"ELTE's participation in the European Universities Initiative offers unparalleled opportunities. On the one hand, by winning in the first 'pilot' round of funding, we can do work that is one of a kind and of key importance for the future of European higher education. Working together, on the other hand, is crucial for the internationalization of ELTE. I am not only talking about CHARM-EU students in the future, because internationalization means much more than mobility - which is crucial as well", said Ferenc Takó, Head of the CHARM-EU Office at ELTE, in our previous interview.
CHARM-EU ELTE staff and students at the event in Budapest